The Best Free and Educational Toy for Your Toddler

I am thankful to the very rainy day we had yesterday because it helped me discover the best free and educational toy possible for my 14 month old!

Drum roll, please.

The amazing toy is a large, empty box!

Here are 5 ways that Baby utilized the box (without any prompting from me):

1. The box assists walking.
baby plays with box
Baby can take up to 12 steps on his own, but he almost always chooses to crawl. He discovered that he could push the box on the floor and walk around the house that way.

2. The box is a peek-a-boo station.
baby in box
Baby initiated several games of peek-a-boo around the sides of the box as well as by looking through the clear plastic tape on the bottom of the box.

3. The box challenged his problem solving skills.
baby in box
When Baby would push the box around the house, it would often get stuck in corners and on furniture. Baby spent the time to figure out which box flaps to push in so he could make it around the turns.

4. The box is an excellent drum.
toddler drums on box
Baby can find a drum on almost any surface, and when the box was turned upside down, it was a perfect percussion instrument.

5. The box is a toddler clubhouse.
baby stands in box
Baby enjoyed sitting in the box, playing with toys in there, and just practicing standing in the box.

What is the best free and educational toy that you have discovered for your toddler?

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  1. MamaP says


  2. says

    My daughter Mandela has a plastic basket that came full of strawberries. She uses it as a hat, and has fun walking around with it titled in front of her face so she has to figure out where she’s going by more than sight alone.

    She also loves putting things in it and then taking them out, and it’s a noisemaker too.

    Babies are so creative!!
    Dave Higgs-Vis@Folkabout Baby recently posted..Taking a Stand on Babies and GermsMy Profile


  1. […] Baby has been enjoying Blanket, Pets, and Yard so much. He loves recognizing the icons of things that he loves from his every day life like trees, cats, and blankets. Baby enjoys pointing to the icons on the page and then looking for the object in real life. He waves to the trees through the window when he sees them in the books, which I just love. I have also enjoyed reading these books with Baby because they definitely invoke memories of my own childhood. I love the parts where a sweet pet comforts the child in Pets and where a little girl snuggles in bed with her stuffed animals in Blanket. Baby and I both enjoy the simple and catchy rhymes on every page. One additional thing that I absolutely adored about this package of books was the enclosed sheet labeled, “Attention, Grownup!” This sheet shares the mission of Blue Manatee boxes, which is to revive the notion of a simple box – in this case the packaging that the books arrived in – as an extension of its user. The instructions inspire you to transform your box into a “wondrously low-tech, unplugged, inexpensive, fun, safe, and stimulating developmental playground – a renewable resource indeed!” It goes on to share ways to make a beat box, a hide and seek box, a mom-and-dad-atee, and a taxi-tee. There are also sweet black and white illustrations enclosed for your little one to color. I especially appreciated this focus on using imagination and a basic box as inspiration because only two days before receiving this Blue Manatee Books package, I had written a blog post about the fun and imagination that an empty box had inspired in my son on a rainy day – The Best Free and Educational Toy for Your Toddler. […]

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