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Homemade play ideas for your baby - Evita Krumina

My little one has plenty of toys at home, but he will still always prefer to play with things that belong to me. I have recently been researching activities that are great for child development and that are also fun. They are so easy to do, even if you are not in to DIY, plus, you won’t need to spend any money either.

For the last few months I have been trying to introduce activities that are slightly different and that involve things that can be found around the house. In this blog I'm going to share these ideas with you as you might want to try them as well!


Toys in a basket

What will you need:

  • a washing basket
  • a string or a long ribbon
  • a selection of toys (different sizes and shapes)


What to do:

  • create a cobweb like shape with the string/ribbon
  • put the toys in the basket

Theo absolutely loves this, the basket keeps him entertained for hours; he will be picking the toys out of the basket and putting them back in. Plus it’s such a great activity to develop baby’s motor skills.

*Disclaimer - Please make sure your baby is supervised at all times when carrying out this activity.


What’s in the box?

What will you need:

  • an empty box (small to medium size)
  • a selection of items that can be found around the house – i.e. plastic spoon, plastic cookie cutters, different shapes


What to do:

  • Cut a hole in your box (big enough so that your baby can fit his/her hand through it). Also big enough so that you can put the different items in there. Our box already had a hole, which made it even easier for us.
  •  Put the different items in the box and encourage your little one to take them out. You could even ask him/her: ‘What’s in the box?’.


This activity is definitely a hit in our house; it’s even easy to take it with us when we go out and about. In a way this activity is similar to the shape sorter, it’s just Level 1 and more achievable for smaller babies.


A large cardboard box

What will you need:

  • A large cardboard box
  • Other items as required, depending on your and your little one’s creativity


What to do:
Simply put the box/s out and see where the play unfolds. However you could talk to your child and ask what they would like to make with the box.


Cardboard boxes can hold children’s attention for hours on end. The best kind of play with boxes is unstructured play when you give children the opportunity to explore a versatile open-ended material without an end result in mind. Playing with a cardboard box can build skills that some toys can't, such as creativity, imagination and resourcefulness. Cardboard boxes inspire creativity and imagination as the children build upon, transform and reinvent them. For older children, the cardboard box takes them on adventures and helps them explore imaginary places in their minds.

Extensions for the activity:

  • Providing other open-ended materials, such as clothes pegs, smaller boxes and containers, cushions, blankets, for the children allows them to explore and enhance their creations by thinking about how they can use the box next. The resources encourage them to add their own personal touches and bring their ideas to life.

This is an activity that we have trialled recently, Theo is now 11 months old. Theo was tired one evening and I decided to try something different – we all know what babies are like, when they haven’t had an afternoon nap. I was hiding in the box and we ended up playing peekaboo, which Theo loves, he couldn’t stop laughing. There was a hole in our box so I kept putting my hand through, which again Theo found hilarious. He then started putting his hand through and posting different items through it.

I really hope you have found this useful. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to entertain your little ones without spending any money. Make sure you keep any cardboard boxes, they will for sure come in handy with the little ones!