Make nesting rings for baby so she can learn how to place objects inside one another and understand the concept of sizes and how they relate to each other. Use an empty toilet paper roll, cylindrical salt or oatmeal container, a baby formula container and other circular containers. Cut rings out of these and cover with colorful paper or fabric. Let the baby stack them inside each other. Add a piece of string and a dowel stick to attach the rings to a crib or stroller, but be sure the string is short enough that it doesn't present a choking hazard.
Create a rolling ball that will teach baby about motion as well as entertain his curiosity about the things inside. Cut two plastic drink bottles in half. Place a random assortment of small objects inside the top halves of the bottles, such as a magnet, paperclips, marbles and sparkly glitter. Tape the bottle halves together. Let the baby push the bottle around and watch it as well as all the objects inside move. Supervise your baby during playtime and make sure the bottle is taped securely so objects do not present a choking hazard.
Shape Matching Puzzle
Create a puzzle that challenges a baby or toddler to match shapes to objects. Gather several common household items such as a magazine page, jar, spoon and a paper plate. Place these on a piece of cardboard so each has lots of free space surrounding it. Spray the entire piece of cardboard with paint. Remove the items and let dry. Encourage your child to match the items to the empty spaces based on shape.
Make a bag that rattles that babies can touch and feel. Find a bag with holes in the side, such as a plastic net fruit bag. Fill the bag with plastic bottle caps and tie the ends of the bag in a secure knot to close. Let baby shake the bag around and touch the caps through the holes in the bag. The sensory experience will help teach him about sounds and making music.
Teach baby about weights and sounds. Fill empty film canisters with an assortment of household items, such as paperclips, a penny, popcorn kernels and rice. Seal the lid of each with epoxy for safety and decorate as desired. Baby can shake the canisters and compare the weights, while also listening to the sound each shaker makes.