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Homemade baby toys

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

When my oldest was younger, I loved to think of ways to make homemade toys for her. Let's face it - babies don't realize what's homemade or what's from the store. Here are some of the things I did:


homemade or cheap toys for baby

*Color Book
I took her picture in various color outfits (blue, etc.) doing something with an object of that same color - the blue was in a brushing her teeth with a blue toothbrush, orange she was wearing an orange shirt smelling a tiger lily, etc. Then, I got a 4x6 photo album at the Dollar Store and included big letters on each page that said the color. She enjoyed looking at the pictures and it helped teach her the colors.

*Plinko Game
I took a plastic coffee can and cut a hole in the lid big enough to fit plastic milk jug lids. I put some fun, colorful stickers inside the lids as well for her to look at.

*2-Liter Bottle
I took the sticker off a 2-liter bottle so that dd could see inside. Inside the bottle, I included some fun visual stuff like tinsel pom-poms from the craft store, fabric scraps, and a jingle bell.




Now that I have a nephew, some of his favorite toys are also free or cheap.



He LOVES the box his car seat came in.  It is his "fort."



*Formula Cans

With a little contact paper, they are now his "drums."



*Beach Ball

Maybe his favorite thing is his beach ball.  Because this one is partially see-through, it can be used to play peeking games too.



post #2 of 40
Cool ideas... Thanks Kim! I'd never thought of making baby toys like that. We get so brainwashed thinking that we have to have the toys in the store.
post #3 of 40
Those are great ideas. Here is a Shape Book I made using coloring pages, shapes cut from felt, and the pokey side of velcro. I colored the pages, put them in page protectors, tied them together with yarn, and then put little squares of velcro where the shapes go. These pages look like they're made for something like this, but I'm sure you could use any old coloring book for the same general idea.
The felt shapes can be stored in the page protectors when not in use.

post #4 of 40
wow. great ideas!
post #5 of 40
Originally Posted by Kim View Post

*2-Liter Bottle
I took the sticker off a 2-liter bottle so that dd could see inside. Inside the bottle, I included some fun visual stuff like tinsel pom-poms from the craft store, fabric scraps, and a jingle bell.

This is a really cute idea but my son would throw such a fit until I opened it for him... he's just like that.
post #6 of 40
My mom used to have a length of wide ribbon with canning jar rings on it. She had 4-5 rings on there and a knot tying the ribbon. My niece would play with that for HOURS!!

For my toddler, I made an ocean bottle - take an empty 20-ounce drink bottle, fill 1/2 way with water (you can add food coloring as well for visual effects). Fill the other 1/2 with vegetable oil. Very pretty to shake. Because of the differnt densities, the two don't mix & so it looks like ocean waves. We even put in some tiny glitter. Superglue the lid on they can shake away.
post #7 of 40
I love those ideas. I have some extra canning lids. DS would love that. He love things that make that kind of noise. I printed some black and white pictures of faces i found on line.. like coloring pages. Cut them out and glued them to craft sticks. My DS loved looking at them when he was younger. I have since added aminals and shape and colors. Now we make up stories about them and it is helping him learn his animal sounds, shapes and colors.
post #8 of 40
I love the picture book ideas!!

When I'm done w/the plastic Gerber babyfood boxes, I put any little thing in there and tape it shut with packing tape to make a rattle for dd (9 mo). This is great b/c who cares if it gets dropped and left in the grocery store?? Also, the baking powder and french fried onion containers with a pacifier in them make good diversions for a while. But they get thrown away just as soon as those two little teeth rough up the cardboard around the edges.
post #9 of 40
some other ideas are to take scraps of different textures and glue them into a book (for instance use sandpaper, velvet material, corrugated cardboard, silk material, aluminum foil, etc.). Cut out pictures from a magazine and glue to a piece of cardstock, index cards, old cereal boxes etc. and put inside ziplock baggies. tape all the baggie sides together with duct tape and you have a homemade book. Some ideas for the books are people's faces (or emotions- happy, sad, mad, confused, excited, etc.), animals, colors, alphabet, numbers (you can write the number with a marker and under it glue that many of something (flowers, animals, whatever you want) or you can use stickers). Another idea is to take a cardboard and trace items with markers (cookie cutters work great for this). Then let your child match the cutters with the shapes. Finally an awesome idea for toddlers but you must supervise is water play! And no you don't need to go buy an expensive water/sand table. Take an empty plastic storage box (2-3 inches high), a plastic bowel or a dishpan and fill with 1-3 inches of water. Now add rubber ducks, funnels, cups, baby dolls with plastic bodies (don't use the ones with cloth bodies or you'll have a mess!) a wash cloth, plastic blocks that float and if you want even a drop or two of food coloring. Take it outside if it's warm or put it on top of a towel or low table on a hard wood or linoleum floor. Toddlers especially love water play (ever wonder why some won't stay out of the toilet bowl!!lol) and they are learning- What happens when I drop this into the water, why does the duck float but the wash cloth goes to the bottom? The water is dripping onto the floor, why? This is WET (may be a new word to them). have fun with your kids without it costing a lot.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 

Babies like to play with household objects more than expensive toys anyway! I made a drum out of a clean ice cream bucket. I covered it in contact paper, added some fun shapes and pictures, and used a wooden spoon as a drumstick. I also made a colorful rattle by inserting fun, interesting objects in a clear plastic bottle. Not only are these toys cheap, they are eco-friendly because I'm recycling what I had in the house and giving it a second life!
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