Making toys at home for your baby


SCRUNCH BAG – Eyes and Ears

Place cellophane into a veggie netting bag

Tie it closed

This toy is great for encouraging eye tracking; alerting to sound; reaching and swiping or grasping.

Place baby on her tummy and put the scrunch bag under her/his hands to encourage scratching. In back lying, encourage baby to kick the scrunch bag.

PAPER PLATE FACES – Eyes and Social interaction

Draw a simple face on a white paper plate

You can also draw patterns such as stripes, dots, squares

Try placing the paper plate on your car seat for baby to look at while strapped up in his/hers car seat.

Place the plate on the wall next to the changing table.

Babies love looking at faces and patterns at this age and it helps them practice their focus.

RATTLES – Hand grip and shoulder girdle coordination

Any well sealed container e.g. Cal–C-Vita; small plastic bottles, small tins. Contents: Rice, sugar, popcorn, lentils

The variety of contents all create a different sound, so try using a few different ingredients.

Cylindrical containers encourage the thumb to hold in opposition to the other fingers. Rattles encourage shaking which assists the development of the shoulder girdle.

PRAM / COT TOY – Vision, reach, grasp

String a variety of interesting objects onto a piece of elastic e.g. Large bell, soft curler, large bead, bright shape, small rattle. Attach across cot or pram.

Encourages fine motor exploration – reaching (learning depth perception); grasp and shake.


ROLY POLY BOTTLES – Encourages tummy lying, pivoting, creeping and crawling

You will need an empty 2L Coke bottle – must be plastic.

Inside place water, glitter, a rubber toy that expands in size

Other contents = dish washer liquid to make bubbles

Rolling from side to side encourages eye tracking across the midline

Roll to the right or left and encourage baby to pivot to that side

Crawling babies love to follow this toy.

SENSORY SAUSAGE – Encourages sensory exploration and crawlingTake 3 veggie netting bags and fill each with safe, interesting items e.g. Corks, purity lids, cellophane, balls, squeaky toys

Join the bags together to make a sensory sausage.

In sitting, encourage baby to reach for dangling sausage

In back lying, encourage baby to reach across her body and roll over.

Encourage baby to follow the ‘snake’ in creeping or crawling.

STRINGED TOYS – Cause and effect, Object Permanence, Pincer grip

Choose baby’s favourite rattle or toy

Attach a thick piece of string to the end of it

Place the toy out of reach and the string next to baby – as she/he pulls the string the toy comes closer. This is cause and effect.

Hide the toy and only show the string, to encourage Object Permanence.

Pulling string encourages the pincer grip.

FEELY BOOK – Tactile exploration and fine motor manipulation

Make a texture book using different squares of material e.g. satin, rubber, velvet, Hessian.

Punch holes into the squares with a paper punch

Assemble the texture squares with ribbon to make a booklet.

Encourage feeling, turning, rubbing on and naming body parts.



MUFFIN BALLS – Posting and fitting and sorting

Using a muffin tray, encourage baby to place tennis balls into each hole. If you have two muffin trays, encourage baby to place fruit e.g. oranges into the holes.

This encourages eye hand coordination; one-to-one association; posting and early sorting.

RING ON STICK – Eye hand coordination; bilateral coordination

Using a wooden spoon and a variety of rings e.g. toilet roll; serviette ring; curtain ring etc, encourage and help baby to place the roll or ring on the handle of the wooden spoon.

This is a great exercise to encourage motor planning and the ability to coordinate the two hands together.

FEELY BOX FOR FINGERS –Poking and Pointing; Touch

Collect 2 boxes (toothpaste or panado/Calpol box)

Line one box with sandpaper and the other with velvet.

Cut a finger sized round hole on each side of the boxes.

Encourage baby to poke into the holes with her/his index finger. Talk about the feel e.g. soft, rough etc.

This is good practice for index finger isolation, poking and pointing, touch stimulating and touch discrimination.

RAIN MAKER – Cause and Effect

Punch holes into the base of a plastic container (e.g. 2L plastic milk bottle cut in half). When baby is playing in the bath, make rain by filling up the container and lifting it up. Drizzle water on parts of the body and sing a ‘raining’ song.

Encourages filling and emptying; touch sensation; cause and effect.

VELCRO HEAD – Faces and Fine motor

Use a furry ball and make your own facial parts (eyes, nose, mouth), out of felt material. Glue or sew Velcro (hooked side) onto the back of each part. Mom sticks the parts onto the furry ball and baby pulls them off. Baby tries to replace them onto the ball.

This encourages pincer grip; strength of fingers; placing; body concept.

PULL OUT FEELY BOX – Pulling out; Putting in; Feeling

Using a large box (shoe box or Xerox box), cut two hand sized holes into the top and side. Place different textured material into the box. Encourage baby to use the pincer grip to pull out the pieces of material. Mom uses the other hole to demonstrate. You can also vary this game by posting toys into the box – big and small – watch how baby problem solves.

This encourages tactile stimulation and discrimination; pincer grip; and pulling strengthens the shoulders and arms.