Written by Vicki Macchiavello for Nannies Plus

Coming up with creative ways to play with ordinary things is one of the best parts of being a nanny for young children.

Take the average laundry basket. To an adult, it’s just a plastic container used to schlep clothes around the house, but to a baby or young child, that laundry basket can be so much more. With a little imagination and some creativity, a laundry basket can become a magical new toy for endless hours of play!

Here are a few ways that you, as a parent, nanny, or family assistant, can momentarily repurpose a laundry basket to provide an exciting new avenue of entertainment for your young ones.

Baby’s own ball pit
A baby who is stable at sitting on their own can be placed in the middle of the laundry basket. The space around them can be filled with ball pit balls that can be purchased online or at most retailers that carry toys. This gives baby their own personal ball pit to play in.

Pull around ride
Similarly to above, place baby in the laundry basket but this time with a couple of pillows on either side of them. Then tie a ribbon or rope to the handle of the basket and use it to pull baby around the house. This simple “ride” is sure to entice giggles out of your little one and what’s better is that once they outgrow it, the “ride” goes back to being a laundry basket.

A miniature world for a beloved toy
If you consider the laundry basket from the perspective of a small child, you can see the possibility of it containing a whole world. Choose a toddler’s favorite stuffed animal or doll and place it in the basket. Then build for that toy a world around, by adding a pillow and small blanket, some pretend food, and some smaller toys for the beloved animal or doll to “play” with. This activity has the added bonus of keeping toys and playthings slightly contained and portable for the child, making clean-up easier and keeping the toddler busy.

These are just a few of the awesome ways you as a nanny, family assistant, or parent can repurpose a regular household item in an imaginative and creative way for your child. What other ways can you think of to repurpose a laundry basket for play?