Letting Baby Play With Household Items – How it Helps in Baby’s Development and Safety Tips

6 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Baby Play With Household Items

Babies love to play with anything and everything – literally. So, what do parents do? Invest their hard-earned money in many toys to cater to the different needs and moods of the baby. But what does the baby do? Ignore them all and play with random things from around the house. Babies love playing with household items. And they sometimes aren’t even interested in the shiny new toy you got them after a lot of crying and tantrums. So it is very needed to let the baby play with household items.

But letting a baby play with household items has its pluses and minuses. When you let your baby play with items that are not specifically designed for babies you need to be extra careful. You need to be cautious about the items they play with and how they play with them. How can ensure this? It is not possible to control your child from taking random things from around the house, all the time. Don’t worry, we are here to help. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

Why Do Babies Like to Play With Household Items?

Babies watch their parents and all adults around them. Before they can even move or use their hands or legs, babies observe what everyone does around them. Then, they start trying to mimic them.

They learn from watching and what do they watch? They see how adults use kitchen utensils to cook, items from the dresser to get ready while going out, dust cloth to clean the house, and so on. There is nothing surprising if you catch your baby trying to dust the house with one of the nice clothes you left within their reach. To their underdeveloped brains, they just need to do what you do and with items that look like what you use.

They don’t understand what is right or wrong yet. Also, when you say “no” to something or keep something out of their reach, there is a power struggle and babies are more keen on getting their hands on such items.

What Games Can Baby Play With Household Items?

Games Baby Play With Household Items

Not too sure about how or what games you can play with your baby using household items? Here are a few ideas for you.

  • Sort items into plastic cups
  • Hide inside cardboard boxes
  • Use facial tissue boxes as building blocks
  • Match different colored bottles to their caps and screw on or off the caps
  • Roll up the wastepaper and throw it into dustbins
  • Build tents or forts with blankets and towels
  • Stuff colored pompoms into a whisk and let your toddler pull them out – for developing fine motor skills
  • Arrange vessels by size
  • Use kitchen tongs to pick up random items or toys
  • Form a big train using cloth hangers – by interlinking the hangers.

[Read : Shape Sorting Toys For Babies]

List of Household Items That Babies Can Play With

Household Items That Babies Can Play With

Babies can play with any household item as long as they are safe and do not damage easily. Some of the regular household items that you can give your baby to play with, without worry are:

1. Mirrors

Babies love to look at their reflection and explore. It helps in creating self-awareness and cognitive development.

[Read : Why is Mirror Play Important For Babies?]

2. Laundry Baskets

You can even give it with a few small clothing items which your baby can pull out and put back in. Babies will love to just throw random things into the basket and sometimes sit in it themselves too.

3. Mixing Bowls

You can give them soft-edged mixing bowls in different sizes and colors. You can give them some spoons and ladles too. Babies will love to “cook” as you do.

4. Carpet

If you have a carpet with threads sticking out, you can let your baby touch and explore the texture. As their grips get stronger, babies might even try to rip out a few threads.

5. Bags

You can give them paper or cloth bags and let them fill them up with random toys or small items. You can show them how to put things inside and take them out. Doing this can improve their dexterity.

What Are the Benefits of Object Play in Babies?

Here are a few benefits of object play.

  • Object play allows a child to physically touch and play with items in a way their brains see fit.
  • When you let the child play without any rules or restrictions, they will explore new items and use them in different ways.
  • When they learn to use these items in their own ways, their brains are making a connection.
  • It also helps develop problem-solving skills and creativity.

How Can You Encourage Free Play in Babies?

Encourage Free Play in Babies

Allowing free play may not be easy at first. As parents, you want to teach your child the right way and stop them from hurting themselves or making mistakes. However, free play is very important for the well-rounded development of the child. You can encourage free play by:

  1. Providing a safe space for your baby to play in – a space where they can just do anything they want.
  2. Give them safe items in different shapes, sizes, and colors to play with
  3. Do not teach them how to play or correct them when they use an item differently. Let them play the way they want.
  4. Get down with them and use this time and space for bonding.
  5. Keep switching the toys or items they use, so that your child will play with them all and get an opportunity to explore them all.
  6. Do not lose your cool if the play does not go as per your plan. If they don’t show interest in something or don’t want to play, stay calm and just remove them from that place.
  7. Stay by their side to help or encourage them when needed.

Safety Tips While Playing With Household Items

Here are a few safety tips to keep both the baby and the house safe during free play:

  1. Never leave your baby unattended. Even if you have work to do, let your baby sit within your sight and play. You can just check in on them from time to time.
  2. Ensure the items you give them do not have sharp edges.
  3. Do not give them anything heavy that they can drop on themselves.
  4. Do not give boxes that can snap shut on their tiny fingers.
  5. Ensure toxic items like batteries, cleaning detergents, disinfectants or even your perfumes are out of reach.
  6. Do not give any item that is small enough to fit through their mouth or nostrils or even ears.
  7. Avoid giving them anything sticky or things that can make the place messy.

Letting your baby play with household items can not only be inexpensive and easy for the parents but can help develop multiple skills in the baby as well. It is an easy yet very effective way to engage children productively.

[Read : Baby Proof Your Kitchen]


1. Can I Let My Baby Play With Common Household Items?

Babies love to play with regular household items. When you let them use the things you use, they feel in control and grown up about it. They will also explore and find new ways to play with these items.

2. Why Do Small Children Prefer Household Items Over Their Toys?

Babies like to be in control. There is always a power struggle with young children. They prefer using your items to play with over their toys, because of this power struggle and the need to be equal to you.

3. Should I Encourage My Baby to Play With Household Items?

Yes, it can be very beneficial for both of you. While it can cut back on expensive toys, it will help your baby familiarize with common items they are bound to come across as they grow up.

Read Also: Stacking Toys For Babies – How it Helps in Baby’s Development

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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