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Easy DIY Baby Toys

Get delicious baby giggles all winter long with these homemade toys.

Easy DIY Baby Toys

Winters in New York... They're cold, dark and long, and baby is likely to spend the majority of his or her day inside while waiting for spring and park season to resurface. Luckily, baby is also easily amused, and you can create toys to entertain him or her in the meantime!

I am not a fan of having too many store-bought, junky toys for my baby girl to play with. We don't allow plastic, batteries and bells and whistles in toys, and I prefer her to play with things that stimulate creativity, such as blocks, books, and handmade dolls. Also, since almost everything ends up in her mouth, I like to stay away from toxic nasties!

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So I build easy DIY toys for baby to play with and, if like me you'd rather not fill the nursery with plastic junk, want to share two of my latest projects with you. I am not a big DIY type by nature, so you can rest assured these homemade baby toy ideas are beyond simple to make and will provide tons of delicious baby belly laughs!

Here are two DIY baby toys for fun indoor play.

1. GLITTER JARS.

Who doesn’t like pretty, sparkly things? Glitter jars are easy to make in a variety of shapes and sizes. Simply fill a small glass spice jar or mason jar with warm water, tons of glitter in different sizes and a little clear glue or glitter glue. Then shake, shake, shake to mix it all up and dissolve the glue. If your baby has an older sibling, this is a fun craft to do with them and then give to the baby. My older daughter loves making these jars for her baby sister to play with. Babies love staring at the glitter as it slowly moves through the jar. When light hits just right and they sparkle, it’s like baby diamonds!

2. BABY SLED.

If you have kids, then you have what feels like an endless stream of boxes coming into your house. From diaper deliveries to Amazon Prime, sometimes it feels like the trips to the recycling room never end! One of our favorite winter activities is to turn a shipping box into a baby sled! Simply fold down on end of the box and line it with a blanket and a pillow to make it secure and cozy for baby. Then cut a hole in one end of the box and attach a “leash.” I used an old bathrobe belt here, but rope is also great if you have any around. Find a hardwood surface and gently (gently!) pull your baby around the room. Big siblings love to get in on the action here too. Just make sure that if a child is taking your baby “sledding,” they are well supervised!

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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