Tuesday, May 1, 2012

{Make: a Texture Basket}





In a family of 5 kids, we've had a lot of baby toys over the years.  By the time our youngest was born, however, I had gotten rid of most of them.  You see, I found that babies don't really need plasticy, potentially toxic toys to play with.  In fact, my little ones seem to prefer to play with things that are not necessarily considered to be toys.

Babies love textures.  It's part of why they put everything in their mouths, a way of learning about the world around them.  As Peter (almost 10 months) is becoming more interested in playing with objects, I thought it was high time I made him his very own texture basket.

A texture basket is a small collection of objects that are safe for baby to play with that optimize his or her exploration of real things.  Most of what is used can be found around the home for free!  Want to make one along with me?  It's easy!  Here are some ideas for objects:



Strips of cloth of varying composition - Peter has flannel, linen, quilting cotton, wool felt.  Ribbons work well too, just be sure that they are short in length to prohibit the risk of them becoming wrapped around a neck!  Choose bright colors and high contrast prints to catch baby's eye.

Wood pieces - larger sized blocks finely sanded so as not to cause splinters.  Pine cones work well, but keep a close eye, especially if your baby has teeth and make sure the pine cone is sturdy and not the type that flakes away easily.

Wool ball - I just let him have one of the dryer balls I made.

Wooden spoon - babies love to tap things with these!


Knitted toy - Here's a link to an easy knitted snail tutorial.  So sweet!  These jelly rings are in my knitting queue, a perfect baby gift!  Here are some knit and then felted mushrooms, another great texture for baby.



Put them all in a basket in an easily accessible area and watch your baby play and learn!




9 comments:

  1. Fabulous idea, love it!!! We didn't much like all the plactic baby toys and avoided them as much as possible. Our little one enjoyed anything from the kitchen to play and make noise with :)

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    1. Peter is entering that "love to make noise" phase as well!

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  2. so smart! And you're totally right, half the time my babies prefer to play with a piece of paper they found rather than the box of "regular" toys. thanks for the great idea :)

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  3. Great idea! I got rid of most of my baby toys too and I'm only on my third. I have one small draw-string bag of the items that got the most use :)

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  4. Great idea...as I, too, have no baby toys and never cared for them either when my two were little.
    I am bookmarking this post so I remember to do this once my little one due this summer is old enough to start playing with toys on her own! :)

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    1. Most of our baby toys were gifts, which is so wonderful that people thought of us! But in the day to day of noticing what the babies actually play with versus what just gets dumped out and crawled over, I've realized none of them really contribute anything that we need.

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  5. So true, Lydia! Just now, I'm thinking of all the boxes and wrapping paper that my children have preferred, over the actual present. You've offered a helpful, practical tip here.

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  6. We have a video of my oldest son at Christmas when he was about 18 months. His Grandparents had gifted him lavishly, but all he would play with was the big box it all came in! Children don't see price tags. They love playing with real things!

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