DIY Baby Fabric Bucket Toy

The following post is from the archives. It originally appeared in April, 2011.

If you’re looking for ways to mix up your baby play time routine, you might enjoy trying this simple activity with materials you may already have in the closet and recycling can.

DIY Baby Fabric Bucket

I often wax poetic about my preschooler’s creative pursuits while my little one makes the occasional appearance in the background of photos. So I thought it was about time I brought her (and her “generation”) to the forefront of this site.

I’ve posted before on creative exploration for babies (See Sensory Play for Babies), and thought you might like to see this idea that supports a baby’s natural curiosity, fine motor skills, and focus. If you’ve ever placed a baby near a box of tissues, you’ve most likely witnessed complete removal of every single tissue, along with multiple attempts at eating half the stash. Playing off of this idea, I created a reusable “tissue box” from a tall yogurt container filled with tissue-sized scraps of colorful fabric.

I cut a hole in the lid that was wide enough for her to drop a hand into.

Then I sat back to watch her grab pieces of fabric,

…and pull them out!

The focus was incredible and reminded me how serious babies can be about their “work.”

More Baby Resources

  • View more Baby activities on Tinkerlab
  • For a wide variety of well-written articles about fostering a baby’s growth, one of my favorite writers on the topic is Janet Lansbury.
  • Anna of The Imagination Tree, wrote this must-read post about Baby Treasure Baskets. I have at least two of these in my home at all times that engage my daughter’s senses and capture her thoughts. She also has a Baby Play category on her site that’s well worth exploring.

This post was shared with It’s Playtime

Comments

  1. says

    Rachelle, This is so great!
    I enjoyed the sweet pictures of your baby, and her focus is evident!

    I have worked with toddler aged children (18 months to 2), and often provided baskets of samples of cloth with various textures, colours, etc.

    I think there is a lot of learning, for children through their senses, as well as brain development which is essential in infancy.

    I also have found that somehow sensory experiences clear a child’s mind, and relaxes them so then the child can sit and attend to stories, or instructions.

    I enjoy these baskets over at Imagination Tree as well, and am working on a few for my daycare work.

    For years I’ve had an old ice cream pail, which I use as a surprise/ sensory game. I’ll try to post a picture of this in a few days over at my blog.
    This was such a good post today – aand it’s nice to see your youngest. :)
    Brenda

    • rachelle says

      Brenda: You are so right! And this is exactly why these sorts of activities trump TV experiences. A baby’s brain grows at such a quick pace, and every experience is an opportunity for learning and growth. I also agree with your point about the relaxing element of sorting, focusing, and feeling. Thanks for sharing.

  2. sarah says

    I can’t wait to make this! Having recently sacrificed an entire box of tissues to get my bathroom clean, this is a much better use of our supplies! My 20 month old should be thrilled, and maybe I can get another room cleaned. =)
    My Aunt also works for a fashion designer, so I will have her collect up some great colors and textures.
    Thanks again so much for all your great ideas!

    • rachelle says

      Hi Sarah, I’m so glad this inspired you. I should add that it’s not quite the same tactile experience as unpacking a whole box of tissues, but it’s still worth trying. And how cool that you have access to designer fabrics! I bet your little one will love investigating all the textures and patterns. ~Rachelle

  3. Carrie Hahnel says

    Rachelle, I love seeing “I” make an appearance. Eleanor would really get into this, too. This morning, she discovered the toilet paper dispenser and enjoyed yanking the loose end and then stuffing it in her mouth. She is also crazy for scarfs with fringe. Maybe I can combine the two ideas and give her something equally “dispensable” but less likely to dissolve into a drooly tissue mess. PS – what a cutie!!

    -Carrie

    • rachelle says

      Ha! What is it with sticking paper in the mouth? Same problem here (obviously!). Do let me know if you come up with anything good. It’s great to see you here. More baby posts to come, for sure :)

  4. says

    Oh my gosh, the expression on your baby’s face is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for this post and your kind and supportive recommendation. Yes, infants are very focused and serious people if we allow them to be!

  5. says

    So nice to see some baby ideas. I too am always whipping up fun and educational activities for my toddler while baby sits and watches. Given he is only 3 months old, but it is never too early to start. Oh and he loves the scarf trick. Was a big hit with my 2 year old when she was young too.

  6. Jessyca says

    This is a great idea!!! I am making one for my son tomorrow!! I know he will LOVE it and I have all kinds of scraps that need to be used! Can’t wait to see him play with it!

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