Take a stroll through any baby aisle in any store and you will immediately feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of baby products. This includes baby toys. Every baby toy has some special claim to magically make your child more engaged, developed, or stimulated. It can be easy to buy into the claims and feel the need to purchase every toy. One of the many joys of babies is that they are very curious and can be intrigued by many things, regardless of if it was designed to intrigue them. Though it may be tempting, there is no need to buy out the toy aisle. With a little creativity, you’ll soon realize your house is already full of “toys” for your little one. Here are my 5 favorite baby toys that you already own.
**As always, make sure whatever you give your child is safe, poses no choking hazard, and is appropriately supervised.
Ah, the wonderful whisk. With its enticing curves, metallic sheen, and seemingly endless wires, this is a thrilling toy for a little one. Your child will enjoy the noises it makes against different surfaces, its curious use of space, and exploring the shape of the wires with his fingers and mouth.
I’m not exactly sure why, but this is currently Cadence’s FAVORITE toy. She always reaches for it first when playing. I think it has something to do with the how the rounded part is the perfect size for gumming. The satisfying clinking sound is pretty fun too. Bonus fun if your teaspoon is safely attached to a few size variations (teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, tablespoon, etc.)
Most people have a few rarely-used scarves tucked away in their closet. Why not put those scarves to good use and offer them to your child for play? Scarves come in a variety of colors, patterns, textures, and weights–perfect for sensory play. Your baby will enjoy exploring one by itself or a whole pile of scarves. When choosing which scarves to offer, keep in mind these will most likely be chewed on…
4. Small Makeup Mirror
Infants are fascinated with their own reflection, which is great because it offers loads of learning opportunities. Offering a baby a small mirror allows them to study their own image and observe light reflections. I suggest playing with this “toy” on a soft blanket or carpet. Always keep a close eye on your baby while they play, particularly with this toy. Better yet, how about you lay on your tummy with them and talk about what they see in the mirror? This way you not only supervise, but enrich the activity with your engagement. Check out this post for more information on mirror play.
5. Empty Containers
Wash out your used food containers and they can have new life as your baby’s favorite toy. Roll an old oat container back and forth. Put toys inside and take toys out. If your baby’s motor skills are high enough, see if your baby can put the lid on or take it off. There are many ways to get creative with this free “toy”.
So there you have it, my 5 favorite “toys” for babies that don’t require buying out the toy aisle at Target. What are your favorite household items to use with infants?