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Cheap/free baby toy ideas

(10 Posts)
Pinetreeland Fri 05-Aug-11 15:59:23

I have a 6 months old baby and I would like to hear about ideas on cheap/free baby toys that can keep the little one occupied for a while. At the moment he may play with a toy and throw it to the side after a minute or so.

I heard a great idea at my local children's centre. They give babies some shredded paper in a plastic 'pool' that is similar to a sandpit and all the babies seem to love it and you can have it in the house. Have anyone got any similar ideas?

deemented Fri 05-Aug-11 16:02:13

Wooden spoons, jugs, pots and pans, jangly keys.

thesurgeonsmate Fri 05-Aug-11 16:04:50

Quite similar is one of those square boxes of tissues that come out one by one, once it's down to the last five or so tissues, my dd loves to pull each one out and then stuff them back in. Although if you gave it to her too early and there were still many tissues inside that would be quite an expensive toy, I suppose.

rushofbloodtothefeet Fri 05-Aug-11 16:05:15

Google 'heuristic play' or 'treasure baskets' (commonly known on MN as wnaky baskets). Then when you have laughed yourself silly at the prices someone is flogging a ready made one for, find yourself a shallow basket and fill it with interesting household objects that feel, sound, smell interesting. Go for natural materials. Wilkinsons or a cheapo hardware store are great places to pick things up for pennies to fill it with. Things like - wooden spoon, small boxes, short lengths of ribbon, pieces of touchy feely fabric, small lavender pillows, bunches of keys, a tea strainer, curtain rings, natural sponge - you get the idea.

No.1 object in our basket was always a plug on a chain grin

milkyjo Fri 05-Aug-11 16:56:54

Brilliant! I am currently making a bean bag and lavender pillow from scraps of fabric I have lying around, the dead lavender in the garden, and some dried beans that are a year out of date in my kitchen cupboard! Also one website has suggested a large avocado stone!

Sometimes our stay and play session has a 'pool' of shredded paper but it does seem to stick to everything, I prefer to let my DS play with it there and then its something different from home. He also likes the wooden dolly pegs there, and curtain rings, good to chew for teethers.

SootySweepandSue Fri 05-Aug-11 18:51:00

Bottles of water half filled with different colours (food colouring).

camdancer Fri 05-Aug-11 19:06:53

Plastic bottles with some pasta, rice, lentils, stones etc in. Or put some glitter or lametta in the bottle.

And if you are spending money, get some stacking cups. Years of fun knocking over towers and eventually building them as well!

mum2JRC Fri 05-Aug-11 20:35:58

All the above ideas are really good.

Have you looked at your local children's centre, as they often have a toy library. It's like a book library but just with toys. Where we live its about £2 to become a member then you can borrow toys for 3 weeks. Lots of different things to choose from including toys, dressing up clothes, story sacks. Means children can experience variety of toys and no expense! Highly recommend.

Also other things at home is using an empty tin ( like Quality Street) and fill it with jar lids. They love the noise and just getting stuck in. You can do it with old bangles too.
If you want to make a stacking toy use a kitchen roll holder and get them to put bangles on the stick.

Also the silver foil blankets you get after you've done the marathon etc. I think you can get from camping shops. Babies love them, crinkle up, make noise and can see reflections. They are huge so you might need to cut up to a smaller size!

pranma Fri 05-Aug-11 21:06:11

A shoe box with a wooden spoon,a plastic funnel,a set of measuring spoons,two different shaped egg cups,a couple of napkin rings and anything else safe from your kitchen drawer.When they sit reliably add a plastic colander,a tray and some napkins maybe a small doll,farm animals etc.Hours of peace guaranteed and all free.

Morph2 Fri 05-Aug-11 21:42:54

mum2JRC>> I was going to suggest the space blankets!! The surestart lady gave one to me when DS was about 4 months as he hated tummy time but he seemed to like it on that. He also used to lie on it on his back for ages flapping his arms and legs and it made a loud sound. He's now 14 months and played with it till quite recently.

His favourite toys now are the line prop, the hoover, any keys, grannys sandels, and the all time favorite a walking stick!!

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