- Wooden blocks
- Wooden airplane or trucks
- Small silverware set
- Wooden pounding bench
- Handmade books -- We have some that my mom made for me when I was a baby. She used white tagboard, cut it into pages (about 5" X 7"), glued pictures on each page, covered them with contact paper, punched holes on the left edges, and tied them into books with pretty ribbon. Do these with photos for far-away baby relatives, or cut up an art museum catalog to expose babies to masterpieces. When Sebastian was a baby, my mom and brother made him a book called "Sebastian's Pictures of the World." It's a three-ring binder with page protectors designed for trading cards, but instead of cards they cut out beautiful photographs from magazines. He used to look at it for hours.
- Beanbags -- This is another project that you can do yourself. Just stitch up some squares of fabric and stuff them with beans.
- Nuts and bolts -- Nice big ones that can't be swallowed
- Telephone -- Another great opportunity to recycle
- Transistor radio -- They love turning the knobs and watching the dial move and hearing the stations and volume change.
- A roll of toilet paper and/or a roll of tape
- A box of junk mail or a newspaper
- Radio Flyer makes a baby bike with four wheels
- Natural teether -- thread empty wooden spools onto a leather thong and tie the ends of the thong together to make a circle.
- Sorter -- Cut a 1/4" or 1/2" wide slit in the top of a coffee can lid. Reinforce the slit with masking or duct tape (this also makes the edges safer). Put a few metal juice can lids in the can, replace the lid, and you've got a great gift. To make it prettier, you can cover the can with contact paper or fabric. I made this for my kids when they were little, and they loved it.
- Empty boxes -- I kept telling everyone that this was what my toddlers wanted for Christmas. Unfortunately, no one ever believed me. I don't know what would delight a toddler more than empty boxes of assorted sizes -- the ones with lids are even more of a treat!
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