Now that Ava is 7 months old, our days are filled with TOYS! Ava loves playing with toys (or really anything she can get her hands on), so I'm always trying to think of new things she can play with. When your attention span is approximately thirty seconds, you go through a lot of toys in a day, let me tell ya. We have our fair share of blinking, singing, dinging, moving, light-up toys, but I discovered that Ava likes plain old regular stuff as much as (if not more than) the expensive stuff. We all know kids usually love the box something came in more that the toy itself! In the last few weeks, I searched Pinterest and found some ideas for DIY toys and sensory activities for a 6-7 month old. Here's what I came up with! I love watching her chubby little hands pick things up. Be still my heart!
When my mom was in town, we tried giving Ava some kitchen utensils to play with. It was a total hit! Now I keep a pot full of "Ava's Utensils" for her to play with. I pull it out at least once a day, and she can be happy for up to 20 minutes banging the measuring spoons, waving the Tupperware around, and chewing on the wooden spoon. The measuring spoons are her all-time favorite toy. She LOVES shaking them and chewing on each one. Cost = Free (old stuff I already had)
Like any baby, Ava likes things that make a lot of noise. I bought a pack of 3 Ziploc small round containers with screw-on lids. I filled each with jingle bells, wooden balls, and orzo pasta to provide different sounds. Then I hot-glued the containers shut so there will be no spillage. She loves to shake these containers and roll them back and forth. I usually give her all three so that when one inevitably rolls away, she can play with the other two and mama doesn't have to play fetch. Sometimes she gets really into it and shakes them really hard. It's super cute! Cost = About $3 for the containers and $4 for the fillers
Ribbon Sensory Bin
I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to try it. I know that at her age, it's important to have many different sensory experiences and the opportunity to explore things using hands, mouth, and eyes. I went into my craft and gift wrapping bins and got out all my ribbon. I tried to use a variety of ribbon in different colors, textures, and lengths. I put it all in a plastic container, and Ava went to town! Right now she loves to dump it out, pick up each piece, and put it in her mouth or wave it around. Later I will try to teach her how to put the ribbon back in the box :-) Cost = Free (Tupperware and ribbon scraps I already had)
I also saw this idea on Pinterest. I used mini Dasani water bottles since I didn't think she'd be able to lift the big ones! I drank the water and then I took the labels off the bottles. The Dasani bottles are cool because the bottles themselves have all kinds of textures on the outside that Ava loves to feel. I filled each bottle up with tap water and then with other fun stuff I found on clearance at Michael's. I filled one bottle with colorful plastic animals, one with fake gems, one with sequins and glitter (my personal favorite!), and one with pom poms and googly eyes (this one creeps Brent out!) Finally, I hot-glued the tops to the bottles since watery glitter spilled all over our rugs would be no bueno. Of all the DIY toys, Ava likes this on the least at the moment. She still likes it, but just not as much as the others. I think she's still a bit too young to handle the heavy-ish bottles and see what's inside. Cost = about $10 for the bottles and everything inside.
What DIY toys and sensory play ideas do you have?