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!
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!
Black & 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.
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
To add more interest you may want to vary the lengths, use different textures or add patterned ribbon
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!
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.
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
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.
- 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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