Now here is the thing you may or may not believe...two of these items are cat toys. Cat toys! Who knew?
*The little rattan (heehee...that one is for you Za!) balls were in the pet section at my Dollar Tree. They come 4 to a pack and I bought a few packs because I really liked the colors and I may have made a garland out of them (I really need to photograph the August and soon-to-be September bed). They are perfectly sized for little hands and too big for little mouths. I thought the balls would be fun to pair up with the bowls as they are a perfect match. They also roll nicely...so there.
*The clothespins I had in my stash so I am not including their cost in this diy. I included six and tied them with a length of velvet ribbon for texture. Loose ribbon is not safe for wee ones so make sure it is retied and quadruple knotted to some other object so that kiddo can touch and feel but not chew and swallow or get tangled in it.
*The pom-poms are also cat toys and not a recommended size for wee ones unless you know the wee one really well. They were another happy collection of color and they sparkled.
*The wee wooden bowls are from World Market and cost $1.99 a piece. I use these in my classroom all the time and they are just so great for sorting, stacking, and dramatic play. They are also simply beautiful and it doesn't hurt to have beautiful things available for little hands to play with.
*The basket was a thrift store find and cost me fifty cents. Fifty cents! For reals! If you are not a thrifter you can find small baskets of a little less quality at your dollar store. I highly recommend thrifting though. It's good for both your pocketbook and the environment so why not?
*The little soft doll was something I made for a swap years ago. I made a bunch of them for the shop as well but they did not sell so now I gift them. I may have a few left and can list them if you think it is something you are interested in. Just give me a shout!
*I bought the poms to use with a small container for fine motor play. The container used to house peanuts in it. The nuts were added to our giant jar of trail mix and the canister was thoroughly cleaned. If you are gifting this to a household with a nut allergy, find a different kind of container. Even though this has been cleaned out there is always a possibility for contamination. Better to be safe than sorry. I went for the smallest I could find with a lid so that it would fit in my basket. After washing and drying, the container was covered in happy paper. The lid had a hole cut into it just a smidge smaller than the poms. The plastic of the lid is super soft so the cut edges are smooth and will not bite little fingers. If your lid is testy, use washi tape around the inside edges to soften it up.
*Lastly in the basket is a quartet of washcloths also from the Dollar Tree. The cloths can be used for peek-a-boo and/or stuffed into the basket, etc. Wash them in a gentle organic soap (Dr. Bronner's is a lovely brand) before gifting.
This little bottle of fun did not fit into the basket but I really wanted to include it because it is fun and pretty! I used a Martinelli's blood orange juice bottle because it's what I had on hand. The beverage is super tasty and often on sale at the market and is both small and double walled (another classroom favorite...it crinkles all on its own). All the bits of happy inside came from home...rice, beads, sparkly pipe cleaners, and buttons. Give the inside of the cap a dose of tacky glue before putting on to hold it in place and keep the happy bits safely away from the happy kiddo.
There you go, hopefully a basket full of inspiration for you to make for your own wee one or as a gift for another. Just make sure it is safe, age appropriate and allergen free. Happy almost Fall!