Sometimes the best toys are homemade. We’ve got a list of the five best DIY baby toys to help build your baby’s critical developmental skills and hopefully free up at least five minutes for you to get something done for yourself. And the best part, many of these baby toys can be made with things you have lying around the house.
1. Mom’s Wallet
There’s no denying babies and toddlers love to play with your wallet. So why not make them a wallet that can challenge their fine motor skills without losing your credit card. And the best part is you have all the resources to make this entertaining DIY baby toy, making it easy to put together in less than ten minutes.
Fine motor skills are important for baby development because they allow the child to perform smaller, more precise movements using their fingers and hands. These skills are crucial for various activities, such as eating, dressing, writing, and playing with toys.
To make a play mom’s wallet:
- Find an old wallet or pick one up at the dollar store.
- Sanitize it if it has seen better days, and make sure it doesn’t contain any coins that can be choking hazards.
- Fill the wallet with old loyalty cards, expired gift cards, etc. Bright-colored cards and shiny cards are a huge hit.
- If any cards have sharp corners, take a pair of scissors and round off the corners, so they don’t poke themself in the eye.
Watch your baby enjoy pulling out the cards, tasting them, and trying to put them back in the wallet. This will entertain your baby hopefully long enough that you can get some dishes done or fire off a batch of emails.
123 Babybox utilizes the latest research to craft the best box for your baby’s needs for their stage of development and growth. Learn more about our expertly curated boxes.
2. Baby Tunnel
Most moms know: the best toy babies and kids love is the box the toy came in. This DIY baby toy glams up that cardboard box and makes a fun tunnel to crawl in and out of or just sit inside. This baby tunnel toy helps develop your baby’s gross motor skills. The baby can crawl through the tunnel, which helps with coordination and strengthening of the core and leg muscles.
To make a DIY baby tunnel:
- Save those large cardboard boxes you get from Amazon, or pick up a moving box from your local moving or home repair store.
- Cut holes in a large cardboard box.
- Cover it with brightly colored or patterned fabric.
- Add toys or rattles inside the tunnel for the baby to reach for and play with.
The tunnel provides the baby a sense of exploration and adventure, encouraging them to crawl and move around.
3. Sensory Board
One of the best DIY baby toys is a sensory board. A sensory board can entertain your baby until nap time. This can be made by gluing different textures, shapes, and objects onto a foam board or cardboard.
Sensory boards are great for your child’s cognitive development. The baby can explore the different textures and shapes and learn to associate different sounds and sensations with the objects. This helps with the development of hand-eye coordination, as well as memory, problem-solving, and cause-and-effect skills.
How to make a baby sensory board toy:
- You will need a foam board or cardboard, glue, and various textures, shapes, and objects such as buttons, ribbons, fabric, foam shapes, and bells.
- Cut the foam board or cardboard to the desired size, and then cover it with a layer of glue.
- Start gluing the various textures and shapes onto the board, making sure to space them out evenly.
- Add any objects, such as buttons, bells, or rattles, to the board, making sure they are securely attached.
- Leave the sensory board to dry for several hours or overnight if necessary.
- Once the sensory board is dry, test it out with your baby and encourage them to explore and play with the different textures and objects.
Sensory boards can be customized to suit the baby’s age and development level, making them a versatile and fun tool for promoting cognitive development.
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Related Link: Cognitive Development Theory: How Parents Can Support It
4. Quiet Book
You probably had one of these as a child. Quiet books can be made by cutting different shapes and colors of fabric and then stitching them together to create pages in a small book. You can attach objects or pictures representing familiar items on each page. This is a fun sensory toy and helps develop their communication skills as they identify the different objects on each page.
How to make a DIY baby quiet book:
- You will need different colors and patterns of fabric, felt, stuffing, a needle and thread, and any small objects or pictures to attach to the pages.
- Cut the fabric into various shapes and sizes to create the pages of the book.
- Stitch the pages together along one edge, creating a small book with multiple pages.
- Add a small amount of stuffing to each page to make it more sturdy.
- Attach objects or pictures to the pages representing familiar items, such as a stuffed animal or a picture of a fruit. Note: When choosing objects, make sure they are safe for your baby and do not pose a choking hazard.
- Label each page with the corresponding word to help the baby develop their vocabulary.
- Stitch the book closed along the remaining edges, securing all the pages and objects inside.
You should always supervise your baby while they play with the quiet book to ensure nothing comes off and poses a choking hazard.
5. Musical Shaker
Babies love making sounds. Making a DIY musical shaker will delight and entertain your child and help them develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Listening to the music helps to stimulate the senses and promote language development.
How to make a DIY baby musical shaker toy:
- Get a plastic container with a lid, such as a bottle or a jar, rice, beans, or small beads, and any decorations, such as stickers or paint.
- Fill the container about halfway with rice, beans, or small beads. Make sure they are safe for your baby and do not pose a choking hazard.
- Decorate the outside of the container with other materials you have on hand. If you have a baby that licks and tastes things, maybe skip this step.
- Seal the lid tightly onto the container, ensuring no gaps or holes.
- Gently shake the shaker to make sure it makes a musical sound. Add more rice, beans, or beads to the container to increase the volume.
We recommend supervising your baby while they play with the musical shaker to ensure the shaker doesn’t come apart and pose a choking hazard.
At 123 Baby Box, we are committed to helping to boost your baby’s development and growth. We curate a monthly subscription baby box that includes the best developmental toys for your baby’s growth stage.Related Link: Best Activities for 6-Month-Old to Keep Them Busy