Monday 28 May 2012

Playing with a nine month old

I am always looking for ways to keep my nine month old entertained without spending too much money.  He has plenty of toys, but what he really loves, is household objects, or anything that I have used.  Nothing has ever been as interesting or as entertaining as a bus ticket after I have showed it to the driver, and he managed to spend almost an hour playing with a plastic disposable nappy bag (I know he shouldn't play with plastic but he loved it!) after a nappy change the other day too (A clean bag of course)

So I thought I would put together a list of ways we play with household items.

homemade sensory, scarf on baby

The Scarf

After a nappy change, I grab a scarf (I may have a little scarf shopping addiction) and run it over his body.  As soon as I start to shake it I can see the excitement building up and he loves it going over his face, feeling the tassles stroke his skin.  If you have a variety of scarfs, you can do it with different materials and tassle types.  It never fails to get him squealing and giggling.

The Bottle.

We have a random bottle which
we never got on with, but an old water bottle would work just as well.  I fill it with different things and use it as a shaker.  Currently it has rice in, but we have tried pasta and coloured water as well.  Much more exciting than a shop bought rattle, he loves the noises and throwing it around. (make sure the lid is securely fastened on with sellotape)

homemade sensory, sensory bottle, rice in bottle

A Carrier Bag

I probably shouldn't be advising this, and obviously he must be supervised at all times, but he loves nothing more than sitting and crinkling a plastic Tesco shopping bag.  He hits it, crunches it, pulls it and throws it.  He could probably play with a bag all day and never get fed up, but we only do this when we are sat on the floor together.  A disposable nappy bag works in just the same way.

A Hanger with ribbons

I found an old hanger, and tied pieces of ribbon and other random items I had lying around to it, making it into a mobile.  He sits in his highchair below the door handle and plays with all the ribbons while I sort out his dinner in the kitchen.

A Cardboard Box

This doesn't have to be the massive box that you can make play houses from, any old box works fine.  In this case, a pizza take-away box provided much fun as he explored it.  He saw me munching the last slice and fancied having a look himself. 

household toys, baby and pizza box,

Mobile Phone

Well I don't actually give him my phone, but when he starts reaching and grabbing at it, I quietly sneak the case off and give him that. So far he hasn't cottoned on that he is being fobbed off, as he looks so pleased with himself!  Unfortunately this can back fire as he did lose my lovely devil case a few weeks ago.  Better than losing my phone though!


All children seem to love them and Dylan is not exception.  He never manages to catch any, but loves trying to pop them.  A tube of bubbles lasts months, and can be refilled with fairy liquid and water as many times as you like.  Instant entertainment.

So that is what the little dude and I get up to when we are bored of building blocks, teddies and shape sorters.  Any other tips for easy and free toys?


  1. That last photo is just adorable! I love it! :)

  2. Hi great post some lovely ideas. A large deflated foil ballon is a good alternative to a plastic bag, also my little one loves those string of beads that you put on an Xmas tree there great for little hands.

    1. The Foil balloon sounds much safer too! We shall be on the lookout for one. Thanks for commenting

  3. Wait til you have a 3 year old who says "I want to play with my phone" and knows how to work all the apps!

    They still adore cardboard boxes though!

    Great photos!

  4. What a lovely idea for a post. I used to tie a knot in the centre of a carrier bag - so baby couldn't put his head in it.
    Nothing much changes as they get older. My six-year-old can spend hours playing with a stick he's found in the garden, or a collection of leaves or even a feather. He's got a great imagination.
    If you always encourage him to play and explore everyday items, your son will probably be the same.

    1. He does love to touch everything so I am hoping/ dreading that he will stay inquisitive.

  5. My boy loves the tin that treacle/syrup comes in, so if you do a lot of baking try keeping that - he bashes it with a teaspoon, puts bricks in and out of it and puts all sorts in and then shakes it to hear the different sounds - also a small metal dish and a tin that some tea came in. I agree, bottles of coloured water are good. There are so many things - kitchen utensils come in handy when I'm cooking - I can put him in his high chair and he'll entertain himself with a spatula!

    1. We have had fun with saucepan drums before and a wooden spoon is priceless! Thanks for the comment

  6. Ah this is a great post - I love the photos! I'm going to try using a bottle as a shaker & see if my daughter is interested!


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