Household items make great toys
Baby is probably ready for nesting containers-things that fit inside other things. You can buy a set of nesting cups or let him use measuring cups or food storage bowls. These let baby practice the ideas of "bigger," "smaller," and "in and out." These make good bath toys, too.
Be sure all toys for baby are too large to swallow-at least one and one-half inches in diameter. They should also have no sharp edges and be safe for chewing.
Use old-fashioned clothespins (not the spring-type) and a box or ice cream bucket for baby to learn "on" and "off". Show him how to put the clothespins on the edge and then pull them off. Baby can practice "in" and "out" by putting the clothespins in the container and dumping them out.
Cut a hole in the top of an oatmeal box into which she can drop large empty thread spools or other round objects. She can take off the lid to get the objects out.
Babies like to do things with toys besides looking at them. Making towers out of blocks or fitting rings onto a pole help his hand-eye coordination. You can make blocks out of empty, rinsed-out milk cartons. Open the top and fold it down to make a cube. Tape each block shut. Rinsed-out, square baby-wipe containers also make good blocks.
Baby may enjoy larger toys, too. A cardboard box with the ends cut out can be a tunnel. Baby can roll over a pillow or beach ball and crawl into a paper grocery bag.
Children love to do things their parents do. By 12 months, about one out of four babies will imitate housework. Give the child a broom, toy box, dusting cloth or other object to do work just like you. Always, the key is to have fun with your baby!