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Simple Ideas for Baby Play at Home

Please note that Pom Poms need supervision when a baby plays with them to make sure they don't become a choking hazard.

Lids - He loves using them as cymbals...
Yes, the toy market offers many toys for babies, but it can sometimes be hard to choose. I say, don't bother (okay, within reason) because my experience with both of my boys has been that often simple household items that I already have entertain, challenge and engage them, especially during the first eighteen months. Here's some of Caterpillar's favorite "toys," play items and activities. Other items he loves, but aren't pictured, include measuring cups and any and all containers and spoons. I love that many of these items also promote motor skill development, hand-eye coordination and problem-solving. 
...and fitting them together and taking them back apart.

I loved seeing his focus and concentration as he worked on balancing the yogurt container on top of a cup. 

Originally, this half of an egg carton was part of the fire truck Wild Thing and I made for our Alphabet Rescue activity. Caterpillar turned it into a boat. :)

This gives you a better view of the items I put inside the big bowl: cut up sponges, pom-poms (cotton balls would work) and a baggy filled with paint. I initially put the spoon in there so he could stir the items, but he preferred scooping up the items. If he had a smaller spoon, I don't think he would have been able to master the scooping, and I loved how engaged he was in trying.

Caterpillar thinks our box of items to be recycled is truly the best sensory bin ever. I keep cans or items with sharp edges out of it, so that he can explore the boxes, containers, and paper.


  1. Good ideas! S loves exploring our recycling bin too... we're going through a major eating-paper-and-cardboard phase, so most items end up with a little soggy chunk missing (to be found in his mouth). And I like your playdough post too! I don't know if I'm brave enough to try it with S yet though-- maybe when he's a little older...

  2. Fantastic post Jennifer. I love how you zeroed in on specific non toys to entertain your little one. It's amazing how few items they actually need! Thanks for linking up to The Sunday Showcase.

  3. Thanks for sharing this on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you’ll be back again this week with some more great ideas!

  4. Great collection of activities! My kids have always loved playing in our recycling. I really like the idea of letting kids play with canning lids!

  5. Babies have so much fun exploring and interacting with everyday objects. Looks like you provided some fantastic opportunities. Pinning this!

  6. Love simple play. Just look at him with that yogurt cup :). I'll be featuring this as part of my baby play roundup. xo Pauline


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