Today I thought I’d share seven toys we have going around the house that came directly from the recycle bin. I was actually going to make a few new things, but dear, sweet Hubby emptied out our bins!
I’ll be sharing these at Make and Takes as part of their Deco Art Earth Day Challenge.
1. The first thing I have to show you is not technically a toy, but it does make eating more fun! Have you seen those fancy “snack catchers” from Munchkin? I decided to slice through the lid of a soft cheese container to make one for Boo-Boo. It works pretty well. I mean, if he really wants to he can pull everything out but it happens much more slowly than it would with an open container. To make it I just poked a started whole in the lid then cut an X with scissors. I rounded the edges so they wouldn’t be too sharp.
2. Here are our sensory bottles. They are a great use for empty bottles and a fast toy to make. I filled these with the tops of baby food pouches, red food coloring and gold glitter, lentils, and yellow food coloring and a strand of plastic beads. They make fun rattling noises and provide interesting visual stimulation. Bean likes to use these as “milk” for her baby doll, so there’s another use for them.
3. Next up is a shoebox. That’s it. I have used several other boxes, but the inviting crocodile on this one is extra-appealing. (I colored him in one day.) I pack the box full of small trinkets, toys, and books and he takes everything out, studying each item carefully. It’s basically the concept of a treasure basket with the added twist of the lid.
4. This is a teether I made with two strips of scrap cloth. I just tied knots in it to form the little loops. When he was younger he liked to run his fingers through the fabric and pull it through his emerging chompers.
 5. Our “coin” bank is a oatmeal container with baby food jar lids. I think the lids are Boo-Boo’s #1 favorite toy at this moment. They are metal (tasty!), make a satisfying banging noise, and that freshness pop-up button is great fun to click. This took me one minute to make and he has been playing with it for almost a week now. Do I really need to explain it? I just estimated the size of the hole that would be needed to drop the lid in and cut a rectangular whole in the top. He drops them in, rattles it around, and then opens the lid to dump them out. Simple.

6. Plastic egg cartons make perfect trays for homemade water colors. In ours, each color has it’s own water cup for easier transfer. Once the “paint” dries it even stays inside if you stand it upright.
 7. Here is a homemade paci or toy catcher. Since Boo-Boo never had any interest in a paci apart from pulling them out of other babies’ mouths, we just used it as a harness for his rattles and links. Especially when he was younger, he would throw these toys onto the ground when we were out strolling. So I made this strap with some fabric remnants. The recycled bit is the snap from an old onesie. Using my sewing machine to stitch them on was oh so much quicker than attaching a new one by hand. I got the idea to use the onesie snap from this project. (You can see the proof that this one has been used extensively thanks to the ground-in food shown in the first photo! So it did hold up.)

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