I wanted to share a list of household item toys I put together in case it might be helpful during this time. I know a lot of us are stuck at home and trying to limit purchasing new items. The good news is that you probably have tons of items already laying around the house that make great toys for young kids!
I’ve listed some of my favorites and also included suggestions from my Instagram followers! You probably have almost all of these items at home already and I bet you’ll be surprised just how long some of these can keep your kiddos entertained…especially if they’ve never had the chance to play with them before!
Household Item Toys
Spray bottle – fill with water and let them spray the car outside, the shower glass, flowers on a walk etc Ladle – perfect for scooping small items or water from one container to another Gift bags – give them a couple of bags and let them fill them with whatever they want and carry them around Pot w/ water & measuring cups, spoons etc Old notebooks or calendar – they can play restaurant, write secret messages, write down their appointments and more Painters tape or washi tape – perfect for letting them play by themselves because it comes off easily, or use it to make games, etc on the floor Baking soda and vinegar – put baking soda in a cup on a tray, add vinegar and watch the bubbles! Sink or float with random toys around the house – have them write down their guess before each one! Kitchen tongs – just give them some tongs and let them go to town. This is a huge favorite toy at our house Dissolvable packing peanuts and a bowl of water Empty TP and paper towel rolls – make binoculars, telescopes, rain sticks, glasses and more Taking everything out of drawers or pantry – best activity to keep them busy when you need to cook K cups or tea bags – take them out of the box, put them back in, stack them up, line them up in a row…. Glow sticks – if you have these lying around, toss some in the bathtub for extra fun! Pipe cleaners and colander ￼- let them poke them through the holes and pull them out. Bonus- give them some cheerios to thread onto them String – my oldest will spend hours winding string/yarn/ribbon around anything and everything Dish soap and water to clean toys Tampons – But seriously. My 16-month-old could play with a box of tampons for HOURS Beans in a jar with a screw tight lid – save a plastic bottle, add anything that will make noise like beans, lentils, pasta etc and put the lid on. Tape it shut if needed. Pom poms in a whisk– show them how to push the pom poms in and then let them figure out how to get them out.
Clothespins or wine corks – give them some ribbon to clip them on or some boxes and bottles to put the corks in Empty squeeze ketchup bottle with water – reuse old squeeze bottles in the bathtub or on the driveway Flashlights – fun in a dark room, inside a fort etc Vacuum/Swiffer/damp cloth – let them help clean! They love it Tape measurers – my kids spend hours measuring everything from their toys to the cat’s tail Stapler or hole punch – save scraps from art projects, drawings etc for them to staple and punch Mardi gras beads in an old baby bottle – great for making music Cardboard boxes – perfect for everything from decorating to rocketships to destroying Shaving cream Matching Tupperware with lids – see how quickly they can match them up Magnifying glass – use around the house or on nature walks Junk mail – let them save it, cut it up, circle their favorite items Sensory bin with pasta, beans, oats or cereal – bury little toys for them to find or just give them scoops and spoons Washing the dishes – another chore i hate but kids usually love Ping pong balls – let them throw them around, try to catch them in a cup Plastic cups – let them stack them up to make a tower, turn them into bowling pins etc Laundry baskets – let them push each other around in them Deck of cards – for simple games, workouts, dropping through a slot into a box or just throwing everywhere and picking up Pool noodles – make great swords Resistance bands Balloons Cheap photo album and old pics Old cameras or phones that don’t work anymore
I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting but the point is….think outside the toy box!