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Frugal Baby Tips - Toys and Playthings

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Deluxe Pet Net - Stuffed Animal & Toy Organizer Deluxe Pet Net - Stuffed Animal & Toy Organizer

Thanks to Renata for this Frugal Baby Tip!
Use a laundry basket for baby's toys. It will fit right under your baby's crib. Use coloured construction paper (or black, depending on baby's age) and cut shapes out. Put on the wall around baby's change table. Helps to distract baby a bit. Use putty adhesive, so you don't damage the wall. Move shapes around once in a while. Plastic pocket mirrors work better for older babies.

Make your own "net" which will match with your decor and hold all of baby's stuffed toys. Just cut out a triangle of strong, stretchy fabric measuring about 1 metre by 1 metre by 1.4 metres (or 40"x40"x60"). Tie each corner of this triangle tightly to a metal ring and suspend up in one corner of your baby's room with hooks screwed into the wall. Fill with those toys!

Entertain baby in the kitchen by filling the bottom drawer in the kitchen with safe plastic containers, kitchen tools like whisks, spatulas, wooden spoons, pot lids and other safe kitchen things. Baby will love to open and close this "special drawer", taking the things out and putting them back in.

It may even give you some time to get your kitchen work done!

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My First Little Beach Set - 10 Piece Sand and Water Play Set My First Little Beach Set - 10 Piece Sand and Water Play Set

Recycle your 1 litre and 4 litre (quart and gallon) plastic bottles! Clean them out well, and cut your 4 litre (gallon) bottle all around about 15 cm (6") from the bottom. Poke a couple of holes on opposite sides near the top - attach a rope handle and you have your sand pail. The remaining piece becomes your funnel. You can cut another 4 litre (gallon) bottle about 5 cm (2") high and poke the bottom full of holes for a sieve.

Cut the bottom off your 1 litre (quart) bottle. Then cut a long U-shaped scoop, sloping your cut up along the sides. (If your bottle comes with a handle, make sure the handle ends up on the top side of the scoop.) This becomes your shovel.

The best part of these toys is - if they get left behind at the beach, you can always make another set!

Take one plastic grocery bag with handles. Tie a long length of string to one handle, and RUN!

Take two wooden sticks, center one on top of the other, at right angles. Strap together with a thick elastic.

PRESTO! An instant cross-boomerang. Hold upright, and throw with a quick snap of your wrist.

Cover your hands with Bubble solution. Then place together as if to form a cup, leaving a small opening at the bottom. Hold your mouth about one foot above your hands, and BLOW!

Make your own - personalized - board books with bristol (poster) board and clear self-stick vinyl (Mac-Tac). Cut a strip of bristol board - 5 1/4" (13.5 cm) x 26" (66 cm). Fold accordion-style into 5 squares (5 1/4" x 5 1/4") to make "pages". If desired, you can round off the corners on each "page". Gather ten photographs of your family, bright pictures from magazines, or use your imagination! Trim to fit and paste one picture on each "page", using both sides of your book. Cover both sides with Mac-Tac, and trim off excess. Your baby will love it!

You can make several board books out of just one sheet of bristol board and a roll of Mac-Tac.

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Giant Building Block 40-piece Set Giant Building Block 40-piece Set

Thanks to Linda for this great Frugal Baby Tip!
I have one recycling tip for turning 1/2 gallon square milk containers into toy blocks. Cut off the pouring end of 2 rinsed, and dried out, milk cartons - then push the 2 open ends together (Pushing on carton inside the other, this doubles the strength of your new block, and closes the ends.) These are very lightweight and safe. You could cover them with contact paper for a 'fashion' finish, but I found the children enjoyed sorting the cartons by brand-names (the colours on the outside). I started this project while pregnant with my first, 8 years later we have quite a collection and it's always a favourite with visiting friends. They make great walls, forts and cages for kids, as well as cities and roads for small cars.

Thanks to Karla for this great Frugal Baby Tip!
Along the line as your board book, is a sticker album:

Laminate sheets of 11" x 8.5" paper (yes, landscape). It can be something you decorated yourself, wrapping paper, stationary, etc.

Staple them in the middle and fold in half to form a book. This worked great when Micah was in the hospital. Every time he was poked at, prodded or tested for something else, they gave him a sticker. By making the laminated book, he could place the stickers on there and keep them.

Thanks to Sheryl for this Frugal Baby Tip.
After looking at high priced drawing tables and easels, I found a very simple and cheap alternative. I took the box that our stereo came in, left the packing Styrofoam inside for a little extra support and covered it with used printer paper, blank side up. I gave Caleb some crayons, and now not only does he have a drawing table, but a drawing cube. For some reason, coloring on the sides is a lot more fun!

You can keep your little ones busy on a rainy "stay-in" day by creating an indoor sand-box. All you need is a large plastic dish-pan and a 5lb. (2 kg.) bag of cornmeal or rice for "sand" - spoons, measuring cups, funnels, strainers, etc. The cornmeal or rice vacuums up quickly and doesn't scratch the floor.

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Lamaze Discovery Shapes Activity Puzzle and Crib Gallery Lamaze Discovery Shapes Activity Puzzle and Crib Gallery

Place a bulletin board or sheet of cork on the wall near (but out of reach) your baby's bed or change table. When objects and colors begin to fascinate your newborn, you can attach different objects and pictures to the Discovery Board for your baby to look at. Later, this can be a place to display your toddler's artwork. Watch out for the pins, though!

Every home should have a choke tester to check if toys and other objects are safe for baby play. But commercial choke testers can be very difficult to find, very expensive and too small to be effective. Did you know you have a frugal baby choke tester right in your own home? (No, I don't mean the baby...)

An empty toilet paper tube!

Commercial choke testers are made to gov't. regulation size of 3.5 cm (1 3/8") in diameter. However, the Consumer Products Safety Commission in the U.S. has reported many deaths of babies and children who have choked on objects slightly larger than 3.5 cm (1 3/8") in diameter.

Your ordinary toilet paper tube is 4.5 cm (1 6/8") in diameter. You can consider any toy or object in your home that fits inside this tube to be a choking hazard to your baby or child.

Want to read more Frugal Baby tips? Check out our Frugal Baby Tips blog

This article compliments of Born to Love.

Other articles that might be of interest:
• Frugal Baby Tips Index
• Frugal Diapering
• Frugal Diaper Washing
• Frugal Diaper Rash and Baby Wipe Tips
• Make Your Own Baby Bum Sweaters!
• Let Sleeping Babies Lie - please...
• Frugal Safety Tips
• Frugal Toys and Playthings Tips
• Frugal Baby and Mom Clothing Tips
• Frugal On the Go! Travel Tips
• Frugal Miscellaneous Tips
• Make Your Own Rebozo Sling
• Stacking Tactile Toys and Healing Post-partum Stitches
• Mosquito Bites Relief and Frugal Cloth Menstrual Pads
• Absorbent Cheap Diapers and Protect Your Computer!
• Bedwetter Pants and Soothing Breast Pads
• Breathable Diaper Covers and Reusable Tampons
• Frugal Tips From My Readers!


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Last updated - February 3, 2016