Black & White Sensory Toys & Box

My problem? We have loads of baby toys, but they are still in the loft. Hubby can’t find them as its piled sky high. Kipper is now getting to an age where he needs some stimulation and I love playing with my babies. Who wouldn’t? So I have decided to put together simple DIY black and white toys for babies. They are all super easy to make and can be done during nap time, oh and for this one there is not a sewing machine in sight!

baby-sensoryplay

Why Black & White?

Babies can see black and white images easier than coloured images and if they are geometric in design it is likely they will focus for longer on them. Visual stimulation will aid a babies development so its a great idea to give them lots of opportunity to engage with  items that are black and white. There are also claims that it helps with their concentration skills, builds a longer attentions span, enhances curiosity and helps brain cells to form connections. Plus its fun!

img_4403Black & White Discover Bottle

I used Discovery Bottles a lot with Monkey, well before I started Mudpie Fridays. I love them so much I have pinterest board dedicated to them. As they get older you can get more creative but for this one I kept it simple and just added black and white pom poms of different sizes. I chose to use a VOSS plastic water bottle, the labels are easy enough to remove and I love the cylinder shape. I really struggled to find them here in the UK but you can buy them off of Ocado individually and in a multi pack. Its a good size even for Kippers small hands.I find these bottles do up really tight so you don’t need to glue them either which means they can be reused again and again. I have even kept a sloppy mud one for our Going on a Bear Hunt Story Sack without gluing.

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Black & White Ribbon Rings

Ribbon rings are another firm favourite with Monkey, although I have adapted it this time and just used back and white ribbon. I choose a natural wooden ring from Craft Shapes so that if it ends up in his mouth its safe. I used satin ribbon and sealed the ends of it so it doesn’t fray by using a candle. By holding it close enough to the heat the fibres will melt. I am careful how I attach the ribbon as I want to be able to use both the ring and ribbon for other projects. I fold the ribbon in half and then loop it round underneath the ring before passing the ends though the loop. This makes it secure I then tie a knot, it means you can slip the ribbon off easily if required

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To add more interest you may want to vary the lengths, use different textures or add patterned ribbon

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Pipe Cleaner Bundles

I used six white and six black pipe cleaners and tied them together in the middle with black wool. Make sure you turn the ends over so that the wire part does not cause scratches. I think Kipper likes them as they are easy to grab although they do end up in the mouth, so can end up a little soggy!

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Black & White Sensory Bin

Each of these will keep Kipper amused of a short while, but I have also put them together with some additional bits into a sensory bin. At almost five months he is not sitting unaided, plus everything goes into his mouth so this is very much a supervisory activity. I also needed to make sure the things we used are not choking hazards. As well as the toys mentioned above I printed off the internet some black and white images from Baby Astrology. If you don’t have a printer then you could make your own with a black felt tip. I also printed off some black and white photos of babies faces with different expressions such as happy, sad, angry and laminated both these and the geometric shapes.

I used shredded white paper and some off cuts of black wool to form the basis of the bin and added in a couple of black and white toys and books we had when Monkey was little.

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This is the first step towards a Treasure Basket for Kipper. I think treasure baskets are probably the best toy for developing babies around and the good news is that you already have everything you need in your home. Other things you may have lying around which you may want to include in this sensory bin are

  • Black and white kitchen ware
  • Black velvet fabric
  • Plastic cows… and other black and white toys
  • Chunky bangles
  • Literally anything which is black and white and not a choking hazard

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If you are interested in making these toys yourself please see the shopping list below, we got all of our craft supplies from a well know chain for under £10.

Shopping List

  • Clear plastic bottle with label removed
  • Black and white pom poms in different sizes
  • Various lengths of black and white ribbon
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • White pipe cleaners
  • Black wool
  • Shredded white paper

I hope your little ones have as much fun playing with theirs as Kipper did with his.

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32 Comments

  1. October 4, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Great ideas. I love treasure baskets and sensory play. I’ve made my baby a ribbon ring and a few other sensory toys too.

