Tipid Toy Tuesday: Empty Distilled Water Containers

Today’s tipid toy is so ridiculously easy and simple that I feel a little ridiculous even blogging about it, but here goes.

A cousin started playing this with the twins a couple of weeks ago, and we’re still getting some play time out of it until now. There are only two materials: an empty 6-liter distilled water container, and a bunch of scrap paper – in this case, some Toys R Us gift wrapper since we just unwrapped a gift for the twins the night before (thanks, Ninang Abby!).

We use up a lot of distilled water for the twins’ milk, and we sometimes let the twins play with the empty containers. They like walking around the living room banging it noisily to the floor, and sometimes we let them put pebbles inside.

Also, the labels can work as crowns.

hello cuties!

hello cuties!

With the Toys R Us gift wrapper just lying around, however, my cousin started tearing the wrapper and forming little balls that the twins can put inside the water containers for some fine motor activity.

shoot that ball baby!

shoot that ball baby!

Some of the wadded up pieces of paper are bigger than the others and so would require a little bit more effort to squish in. There was quite a bit of wrapping paper available, so it took a lot of time to tear it all up. Of course, when all the paper balls are inside, it’s time to take them out and begin again!

Shaking the bottle sometimes works, as the smaller paper balls fall out.

Ulap shaking things up

Ulap shaking things up

But taking them out by hand is even better fine motor exercise!

check out that look of concentration.

check out that look of concentration.

When playing with the paper balls started to get a bit old, they discovered that they can sit on the bottles and basically squish them. Makes an awful racket, but they like it!

they like sitting on things lately - on balls, biscuit containers, what-have-you

they like sitting on things lately – on balls, biscuit containers, what-have-you

After a few times of doing that, it became quite hard to return the bottle to its original shape, so I guess it will be off to the recycle bin soon, but basically it’s already been reused. I’ve also toyed with the idea of reusing them by trying my hand at planting some herbs, but that’s a totally different project and well, it hasn’t happened yet 🙂 See you next Tipid Toy Tuesday!

Tipid Toys: Reused Plastic Materials

I’m supposed to be starting a Tipid Toy Tuesday post series, then I realized that it’s already Wednesday! Let’s just say Tipid Toy, then 🙂

So I’ve posted about our Tipid Toys before, which are everyday/household objects that we use as toys for the twins. Since I usually go for the lazy fuss-free approach, these “toys” require minimum set-up/preparation and hardly cost a thing, but have been proven to be useful in entertaining the twins and even teaching them a thing or two.

Our Tipid Toy for today is reused plastic materials (I can’t really even say recycled, much less upcycled because I didn’t really do anything to them). See, because of my mother-in-law, we’re something of a pack rat household. Everything that can conceivably be reused gets carefully cleaned and hidden away. Our kitchen closets tend to get clogged, but like today, it sometimes pays off. Setting up playtime for the twins was a simple matter of pulling out measuring scoops, yogurt containers, and an empty ice cream container from the kitchen shelves.

Then it’s pretend cooking/eating time!

tipid toy 2a

These days they’re all about slurping sabaw. Lagot kami pag walang sabaw ang ulam.

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Earth Day Post: Tipid Toys

So according to my Facebook feed, it’s Earth Day. I hadn’t realized. I’m not involved in any big Earth Day activity or event. Today is just another regular day spent at home taking care of the twins and working (or procrastinating), the usual stuff. However, in honor of Earth Day, I decided to do a round-up of recycled or unexpected baby toys that have amused or are still amusing our twins at one time or another. We don’t have a lot of store-bought toys, partly for economic reasons and partly out of sheer fear of finding space for them, so we make do with stuff found around the house. It saves us money, generates less trash, and almost guarantees that there’s always something new that the twins can explore. Win-win all around.

All mothers I think have at some point discovered and appreciated the entertainment powers of an empty box or piece of crumpled paper, while others have put together various household stuff into something that their kids can play with. This post honors those humble objects.

Ms. Pinky Mask

Ms. Pinky Mask

Ms. Pinky Mask. Ms. Pinky Mask was their first “toy.” Or rather, Ms. Pinky Mask when she was still inside a plastic bag. Newborns don’t really do much of anything in the first few weeks except feed, cry, and poop. They don’t even really start looking at things until a bit later. And we didn’t have a mobile yet then. Ms. Pinky Mask’s bright color and crinkly plastic sound was the first object my twins really started to pay attention to, their heads swiveling towards the sound and their eyes following it as I moved it around. It’s one of those little milestones that made this new mom ridiculously happy, and it came early enough in the game when I was probably still awash in post-partum hormones and leaking breastmilk, and didn’t get to shower as long or maybe even as often as I wanted to. It didn’t really take much to make me happy at that point.


little drummer girl

Empty Piknik canister. Empty anything, actually. Empty Mineral water bottle. Empty paper cup. Empty toy boxes. Empty biscuit tins. It’s all fair game. You use up something and then toss the container to the baby (maybe wiping it down with your shirt or even washing it if you’re feeling extra magnanimous) and it will keep her happy for a few minutes (or 30 seconds if it’s not your lucky day).

2013-10-12 13.22.53

I bet she just wishes she can get some cookies

DIY slot toy using old formula can and mineral water bottle caps. One of the few ideas I got off Pinterest that I was actually able to make, adapting by using stuff lying around the house. Minus, of course, the crafty/creative bent. The real Pinterest moms would go the extra mile and decorate the can with washi tape and stuff.

slot toy

no time for washi. no washi for that matter

Probiotics supplement bottle and box. This has been popular for a week or so now, so it’s a good thing that we have several. The paper info thing will go in the box, then the bottle, then they’d shake the whole thing a bit, then take out the bottle, take out the paper, and repeat. It’s amazing how much quiet time I’ve been able to get out of this one.


thank you biobita

Wedding buckets and bottle caps. The buckets we used as decoration and container of messages from our wedding guests are now their toys, paired with the caps of the premature-size feeding bottles that they had to use in their first couple of weeks.


instant basket and instant stacking cups


tago si Ulap

Good old-fashioned lampin/burp cloth. Seriously an all-around performer. It has many functional uses, but for play it’s great for instant hide-and-seek/peek-a-boo.

Anything that can be put on top of their heads or my head or whoever’s head that happens to be available. It’s an old trick of my Mom’s. I used to watch her do it for my nieces more than a decade ago, and I watch her do it for my kids now. For all I know she did it for me when I was a baby. She’d balance something on top of her head, intone “Tinda sa bayaaan…” then tip her head causing the thing to topple down, and she’d cry “Ay! Nahulog!” Apparently it’s quite amusing. I’m a lazy mommy so sometimes I make the twins do it, I’d say the “Tinda sa bayan” line and they’d hold a toy on top of their head, then hurl it down themselves when I come to the “Ay!” part. Good times, good times.

Sometimes I do get around to buying real toys, but there’s a different kind of satisfaction at watching the kids play with repurposed stuff. Kuripot na, maka-kalikasan pa! Happy Earth Day 🙂