Toys to Make for Babies; part 2

Baby toy w title

Lately I have been watching a lot of the ever-amusing and stylish Suzelle DIY, and it’s inspired me to share another little DIY toy with you.

Today I will be showing you: How to Make a Toy for a Baby.

You will need:

A clean plastic bottle with a lid,


Some ribbons,


Some assorted beads and things,


And a drill.


Step 1: With a 3mm drill bit (or thereabouts; choose a size that works best with your bottle and ribbons) drill four holes in the bottom of your bottle. Clean of any excess bits of plastic. Thread each ribbon from outside in through it’s own little hole and tie some knots in it.


Step 2: Using the same drill bit, drill four holes into the lid of the bottle and clean it off. Thread the other ends of the ribbons through these holes (from top of the lid inwards) and tie some knots. Alternately, you can thread some big beads onto the ends of the ribbons before you tie the knots, enabling them to dangle nicely inside the bottle.


Step 3: Place all your beads and things in the bottle. Make sure you’ve put everything in the bottle that you mean to. Put a few drops of glue onto the thread of the bottle and tighten the lid.


And there you have it: a rattley, rolling, ribbony toy for babies.


Fifteens: You Don’t Have to be Northern Irish to Make These

Fifteens are tasty, easy-to-make sweet things that are great to take to parties.
They’re also quiet-to-make.
This is an important consideration now that there’s a baby in the house.
They need no oven, no beater, and no…um…whatever other things there are that are noisy in your kitchen.

Fifteens-title pic

These take about 10 minutes to prepare, then an hour in the fridge to harden.


160ml condensed milk

15 digestive biscuits

15 marshmallows

15 glacé cherries (or Maltesers if you, like me, don’t like cherries)

A handful of desiccated coconut



1. Crush the digestive biscuits. A clean, quiet way to do this is to tie them into in a freezer baggie and press on them with a heavy glass. Or you can use a food processor.

2. Mix the crushed biscuits and condensed milk together in a large bowl.

3. Halve the marshmallows and cherries and mix them in. Use your hands to roll it all into a big sausage.

4. Sprinkle a layer of coconut onto a sheet of tinfoil and roll the biscuity sausage in it until it’s covered in coconut. Roll it up in the tinfoil and place it into the fridge for an hour.

5. Unwrap it from the tinfoil and slice it into thick slices.

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Two Toys to Make for Babies

All my posts are now going to become baby-related…because I have one, and there is always something to do or make to entertain them. The creative possibilities are endless.

Right now my kid is staring fixedly at my fingers while I type (one-handed of course; everything is done with only one hand now), so it’s wonderfully easy to keep them entertained, and yet somehow it’s still possible to run out of ideas. This is probably due to our own grown-up demand for ever-varying entertainment: we feel that playing a game for ten minutes is more than enough and we need to search desperately for a new one.

At six months, my daughter’s favourite activities involve picking things up, staring at them, putting them in her mouth, taking them out, shaking them, and dropping them, in a never-ending cycle. Or at least, I can easily believe it would be never-ending if she didn’t get hungry or fall over occasionally. So I make use of this wonderful (and short) few weeks where she is able to sit but not crawl by putting her next to a basket full of things to pick up, shake, and chew on while I get a few things done around the house.

Oh, the glorious Treasure Basket!

Oh, the glorious Treasure Basket!

For 6-month-olds:

Her absolutely favourite toy at the moment is a contact-lens doodad with some beads in (and the lid glued shut). It’s the perfect size for her hand (while too big to be stuffed far into her mouth) and makes a great sound. Strangely enough, she never shakes actual rattles – they only ever get the chewing treatment – but this thing probably spends more time being shaken than being chewed. That is quite an achievement.
I’d suggest taking this away once the kid can crawl or walk: you don’t want it in their mouths when they trip or fall.


For 2-month olds:

Another home-made thing that she loved when she was between 2 and 5 months is a tangle of ribbons. It’s just all the ribbons I had lying around, knotted together into a tangled mess. It’s easy for tiny babies to hold and light enough for them to flap around and put in their mouths (big knots are great for itchy gums). It can also just be thrown in the wash when it’s dripping with drool. Just remember to check that all knots are secure before each use.


Pumpkin Fritters of Deliciousness

Pumpkin banner

I know that Halloween was almost a week ago, so you probably don’t have any pumpin flesh scooped from Jack-O-Lanterns left sitting in the fridge. But if you did, this would be a very helpful blog-post.
Just in case you have pumpkins all over the place despirate to be eaten, this 10-minute recipe for pumpkin fritters is a special gift for you.

Ingredients: (enough for 3 – 4 people)
2 cups cooked pumpkin (mashed)
1 egg
1/2 cup of flour
a pinch of salt
1 heaped tablespoon of sugar


Pour enough vegetable oil into a frying pan to cover the base. Heat it up ’til almost sizzling.

Beat all the ingredients together to make a soft batter.

Scoop spoonfuls of batter into the pan (beware of splashing oil, or doom might occur) and fry on both sides until lightly browned.

Dry on paper and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Serve warm.

Tasty tasty tasty tasty.


P.S. The jack-o-lantern on the top of this post was made from a Lightning Squash which was only 8cm in diameter. Here’s a photo where the size is more obvious (I think this would make a good cover for a children’s book):