  2. October 5, 2016 / 7:29 am

    These are such lovely ideas – makes me nostalgic for the days when my little one was this little! #bloggerclubuk

  3. October 5, 2016 / 7:52 am

    Some great ideas here. It proves you don’t have to spend the earth to get playthings for your children.
    #BloggerClubUK

  4. October 5, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Fantastic ideas! We had lots of the black and white books which my two loved when they were babies 🙂

  5. October 5, 2016 / 9:38 am

    This is brilliant. I’ve heard that black and white is very stimulating for babies. Apparently purple is soothing. I’ve always tried purple toys before bed. I have no idea if it worked but they girls were always good sleepers.
    #BloggerClubUK

  6. October 5, 2016 / 10:46 am

    This is great, I bought ribbons for my two they loved them!

    #BloggerClubUK

  7. October 5, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Ooh you are a good Mummy – this is such a thoughtful idea for little ones. I actually thought it was Halloween themed when I saw the linky icon – would be perfect for @randommusings Halloween linky – hard to get anything Haloween based for the teeny tots so this would be a cute idea! #BloggerClubUK

  8. October 5, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I love this! And he is suuuccchh a cutie! Great ideas thank you #bloggerclubuk

  9. October 5, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    These are great ideas. I especially love the ribbons. Will steal these ideas if I have another baby.

    #BloggerClubUK

  10. mummymiller
    October 5, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Wow, a great idea, I have seen black and white products around but never really known why! I may have to make my son a little sensory basket #BloggerClubUK

  11. October 5, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    I didn’t know about babies seeing black and white images more clearly – that’s really interesting. This looks like a lovely kit. Great idea! #BloggerClubUK

  12. alisonlonghurst
    October 5, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    Genius! You clever lady. Mine loved black and white things as babies, but I never thought of making my own. A brilliant post to inspire many 🙂 Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  13. October 5, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    Such a creative mama! These ideas are fab. I loved filling up empty bottles with things and selotaping the bottle top (loads!). I used to use Innocent bottles but your ones are much cooler. #BloggerClubUK

  14. Coombe Mill
    October 5, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    What a perfect set of things for a little one #BloggerClubUK

  15. October 5, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    What a great idea – I especially like the pipe cleaner bundle, such a nice simple idea. Kipper looks like he is enjoying exploring the items in his sensory basket 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  16. October 6, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Really great suggestions, and so easy to make, such a fab idea! #BloggerClubUK

  17. October 6, 2016 / 9:55 am

    What a great idea! Will remember this when baby number 2 arrives and is ready to start exploring toys. I love that the black and white helps them with their concentration and they all look easy to make xx bloggerclubuk

  18. October 6, 2016 / 11:47 am

    Aw this is such a great idea – love how simple they are to make. My daugheter used to love random bits of ribbon and other things I could find around the house – you really don’t need to spend loads on toys in the first year, they get just as much enjoyment out of simple pleasures like these x #BloggerClubUK

  19. amyandtots
    October 6, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Some fab ideas! Have to keep this in mind, I’ve got loads of little bits like this hanging around the place! #BloggerClubUk

  20. October 6, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Brilliant, it is always the cheapest and easiest things I found that my young kids loved the most. Mich x #BloggerClubUK

  21. October 7, 2016 / 1:36 am

    Really great idea! I am going to have to do something like this for the next baby shower. Thanks for sharing. #BloggerClubUK

  22. Sarah (Mum x3x)
    October 7, 2016 / 8:56 am

    These are great ideas! I miss my children being young enough for these kind of toys. My son use to look the tags on anything, I remember making one of those taggy blankets because he was obsessed with tags/tables. 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  23. October 7, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Love the pipecleaner bundle idea! My eldest particularly loved his black and white book. #BloggerClubUK

  24. October 7, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    This is fantastic but where is the hover button for Pinterest? x #BloggerClubUK

  25. October 7, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    This is fantastic but where is the hover button for Pinterest? x #BloggerClubUK

  26. Hooks and Dragons
    October 10, 2016 / 11:08 am

    I can remember reading that black and white toys were better for babies when my youngest was born, but I still dont see many monochrome baby toys in shops. #bloggerclubuk

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