Saturday, December 5, 2015

DIY Baby Toys

There seems to be two extremes of baby toys:  the cheap plastic crap with screaming colors and patterns all over every inch (we have some of these) or the gorgeous handmade toys of natural materials that cost more than my wool coat (we have three of these - all gifts). So I thought I'd try to find my solution with an internet search and some at-home materials.  

I actually made these toys a few months ago, but they went immediately into heavy usage and I forgot to blog about them.  That's my project theme these days:  immediate usage and I don't document them.  I'm going to try to remedy that in the next few posts.

This is a bottle with half baby oil and half water, plus food coloring.  It's fun to shake it and watch the bubbles foam up and disperse.  The big kids adore this thing.

This is a shaker made from a plastic jar cadged from the recycling bin and the random beads and bobs I find on the kids' bedroom floor.  I put a jingle bell in there, too.  I glued the lid shut on both these containers for extra security, but my glue job was a little shoddy so I'm not sure that it's good to let Phoebe put these in her mouth.  She puts everything in her mouth.  So I guess I'm not picky about what the third child is putting in her mouth.

This is a cloud softie - I was so surprised to find myself making a stuffed toy!  I never had any desire to make dolls or animals, but this cloud idea with its sleep face and smiley face was pretty fun.  Again, my workmanship was a little shoddy (my approximation of ladder stitch to close up the hole after I stuffed the cloud is, uh, lumpy, and some of the seams on the dangles are coming out).  I put two jingle bells in the middle of the batting scrap stuffing.

Phoebe loves these toys.  She also loves bowls, wooden spoons, combs, rags, and paper. It's kind of a game these days to find things around the house that Phoebe can explore with her fingers and mouth.


  1. Such good ideas. Phoebe is growing fast , such a sweet baby.

  2. Great ideas, and what an adorable little girl she is!!

  3. Great ideas! I have my 1st grandbaby on the way and I'd love to make somethings like this...

  4. One of my daughter's favorite toys as a baby was an empty baking powder can she 'saved' from the recycling bin one day when she was just big enough to pull herself up and look in it. She carted that can around for years.

  5. Third child: eats poison-glued toys and Mom doesn't care.

    Fourth child: no toys, just dirt.

  6. I love this! Those toys are great! Have you seen the documentary "Babies?" I watched it about 3 days before Annie was born. It was fascinating, and I loved seeing how the babies in Africa and Mongolia had completely different 'baby experiences' (things to play with, exploration antics, oversight) than the babies in the first-world countries. Babies need so much less purchased "stuff" than we think they do!!

  7. These are fun. I think I am going to copy your ideas. I made a "pillow" stuffed with crinkled up chip bags when Edwin was a baby, and that toy has been fun for all three of mine, but I haven't make any others.

  8. She loves those!

    One idea I saw once that I thought was genius, was making fabric scraps or samples into hemmed pieces, that then were stuffed into an old square tissue box, to allow the toddler to pull out and stuff back in as long as they please. I love it because they so love doing that with real tissue boxes, which of course can't go on.

    An old Parmesan Cheese container with large plastic pieces in it (very, very oversized 'buttons') also serves first with interest as a rattle, but later as a dumping things out and then carefully placing back in the flip lid opening. Shake, shake, shake, dump out, replace, etc.

    And those stockings are beautiful!

  9. So clever of you! Great ideas!!

  10. Your daughter is so precious! I've always enjoyed seeing the various things you create, and now it's especially delicious to see what you have come up with for a little one! I dream of sewing and making things for babies, but so far mine have come so close together that I'm kind of just surviving and struggle to find time for handicrafts at all. So, I guess I'm also saying thanks for letting me live that joy vicariously through your blog!

  11. I love this! One of my niece's favorites was an empty bottle with dried beans (also glued shut) - such a nice shake!

    My daughter is 9 1/2 months (9 3/4??) and we also use temporary toys, like boxes, egg cartons, and empty tissue boxes (yes, in spite of hankies on heavy rotation, we do still have tissue boxes) until they start to break down and become too easily edible. They are all fun to put things in and out of, shake around, open and close.

    Other favorites are a couple small metal bowls to knock around, an empty spice bottle that rolls across the floor, and boxes of tea (blocks!), though she's starting to figure out how to get into those so that may not last much longer ;-)

    Your cloud lovey is adorable. I'd love to try that, but more likely the bottle with water, oil and color is the most likely thing I'll actually get to!

  12. These ideas are wonderful - and our grandson is just the right age to enjoy them. Thanks so much for posting at just the right time!

    Phoebe looks like a very happy little soul!


I enjoy the conversation in the comments - thank you for that. I will answer your questions here in the comments. Please note that I don't want the world wide web to know my family's surnames and location. Generic comments with links will be treated as spam and deleted.