8 DIY baby toys (to help develop eye-hand coordination)

When Manny was born, I was so overwhelmed by all the flashing lights and toys available for babies.

What were the right toys to get? what should I be looking for?

I spent a lot of money on the lastest recommended gadget to only realize my son was not into half of those toys. They would lose their novelty fast.

I heard stories about kids losing interested in toys, but I thought that happened like after the 5th birthday when they had way too many toys from their Christmas and birthdays! He was just a baby!! How in the world was he losing interested already!

After I went to a mommy and me class and saw the teacher place toy rings inside of an empty tissue box I realized I had all the tools at home to entertain my baby. I could make my own DIY baby toys.

He was not interested in that specific toy but the baby that sat next to us was all over that!

You know me, I went on a mission to find ideas and create my own on what my husband calls “free toys”.

Free toys are DIY toys using recycled materials.  Some ideas were a win for him, others a total fail (like famous spider web laundry basket).

The good thing about free toys is that if you make it and your baby doesn’t like it, you can totally toss it guilt-free. That’s the whole point of DIY baby toys.

Here is a list of ideas that worked for my son. Some which as a toddler he still likes to play with.

DIY baby toys using recycled material

You can make your own DIY baby toys for your baby and they will probably have more fun than with a store bought toy.

The learning benefits of DIY baby toys

These activities are great to practice two very important skills.

Eye-hand coordination

Grabbing objects and dropping them in big holes, little holes. You change the object, you change the hole and it’s a totally new game and challenge for them.

Pincer Grasp

The pincer grasp is the ability to grab things with the thumb and index fingers- a skill you will see your baby start doing around 8-9 months and work on perfecting until he can hold a pencil at school)

Cause and Effect

Babies and toddlers love to explore with cause and effect, that’s why peek-a-boo is a great game to play.

2 pair of socks and a web ball makes a great tug-a-war 

Just web in as many socks as you can into the ball. Don’t make it too tight because then it will be harder for your baby to pull out.

As your baby gets stronger then you can add more socks and add to the challenge.

Cardboard box and texture materials make a great sensory board 

This idea is from the Fun Under 1 ebook. Sensory boards are great for practicing tummy time.

DIY baby toys can be made with stuff you already have at home.

A small ball a small cardboard box with a flap created a great cause and effect game 

We tried the Bookroo subscription Box to help us build our baby’s book library and their box was great for this easy activity. You need a box with a flap where your baby can easily lift the top.

Create a hole on the top of the box

Ensure the ball is able to easily fit in the hole you created. The bigger hole is best for little babies as they are just trying to work on their eye-hand coordination and you want them to be successful so they try it again.

Ensure the flap is easy to access and your baby can easily lift it to find their ball inside the box.

Close the box and repeat for endless fun!

A Musica shake made with a Bottle of water 

Babies love sounds, sometimes the bottle of water by itself is great entertainment for them. Babies love to squish them and make noise. For an extra-musical adventure, try making a rainbow sensory bottle.

A cardboard box with Q-tips

This easy game is a great game to work on concentration and pre-writing skills. Poke holes using a pencil onto a cardboard box and provide your baby with some Q-tips.

An empty box of puffs and a block

Practice eye-hand coordination with this toy. This is one of my son’s favorite toy.

Cut a square on the lid, make it just a little big bigger than the block to make the task of placing it inside a bit easier.

Show your baby the first few times how to do drop the cube into the container and they will quickly catch on.

When your baby drops the block, he will quickly realize where the block has fallen.

Create a DIY Piggybank

This one is a toy you can use when teaching your toddler how to count, but for now, as a baby, just practice on the eye-hand coordination as your baby learns to grab the coin and aligns it correctly in the hole to drop it.

RAINBOW SENSORY BOTTLES A bright and colourful sensory play activity and a musical instrument too. Great fun for all ages

A tug-a-war ribbon box

You have probably seen this ribbon pull-tugging box activity a million times on Pinterest. It is a commonly suggested DIY toy for babies. Some babies love it, others don’t care much for (like Manny). After all, all babies are different and each required different types of engagement.