Common Household Items For Baby and Toddler Play

Play is a huge part of the developmental process for our little ones. It’s easy spend a lot of time, money, and energy thinking about different items to purchase.  I don’t know about you, but around here the best part of getting gifts for my toddler is the box.   I’ve found that some of the best stuff is right in my drawer or closet.

Common Household Items For Baby and Toddler Play - Pink Oatmeal


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 Common Household Items For Play

  • Wax Paper – When my little guy was little I’d give him some wax paper to hold and play with.  I believe it was the texture that really got him.  It was perfect for sensory play.
  • Measuring Cups – These things are the best.  They make loud noises when hit together.  They can scoop water.  It’s amazing what your little one can find to put in a measuring cup.  We used them a lot during water play.
  • Muffin Tray – Another great activity for floor time.  We used this a lot when C was little.  We put different items in for him to play with.  I love how MamaOT utilized the muffin tray for play.
  • Container With A Lid – These can easily be made into a simple shape sorter or when your child get’s a little older you can make it a little more challenging.  Nothing is more fun than putting in and taking out.
  • Water Bottles – I love how versatile water bottles can be.  I’ve made shaker toys where I’ve filled up the water bottle with popcorn and hot glued the cap on.  I’ve also just let me son play with the water bottle (with no cap on).  He loves the noise that it makes when he manipulates it.
  • Tissue Paper – Another great noise maker.  I love this guest post idea by CanDoKiddo on utilizing tissue paper for baby play.
  • Pots and Pans- They are really fun to band around.  If there is a lid that can be extra fun.  Taking off and putting on the lid is especially fun, and slamming it on the floor – nothing could be better!
  • Cardboard Box/Diaper Box – Honestly what’s better than a cardboard box.  It’s so fun to climb in and out of, plus so many great things can be made of cardboard boxes.  We have two in our playroom right now.  The first one was our Big Sensory Box that we have utilized since 6 months of age, and our Jumbo Shape Sorter we’ve been using since a year old.  When I needed a minute when C was little I would set him in a diaper box, but not for too long.
  • Bubble Wrap – I must admit I love to pop this stuff.  It’s a great sensory opportunity for babies and toddlers and can be added to any DIY sensory project.  Most of all, it’s just fun to manipulate and play with.
  • Suitcase – I’ll admit I never realized how cool a suitcase could be until my son showed me.  Climbing in and out of the suitcase is a great time at our house.  Putting things in and taking things out, especially taking (throwing) things out can be a highlight of the day.
  •  Fabric Scraps – I especially like fabrics that have different textures and utilized them a lot when C was very little.  They were great for sensory play.  I think of fabric swatches as the homemade touch and feel books.  I made sensory shapes to use.  I had intentions to put them on a board as he got older, but never did, I still may get to it, maybe.
  • Strainers – They have the perfect little holes to string fabric through for tugging or for older toddlers working on fine motor skills!
  • Utensils – A couple of wooden spoons accompanied by a pan make the perfect musical instrument!
  • Egg Cartons – The perfect tool for a game of putting in and taking out.  I used an egg carton to make a sensory toy!

What is a favorite at your house?  Leave your answer in the comments for more ideas for others! 

More Baby Play Ideas

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My store at Pink Oatmeal has ideas to get the kids moving at home, in the classroom, and in therapy!  If you prefer Teachers Pay Teachers you can find me there too with even more ideas to get the kids moving!

3 thoughts on “Common Household Items For Baby and Toddler Play”

  1. Great list, and thanks for linking to so many Mama OT posts! My 1 1/2 year old’s current favorite household items are 2 wooden spoons to bang together as instruments (or to chase his older brother around with…you know…brotherly love 🙂 )

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