15 Household Items That Are Also Toys Toddlers Love

household items toddler play toys
Image via Mindi Stavish

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Children develop many physical, emotional, social, and language skills through play. As a parent, I think it's important to maximize your child's play by getting on the floor and talking with them. Starting at age 2, a child will develop more advanced play skills, engaging in make-believe games and fantasy roles. Favorite activities include dressing up as their favorite superhero and pretending to boss around their siblings as the “mommy” or “daddy.”

Children will also start to use various objects for a variety of functions. As an example, every long, stick-like object becomes my son's lightsaber or sword. Even my knitting needles turn into a weapon. There are so many everyday household items that toddlers love to play with.

{ MORE: How to Create the Perfect Toddler Play Space on a Budget }

Try these 15 items you probably already have around the house as toys to inspire imaginative play.

1. Pots, pans, spoons, measuring cups, cooking tongs.

2. Laundry baskets, empty or full of clothes.

3. Empty food boxes of various sizes.

4. A large, shallow bucket filled with dry pasta.

{ MORE: 5 Things Kids Lose When They Don't Have Time for Free Play }

5. Remote controls (always remove the batteries to prevent any accidents).

messy-play-shaving-cream
Image via Flickr/ suzettesuzette

6. Shaving cream lids make the perfect-sized cups for pouring while in the bathtub.

7. Cleaning tools–broom, dust pan, spray bottle filled with water, sponges.

8. Salad spinner — kids love to put all kinds of stuff in and watch it spin.

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9. The toilet bowl brush — GROSS, I KNOW! But for some reason, it seems to make the perfect mop for the bathroom floor.

10. The sink–my kids are constantly sneaking into the upstairs bathroom and playing in the sink. If I need 15 minutes to get something done in the kitchen, I usually can distract my toddler (and preschooler) with a kitchen sink full of soapy water and cups.

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11. A rubber ball in a small plastic food-storage container.

12. Plastic cups of various sizes–great for stacking, hiding, nesting, scooping, sorting, and water play.

{ MORE: How to Strengthen the Sibling Bond on National Siblings Day - and Every Day! }

13. Empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls–turn them into musical instruments, racetracks, and much more.

baby wipes amazon
Image via Amazon

14. Empty wipes container.

15. Retractable tape measure — My boys are forever swiping my tape measure I use for sewing.

{ MORE: 3 Tips for Choosing Quality Toddler Toys }

What are your kids' favorite household items to play with?

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15 Household Items That Are Also Toys Toddlers Love

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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