Having a baby but not sure how to play with a newborn? There are many easy ways to entertain a newborn without toys. Maybe you are looking to save money with a baby on the way. Toys are one area you can save money with a newborn. There is no need to purchase a bunch of toys when you have plenty of entertaining household items to use as baby toys. Furthermore, a baby doesn’t know or won’t remember what toys it played with. So keep more cash in your pocket and have a ball with your new baby with these household items to use as baby toys.
Before you use a household item as a toy, make sure it is safe to use with your baby and that it won’t cause any harm. Check that the item is in good shape. Look if it’s broken anywhere or has any rough edges or parts. Inspect the item thoroughly before letting your baby hold it or play with it. Even if the item is completely safe to use, supervise your baby as they play.
Household Items to Use as New Baby Toys
There are items all around your house that newborns can play with. Just make sure there is nothing on the item that could break off, harm the baby, or that they could swallow.
1. Wrapping & Packing Paper
Paper is a fun toy for babies because they love how paper crinkles and the sound it makes. It is easy to move and can be bright, different colors which is fun to look at. Although you want to watch them closely to make sure they don’t chew on it or put the paper in their mouth.
Whether large or small boxes make a fun toy to play with for hours. Small boxes a baby can stack, put inside of each other, or bang together. Large boxes they can sit in, crawl in, or go for a ride in.
3. Toilet Paper & Paper Towel Rolls
Once they are empty use toilet paper tubes and paper towel rolls as toys. These tubes are fun to look through, talk through, and bang together. However, watch that baby doesn’t put them in their mouth as the cardboard will get soft and fall apart and you don’t want them to choke or swallow any pieces.
If you have any type of balls around your house like stress balls, sports balls, etc babies love balls. You can roll them around, play a little catch, and practice throwing. If you do not have any balls laying around, make a ball out of paper or packing material.
5. Plastic Cups and Water Bottles
Babies love to look at and hold cups and water bottles. They can be colorful, and fun to watch the liquid move in the cup. If it has a plastic straw they may love to get their mouth on that. Don’t worry – they can’t suck anything up yet at this age.
When my son was 9 months old his favorite toy was this plastic water bottle with a plastic straw. He loved trying to get the straw into his mouth and moving it in, out, and around the cup.
6. Kitchen Utensils and Dishes
There are enough things in the kitchen to keep a baby entertained for hours! They can stay entertained with small kitchen utensils like measuring spoons, spatulas, and measuring cups. Babies will try to stack them and put them in and out of one another.
Next, they can play with larger kitchen items and make a drum set out of a couple pots and pans and bang on them with a wooden spoon. Then they can put things in and out of a colander or strainer. Lastly, give them colorful plastic dishes, cups, silverware to look at and put on top of one another.
Babies love to play with hair accessories. Give them a soft brush or comb to hold. They will probably end up testing it out in theri mouth. Also, they can play with big hair clips, bows, scrunches, or a empty squirt bottle.
Furthermore, babies love to go after jewelry. So if you have any plastic jewelry that is safe for your baby to hold and put in their mouth they will love it. When my son was born I got a couple cheap plastic necklaces that I could wear. They looked relatively normal, but they were actually made for a baby to chew on. He loved to chew them and served a purpose for me as well.
A washcloth is fun to play with for a baby. You can put it over things and play peek a boo. Wave a washcloth in the air or throw it up and watch it land. It is soft for a baby to touch and hold. A washcloth can be colorful and fun to look at. In addition, a damp/cool washcloth can be used as a teething toy.
Even though it is a while before they understand they are looking at a reflection of themselves, a baby enjoys looking at a mirror. You can set them in front of a large mirror or give them a small handheld mirror.
10. Cleaning Utensils
Make sure they are clean of course, but a broom, dust pan, and small scrub brushes are fun for babies to play with. Pretend to clean with them, talk through, and show baby how they work. It is never to early to start teaching your baby how to do things.
11. Homemade Rattles
Small food containers or boxes that have something in it that shakes or rattles (small mac n cheese box, cereal box) can provide great fun for your baby. If you don’t have anything like this make your own rattle from basic household products. Take something like rice, noodles or beans and put them into a tightly closed container or jar and shake away. They also like to watch the item move from one end to the other if you use a clear container.
12. Anything Colorful or Patterns
It takes a while for a baby’s eye sight to fully develop. However, things that are colorful or have patterns on them catch their eyes first. So showing your baby colorful objects or objects that have a pattern on them will entertain your baby more than plain items.
How to Keep Your Baby Entertained Without Toys
In addition to not buying many toys, there may be times where you do not have a baby toy around or the one you do have isn’t working to entertain your baby. There are many things you can do to entertain your child for free without toys. For example, talk to them, sing to them, play music, make different facial expressions at them, do motions with your hands, clap, or play peek a boo. Next, do things with their hands – like clap the baby hands, or hold onto their feet and move their legs like how they would petal a bike. My babies always loved doing that. Hold them different ways, pretend they are jumping, doing exercises, or dancing. Babies like to move and be engaged with someone else for entertainment.
Final Thoughts on Household Items to Use as Baby Toys
Who needs expensive baby toys when you have all kinds of fun items in your house already. Save your money and use these household items above as baby toys. They will have fun and you will keep cash in your pocket. What a baby wants most is to have interaction from others. So play with your baby, talk, sing, and move with your baby and they will feel the love.
Let me know what you think of the list in the comments below. Is there anything you would swap in or out on the list?
For more on how to prepare for your baby check out my Ultimate Baby Planning Guide. Grab your free 30 item checklist below.
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