Lewis has lots of toys, but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to make him some homemade ones! I made a couple that were kind of “fails” since he hasn’t shown much interest in them. One was a crocheted ball, which I’m sure he will enjoy once he learns about throwing things. The other “fail” was a little taggy blanket I sewed for him that he never wants to play with. But I’ve also made a few things that he likes playing with! I love crafting, and baby toys can be made with almost anything you have on hand once you get creative. It is a great chance to up-cycle some things that would otherwise be going into the trash or recycling bin. When I was a kid I remember playing with a bunch of blocks that my mom had made from milk and orange juice cartons. There are six kids in my family and she also ran a childcare in our home, so I guess we went through a lot of milk and orange juice!
I made him some shakers before we went and bought him some music toys to play with, but even with the new toys we still keep the homemade shakers out and they get played with just as frequently. He likes to shake them, bang with them, and of course suck on them! The vitamin bottles were sticky when I tried to take the labels off, so I covered them with some pretty contact paper that I found on clearance at Target. The big vitamin bottle has a jingle bell inside, the prescription bottle has dried beans, and the other two have a few buttons each. I basically played around with putting different things in each one until it made a sound I liked. Lewis can’t take the tops off yet so I’m not worried about him getting into them, but shakers for an older baby would need the lids to be glued or taped on.
I also made a ribbon pull toy. This is an idea from The Imagination Tree that I found through Pinterest (of course.) I just used a yogurt container and didn’t bother covering it over with anything but Lewis doesn’t seem to care. I tried to use different textures and thicknesses of ribbon. Some were too thin and when I knotted them they just pulled through the holes anyway, so I tied the ends of these around buttons. Of course the buttons are his favorite part! They are pretty securely attached but I do keep an eye when he is playing with it just to make sure they don’t come loose and become a choking hazard. This toy often catches his eye on he shelf and he will pull it down. He practices his pincer grasp trying to grab the ends of the ribbons, and likes to suck on the ribbons. I have also seen him bang this against the floor when he gets a good hold on it.
It feels good to make something that baby enjoys, and often it is these simple toys that gives them so much more benefit than all the store-bought things. I am working on a set of sensory bottles for him, which will get a post of their own once I’ve finished filling them.
Have you made any simple up-cycled toys for your baby? Do you remember having toys like this when you were a kid?