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Toddlers are notorious for short attention spans and the need to be constantly entertained. One look at the toy trail all through the house is enough to make any parent pull out their hair! Sometimes you just need to entertain the kiddos for a few minutes and the commercial toys just aren’t doing it! These around the house DIYs inspire creativity, exploration and independent play…plus 5 minutes of peace for mom!
One of my daughter’s absolute favorites, both now at 16 months old and as early as a few months old, are sensory bottles. These are amazing sensory toys that allow children to experience items that are small, messy or choking hazards in a safe way. Here’s a quick explanation.
To make them, find a water bottle or soda bottle (the thicker the better), wash it, fill with items like glitter, sequins, beads, bells, and other small objects with noise, color, and texture. Fill with water, hot glue gun the lid on for safety and you’re done!
The full tutorial:
DIY Montessori Toys
I began to research making my own Montessori toys which are excellent for fine motor skills and brain development. For toddlers, object permanence boxes are quite simple to make and they teach children to put an object, such as a ball, into a hole, see it disappear, then reappear through another hole. They love it! To make your own, the full tutorial is here but the simple explanation is find a box, cut a hole in the top to fit a ball you have and cut a hole on the side so the ball can roll out. Done! You can paint it if you’d like, but that’s not necessary.
Boxes, Containers & Bags
The simplest option for open-ended, creative toys are boxes, containers, bags, and bottles. Toddlers adore putting items in and taking them out of things. They love trying to open and close things. They want to mimic what you do: carry a bag, pour from a bottle, stir with a spoon…those very simple everyday items make toddlers feel like they are a part of the family and a part of the daily happenings. This is huge for their development! So get a box, get some little stainless steel bowls, offer a wooden spoon and let them play.
No matter what you offer your child to play with, please always supervise young children and be aware that even the most ordinary of items can be potentially dangerous. Proper supervision is so important to their safety!