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10 Toys for Toddlers (You Probably Already Have!)

Who knew a vitamin sorter could be so much fun?

I know I’ve said it a million times before, but seriously – why do I even buy toys? Our play spaces are outfitted with brightly colored wooden blocks, stacking cups, dump trucks, puzzles, and balls of every color and size. And while those things occasionally spark some interest and occupy ten minutes here and there, they are no match for the many household items my 14 month old is loving.

Any stranger that comes into my house would probably think we’re just leaving trash everywhere. At any given time, the living room rug is strewn with empty toilet paper tubes, tissue paper, and bottles filled with dried beans. We learned early on that Cullen was just as interested in household things as he is in toys, so we’ve kept most of our toy budget for things like books and puzzles. I’m sure as he gets older he’ll be much more into specific brands, cartoon characters, and whatever else  is the latest and greatest. But for now, he’s enjoying everyday items we already have!

Here are ten household items my toddler is currently loving…

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  • The baby monitor 1 of 10
    The baby monitor
    I know it's old news that babies love electronic items. But Cullen is seriously OBSESSED with his baby monitor. As soon as he leaves the nursery every morning, he flies into our bedroom and beelines for my nightstand. He loves taking it on and off the charger, and watching the little light turn on and off. He carries it all over the house, and I often have trouble finding it when it's time for naps!
  • The telephone 2 of 10
    The telephone
    Again, no surprise here. Babies LOVE phones. But this is actually our landline phone. We are two dinosaurs who still have a landline (for my husband's job), and we have two phones that look just like this. I had to take the batteries out of one and give it to Cullen. Now whenever I talk on the working unit, he has to have "his" phone, while I have mine.
  • The Xbox remote 3 of 10
    The Xbox remote
    All remotes are fun for kids, but this one is like the mack daddy of remotes. The best part? You have to turn the actual remote ON in order for it to do anything. So he can pull triggers, push buttons, and play with his heart's delight, and it won't do anything unless he finds the power button. It's only a matter of time...
  • Old baby bottles 4 of 10
    Old baby bottles
    Cullen was never really into bottles, but of course I bought no less than ten of them before I found that out. So I re-purposed them into shaker bottles, and he loves them! I fill them all with different things - buttons, grains, water, seeds, dried beans - and he shakes them all over the house.
  • Fruit crates 5 of 10
    Fruit crates
    Okay I'm probably loving this more than Cullen, but who's keeping track? I stole this tip from my sister. I've reused the fruit crates and boxes from the grocery store to hold toys and books in his various play areas. My favorite is this open top clementine box - the perfect size for holding board books!
  • Bathroom products 6 of 10
    Bathroom products
    Don't worry - these are only played with under supervision. Cullen is in that glorious toddler phase of wanting to stack, sort, and move everything. He absolutely loves my bin of hair products under my bathroom sink. While I get ready in the mornings, he sits and takes each bottle out one by one, and then carefully puts each one back in!
  • The hair brush 7 of 10
    The hair brush
    After watching me dry my hair many times, Cullen now loves to carry the brush around himself. He actually holds it up and moves it around his hair - ridiculously cute.
  • A hamper 8 of 10
    A hamper
    This is a multi-purpose toy. It can be placed over your or your toddler's head - causing all sorts of laughter at being inside a small cage. Cullen also loves to fill it up with blankets or towels, and then take them all out again. Another favorite activity? Turning it on it's side and pushing it around the bedroom. At what age are they old enough to help with laundry...?
  • Paper tubes 9 of 10
    Paper tubes
    My husband was taking out the trash after Christmas, and as he headed into the garage I started shouting for him to come back. He almost threw away some of the best toys in the house - empty wrapping paper tubes! Is there anything better? Cullen's room houses a fine collection of toilet paper, paper towel, and wrapping paper tubes. He likes banging them around, making funny noises in them, and dropping toys through them. Endless entertainment.
  • A vitamin sorter 10 of 10
    A vitamin sorter
    Make sure this one is EMPTY before any kiddos turn it into a toy. Cullen loves to open and close things, so he has a lot of fun opening and closing all the little compartments for each day of the week. Why do I even bother buying toys?

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