Homemade Toys: Why recycled bottles are great for play!

Homemade toys, such as recycled bottles, can provide the same level of fun and learning opportunities as most mainstream toys.

Toys are fun and a great way to extend the play experience but they don’t need to be fancy. Especially for the younger ones. A good toy is one that stimulates your child’s imagination, so don’t be afraid to incorporate something as simple as recycled bottles into your child’s play time. 

Our Play Ideas resource looks at some of the developmental benefits little ones can gain from playing with something as simple as recycled bottles!   

So why are using recycled bottles great as toys? We’ve summarised the reasons we love them below: 

– Plastic recycled bottles are not just environmentally friendly but are also safe to use. Plastic bottles can be handled by children of all ages, including babies.  

– Babies will find bottles filled with little objects visually stimulating, making tummy time more fun and interesting. 

– Shaker bottles can encourage babies to use their two hands together; an important skill to learn for activities they’ll need to do as they get older, such as getting dressed and learning to write. 

Toddlers can improve hand eye coordination, balance and control just from playing a simple game of skittles using homemade bottles.

Older children can develop early math and science concepts such as volume, size and measurement by using different sized bottles next time they’re having fun with water play.

Adding language during play time encourages thinking and experimenting. Also asking questions such as ‘I wonder what will happen if…’ uses math and science concepts.

Sensory bottle activities develop fine motor skills – using different shaped spoons and funnels to fill bottles is a fun activity that helps develops hand eye coordination too!

Looking for play ideas? Here are just some of the ways you can enjoy homemade toys from recycled bottles:  

Sensory bottles for babies – have a look at our aquarium and discovery bottle ideas. You can also head over to our Instagram to watch how to make different sensory bottles. 

Skittles –  our Alien Attack game is lots of fun, especially for toddlers! 

Water play – keep a collection of different shaped bottles to provide endless opportunities of fun. 

Musical shakers – fill up bottles with lots of different items such as rice and bells and seal for some loud fun!

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to play – all different types of bottles can all be used and experimented with in different ways!   

If you’d like to read more about the benefits of homemade toys you can read our latest resources, they’re conveniently categorised into different learning stages for babiestoddlerschildren and playgroup.