Toddlers are such amazing little people. Their curiosity is really starting to bloom, and their understanding of the world around them with it. We have an entire playroom full of toys, and there are times they want nothing to do with those. It amazes me to see the “toys” that they find around the house and find just fascinating!
So if you have children of your own, or have children visit you often, here’s a list of things you can gather up to keep them entertained for hours:
Who needs the actual toy? Just give them the box it came in and they are happy. Other favorites include empty shoeboxes, diaper boxes, cereal boxes, shipping boxes. Bonus if it’s big enough for them to sit inside of!
Water Bottles/Empty Bottles
Ever notice how much they crinkle when you squeeze them? Or maybe they are perfectly round and can be rolled across the floor. Choking hazard: either take the lid off or make sure to tape or glue it on so it doesn’t come loose.
Anything that Shakes
When we are out to eat, the little sugar packets are great fun! Put a few beads, rocks, or even uncooked rice in an empty water bottle and tape the lid on then shake.
Mixing Bowls and Spoons
Grab a few mixing bowls of all sizes so they can stack together. Give a few plastic or wooden spoons to hit them with. Kids will be occupied for a while.
A Cup with Water or Sand
This is better to do outdoors because of the potential for mess. But get a large bucket, fill with some water, and give them a couple cups. Same goes for sand. Just make sure someone is keeping a close eye on the toddlers if they are playing with any water.
Have you ever noticed how many things you can do with a scarf? And I don’t mean fashion wise because I have no fashion-sense. Stuff a few scarves in an old purse and they’ll enjoy taking them out and putting them back in!
Grab a pillow from the couch. Throw it on the floor. It’s a seat. It’s a pillow. It’s a place to stand. It’s a bridge for a car. It’s a cave. And however many other things a toddler can create with just a pillow or two.
Another supervision-required toy, but always a fun one. Who doesn’t love the stress-relieving activity of popping some bubble wrap? My boys get so excited when they see it and throw it on the ground to step on it!
Dry Paint Brush
A dry paint brush can be loads of fun! Paint the walls, paint the furniture, paint the floor, it doesn’t matter because there’s nothing on the brush. But it’s always fun to pretend!
Toddlers don’t have to have a lot of expensive toys. Just find some stuff you already have around the house and put it in a box for them to play with. They’ll try it all out, even the box you collect the toys in! Seriously, raid your recycling and you will find half of these things in there.
What else have you found as great toys for toddlers that aren’t “real” toys?