15 Ordinary Things That Will Keep Your Toddler Occupied for Hours

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keysOne of the biggest surprises of first-time parenthood? Yes, the lack of sleep and  endless piles of diapers you go through can be a shock. But one thing I didn't expect was that there was no need for cool toys with flashing lights, toggles, and songs to keep my kid occupied. Toddlers can find delight in things you already have in your home. Check out 15 ordinary household objects that will keep your child entertained for hours.

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  1. Flashlight -- that moving beam of light will delight him to no end.
  2. Strips of tape.
  3. Egg carton.
  4. Keys -- no kid can resist that jingle-jangle.
  5. Candy box.
  6. Stickers.
  7. Pots and pans -- are the perfect drums.
  8. Wooden spoons -- they are better than drumsticks and can be banged against just about anything without causing damage.
  9. Nesting bowls -- little ones love putting them together.
  10. Measuring spoons -- when attached by a ring, they are a perfect rattle.
  11. Cardboard box -- climbing into one is an adventure no child can resist.
  12. Oranges -- ideal for pushing and rolling around the floor.
  13. Hand vacuum -- mimic mommy and pretend to pick up things from the rug.
  14. Old phone -- pressing buttons is addictive to a toddler.
  15. Empty paper towel and toilet paper tubes.

What other household items make great toys for toddlers?


Image via Enokson/Flickr

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And don't forget the things that are important to YOU...anything YOU touch they want it.  And don't try to fake them out or there will be HELL to pay.  LOL!

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Careful with keys- high lead levels

SaphireH SaphireH

Oh yeah, my kids would rather all of that over their own toys

Mayhe... Mayhemmom

A Box of tissue! My kids loved pulling them out one at a time!

nonmember avatar PtsMom

I wouldn't let my kid play with keys... he could jab is eye out.

nonmember avatar me

Keys are dirty. And not dirty like, oh some cheerios fell on the floor, 5 second rule!! But dirty like have been around 10 years and never cleaned until your baby sucked on them for 10 minutes... yuck. Other than that, good ideas

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Keys have high lead levels, people!! 


nonmember avatar needsmorecoffee

my 4 year old loves our mini-vacuum and i love that she is more than willing to play with it by cleaning the corners of our staircase.

Jesi Kinter

About the keys - I got a bunch of blanks/mess-up from lowes and now my 14 month old has his very own set of keys (that are totally dishwasher safe btw). He also likes: a whole bunch of shoelaces tied together at one end, plastic easter eggs with different stuff inside (dried beans, coins, dry oatmeal, popcorn kernels) and hot glued shut, old magazines to tear up, shoe boxes with holes cut in them so he can put-in and take-out little things I put in there, and an old wipes container filled with squares of different fabrics stuffed in for him to pull out...

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