Make Your Own Developmental Baby Toys


Age range: 5 1/2 to 8 months

Developmental skills: With very little effort, babies can launch these cylinders into a forward roll. Babies often prefer a moving toy to a stationary one. The cylinders won't roll far, though, and the desire to handle them again may encourage your baby to inch forward. These roly-polies can also serve as a great turn-taking activity as you roll them back and forth with your child. For additional fun, try stacking the lightweight cylinders. Your baby will delight in knocking down your tower!

Materials needed:

  • 1 full cylindrical salt box
  • 3 empty cylindrical salt boxes
  • handful of small rocks, lentils, buttons, nails
  • patterned contact paper or fabric
  • cloth tape
  • heavyweight string
  • nontoxic epoxy


1. With sharp knife, cut off the tops of the empty boxes about 1/2 inch from the end.

2. Put lentils in one, nails in another, and small rocks in a third. (The heavy box, full of salt, rolls differently.)

3. Place the tops back in position on boxes.

4. Cut three circles of contact paper big enough to cover the ends of each box and the seams where the cut-off tops meet the bottoms. After slitting the contact paper edge about every 1/2 inch (so that it fits around the box better), adhere it over the top and across the seam of each box. Cover the bottom of the boxes too, if you wish.

5. Either use epoxy to secure the top or place a strip of tape around the seam to make sure the top won't come off. For appearance, add more strips of contact paper or tape around the body of the boxes.

*Safety note: Keep checking to be sure that the glue or tape on the lids is holding.

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