10 Toyless Activities for Babies

June 12, 2017


I know I seem like a crazy mom getting ready to throw out nearly all of Sparrow's toys, but to be honest we all know a cardboard box can entertain them longer than a teddy bear, right?

I happen to think that it ignites their imagination when they don't have a billion or so toys to play with. I also happen to think that just because she doesn't have one of every toy on the market, she'll still turn out okay.

Before I get to the 10 greatest things ever for moms of crawlers/walkers, I wanted to mention that you should check out the Minimalist Momma Life Challenge. If you haven't already heard I am downsizing our house in terms of things and although it is a long and hard process, it's totally worth it. I highly encourage you to at least check it out and see what minimalism, whatever that might look like for you, can do to free up some of your time and energy from "stuff."


  1. A Cardboard Box (I know I already mentioned this) seriously. She loves to play with them. Multiple ones are especially exciting for her. She never knows which one to go for first. 
  2. Junk Mail Sparrow and I check the mail nearly every day together. I always let her play with the junk mail right then. I think she knows it's coming because she starts grabbing and leaning out of my arms the second we walk in the house, ready to play with her mail. 
  3. Mirrors She loves to look at herself in the mirror. She loves trying to touch her little hands to each other and scrunching her nose. I love to watch her. Most of the time we just end up laughing back and forth at each other in the mirror and then real life and vise a versa.
  4. Socks You probably think I'm gross now, but anytime me or Caleb do laundry she grabs the socks and plays with them. Usually they end up in her mouth, but I can think of worse things than clean socks that she could put in her mouth.
  5. Pots and Pans This is an obvious one. I got a kid kitchen from one of my friends and I honestly am considering giving it away to someone else. We don't really have a lot of room for it and Sparrow would rather be in the actual kitchen playing and getting things out of the dishwasher that we put in there. I think the "Minimalist" in me is going to just make a bucket of dishes for her to play with and leave it on the floor under her high chair so she can play with them whenever. 
  6. Laundry Seriously, the other day she kept pulling all the laundry out of the basket. So I decided to just put her in the basket. Let's just say I felt like a genius afterwards. 
  7. Markers and Pens Yes, she's had many times when I look away for a second and then she has an orange streak or a blue mark on her face. She does love playing with them and banging them together and against other things. This is one that you will need to supervise more carefully.
  8. Water I had a bucket today that she happened to spill my water cup in. It was actually kind of awesome how it happened. I didn't have to hardly clean up the floor at all because it all just landed in the bucket. But it was fun for her to splash in afterwards (p.s. there was no backwash, I hadn't taken a drink yet). This will probably become a favorite for us. It kept her busy and all I had to do afterwards was dump the water and wipe her hands. Easy to clean up and fun to play. That's the best kind of stuff in my world.
  9. Blankets & Pillows Lately about once a week, I will put all of the pillows and blankets in the living room (there are a lot...that's on my list to minimize) in a pile and then sit her in the middle. She loves climbing all over the pile and jumping* in it. 
  10. Empty Water Bottles I guess if you look on Pinterest now days, water bottles filled with things could be considered a toy, but I'm counting them in my non-toy post. 
Need some suggestions for kids toys? I am by no means recommending that you buy all of these. I would actually recommend not, but a few doesn't hurt. 




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