The Best Water Toys Come From Your Recycling Bin


Heading this last part of summer in New Hampshire, we’re all trying to find ways to beat the heat. Water play is a fantastic option if your child is still uncomfortable in the water, you need an outdoor activity to pass some time, or just need an easy way to cool off.

Water play is a wonderful sensory activity that can be especially beneficial for kids. They get to cool off while working on fine motor, hand eye coordination, cause and effect, and so many other great skills.

As with everything to do with kids, it can be easy to spend a lot of money. A quick look at water tables online shows you could be spending upwards of $50 on one small water table for babies and young toddlers. Many of the water tables on the market break easily, have lots of pieces that get lost, and are hard to keep clean. The ones that aren’t are generally even more costly. 

That’s why the best water toys come from your recycling bin! You’ve probably already have many containers that held or dispensed liquid. Instead of throwing them out, give them new life with water play!

Two boys and a girl play with water toys from your recycling bin

When looking for water toys from your recycling bin, assess for variety:

  • Bowls and cups that are past their prime are great pouring vessels.
  • Ketchup and honey bottles offer wonderful opportunities to practice squeezing.
  • Hand soap containers and some shampoo or conditioner bottles have pump dispensers.
  • Sieves and ladles with holes are great for sensory variety.
  • Have an old beverage dispenser or large bubble container that may have a few superficial cracks? Don’t throw it out-it’s a perfect refill station! 

The recycling bin offers so many opportunities for unique water play items that offer many benefits. Check it out before rushing to buy new toys!

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Hi! I'm Amy. Born & raised in New Hampshire, I moved to Portsmouth in 2017 where I currently live with my lawyer husband, our three kids and two dogs. Pre-kids, I was a preschool instructional aide and nanny, so I've always been drawn to working with kids. In fact, my high school friends regularly referred to me as the mom of the group. I'm enjoying this stage of motherhood where my kids are getting old enough to gain some independence, are becoming more involved with community activities and starting to learn their true interests. The things that currently keep me sane are coffee, reading, and attempting the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge with my kids. Our Seacoast has so many incredible outdoor spaces to explore! We share our adventures on Instagram @tiredmomadventures if you'd like to follow along!