It will vastly amuse you to know that a large amount of the items used for the activity or sensory play box, that you see on Instagram and Pinterest , come from households. Just plain, old, normal things that you might even throw away. So we just need to follow the 3 same old rules in life – reuse, recycle, reduce. They were so many times that I wished somebody had made a post about this. I ended up throwing so many things away before realizing the practical use in toy life. I don’t want you to go through the same cycle of regret that I did. So let’s get down to it shall we?
Bottle caps :
Bottle caps of different colors and different sizes for color sorting.
Recycle the cardboards from your delivery boxes for cardboard activities.
Wet wipes lids :
Never knew this one until recently. The amount of uses this one has – family tree, recycle bin, windows, picture frames etc.
All that extra buttons you get with your new clothes, save them. And if it’s been a while since you’ve needed them, use them for sensory play, abacus, bead maze roller coaster.
Broken necklaces :
Store away those beads, gemstones and pendants from your snapped necklaces for sensory play uses and craft works with you little one.
Kinder joy toys :
Half of the toys I use for Taeen’s sensory play is from Kinder joy. It works great there because of its miniature size. Almost all of them can used either as parts or as a whole for sensory play.
Initially I had saved it up as treats for potty training ( a hack I learnt a while back but never used LOL ). Then I acquired a taste for the damn chocolate and now it’s a war between my child and I. We do a 50 – 50 split. She gets the toy and I get the chocolate. Muhaha. Win win.
Toilet paper tubes :
From making castle towers to pom pom/ ball slides, this is one with multiple uses.
Yogurt pouch caps :
Another surprising one. This is used as wheels for cardboard vehicles, for sensory play, color sorting etc.
Tissue Boxes :
This might end up filling your house, but waste tissue boxes can be wrapped with a nice looking paper and used as building blocks. Cool if you think about it, don’t you think?
Formula milk / Infant food :
So formula milks and infant foods more often than not come with measuring scoops of all sizes. And they are of the right size, just perfect, for your little one’s tiny hands to scoop and pour and play.
Medical droppers :
When you are playing with children, you don’t want to use too much of anything and especially food color. Having a dropper, that is washed and stored from your child’s last medicine bottle, at the ready sure helps move things along.
Clothes pins / pegs :
These act like pincers in a jiffy and adds extra resistance due to the spring. This will work on improving your child’s hand muscles.
I will keep updating this list as I grow and learn more about activities and sensory play. Till then, feel free to add in the items that you have found to have unexpected uses and stay tuned for more. You could also check out my guide to creating your own fun filled sensory box.
Meanwhile I would also like to introduce you to some great sensory and activity play accounts that I enjoyed following and learning from:
Inspire my play
The not so perfect mum
The cardboard folk