Homemade Toys – Child

Recycled bottles provide endless opportunities for play. A bottle can be turned into a sprinkler, Homemade Toys Child WPfunnel or bucket. You can also experiment with sound and make music!

Did you know?

Experimenting with water levels in different bottles helps your child learn about early maths and science concepts such as volume, size and measurement.

Add language

Make comments and ask questions that encourage thinking and experimenting e.g. “I wonder what will happen if…” Use maths and science language by using words to talk about the size, volume and capacity of containers. Use words to compare and contrast e.g. “They are about the same size. That should fit”; “I think that is smaller. I don’t think it will hold all the water from the big container.”

Other Development

Using recycled bottles encourages creativity, curiosity, imagination and experimentation. There is no right way or wrong way to play. A long controlled blow across the opening of a bottle deepens your child’s breathing. This can help with emotional self-regulation. Your child develops a sense of breath and its ability to calm both the body and mind. It’s fun to make the noise too! Different levels of water in a bottle will make different sounds.


Having a range of different sized bottles to play with will promote experimentation and learning. Milk bottles, water bottles, juice bottles and sauce bottles can all be used in different ways.


Plastic bottles won’t smash and are safest to use with children. Always surpervise children around water and empty any containers when finished.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. See how Mark Making can be fun for babiestoddlers and playgroups.

Activities listed under “children” are suitable for children 3 years and older. Children of this age enjoy more complex activities where they can develop their skills and use their imagination while playing with friends.