Top 10 No-Cost Toys for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Here's My Top 10 Toy Ideas for Infants!
- Measuring cups and spoons to shake, rattle, and roll
- Plastic containers to stack, fill, and empty
- Washcloth to hide a surprise, wave in the air, or help with cleanup
- Ball of yarn or ball of socks that can go far and do no damage
- Clean 2-liter soda bottle with label off, filled with beads, pebbles, jingle bells, etc., and safely sealed
- Your keys (*to jingle and shake, not to give to baby)
- Disposable-diaper box turned into seat, sled, drum, hiding place
- Upside down pots and pans (best if used with metal measuring cups for really loud rhythm jam sessions)
- Your lap!
And Here's My Top 10 for Toddlers and Preschoolers!
- Empty boxes, large and small
- Bubble wrap for art projects or jumping games
- Rolls of brown packing paper for large art projects
- Paper-towel and wrapping-paper tubes
- Old gift cards, and membership cards as pretend money for shopping
- Cardboard backing from flipchart after paper is used up. Use for puppet theater, store counter, easel, roadmap for toy cars, etc.
- Big bowl of water with a few soapsuds on kitchen floor (with towel) with washcloth, kitchen items, dolls or plastic animals that need a bath
- Roll of masking or cellophane tape. Watch the magic happen!
- Clean, empty plastic food containers (for example, yogurt or margarine tubs) with lids for pretend cooking and bathtime play
- Your lap!
Karen Nemeth, EdM, is an author, speaker, and consultant on early childhood language development at Language Castle LLC. She is the author of Basics of Supporting Dual Language Learners: An Introduction for Educators of Children From Birth Through Age 8. Karen@languagecastle.com