A Toddler Box of Tricks: Things To Always Have On Hand With A Toddler Or Two

This is a really hard post for today. I’m conscious that it’s half term and have loads of posts I could have finished but none felt appropriate for Half Term.

Recently I’ve noticed that Miss NHM isn’t as interested in her toys as I think she should be (given how much they cost!). She seems to have much more fun playing with things that are either free or relatively cheap.

I’m saving up for a plastic drawer set system (4 sets of the drawers in the link) for under our stairs. We already have one set of drawers which have different things in, like a dressing up drawer, a playdoh drawer with cutters, and a colouring and pens drawer.

Miss NHM enjoys these drawers under the stairs more than any of her other toys. I think it’s because she can choose what she wants to play with.

I’m hoping to put together lots of drawers with lots of different activities in, including a paint drawer (ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!). This is where The Range floor matting (see below!) comes in VERY useful.

Anyway, this is a bit of a cop out post but hopefully it will be useful for someone! 😉

A Toddler Box of Tricks

Bottles of bubbles or a bubble machine


Paint (if you are brave enough, and I’m generally not!)

Glitter (I hate this stuff, I really do.)

Sequins (great stuff, until you go to the office with one stuck to your bottom. This may, or may not, have happened to me.)

Cornflower for making Gloop

Food colouring for making coloured Gloop or coloured water

Cheap dried spaghetti for making Coloured Spaghetti

Buttons for Gloop or just for sorting through

Lots of different types of bowls

Dry Food for dry food play

Spoons and spatulas


Ice cube trays

Icing sugar

A box of straws (This was Mr NHM’s contribution. When I asked why, he said ” for cutting up and making things”. No comment.)

An easy fairy cake or cookie recipe. (I have one and if you would like a copy, please email me at northhantsmum@gmail.com ;-))

A big wooden dice or small dice in lots of different colours. (Miss NHM LOVES playing with dice. She pretends they are food. However, we supervise this play as I’m still worried about her putting them in her mouth!)

Toilet rolls

Paper plates

Coloured lolly sticks for arts and crafts or Winter “Bored Sticks” Jar – 40 ideas

An MP3 player with dock. (We have one which Miss NHM can operate herself. She’s loved playing with it since she was 18 months.)

Floor matting. (My friend Kate had a great tip to buy PVC cut fabric from The Range. There is one in Reading, Andover and Aldershot. We have one pattern as a table cloth and another pattern for arts and crafts. It’s great stuff, is very cheap, you can choose how much you want and it lasts for ages. Although what’s showing on the website is very expensive compared to what’s in store, so I would recommend going into the store and having a look. Thanks Kate!)

Playdoh. (I have a recipe for making your own playdoh but haven’t tried it out yet. It’s on my very long list of things to do with Miss NHM soon!)

Easel paper on a roll. (We’ve had hours of fun with this. Mr NHM starts at one end, I’m at the other and Miss NHM is in the middle. We vary between coloured pencils and crayons!).

Toy cars (Again, Mr NHM’s suggestion. He suggests using them in paint on the “paper on a roll”. Over my dead body is he doing this our house!!!!! :-D)

What else would you add to this list?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *