It’s no secret that toddlers often prefer the packaging to the presents.
If you have a large box, put it on the floor and see what happens. He’ll crawl through it, pretend it’s a fort, or even drive it like a car.
Throw a torch into the mix and the fun will last even longer. Go to top
Activities for young babies don’t need to be extravagant or over-planned. After all, everything is a first experience for young babies and the wonder and amazement of watching bubbles form and float in the breeze, then fall, burst and disappear is totally mesmerising the first time it’s seen! A simple bubble wand is all you need.
Because bubbles are both eye catching and slow moving they are a great way to help your baby learn to use her eyes to follow the bubbles in the air and maybe learn to reach out to pop them too! Go to top
This is an easy one – just crank up your play list and have a living room dance party! If you have any instruments lying around get those involved too.
This works on rhythm so beat, try clapping along with the songs and encourage your little one to do the same. Go to top
Playdough is a brilliant resource to use with your children to build their dexterity and keep them entertained. The only issue is – kids love to eat EVERYTHING!
If this sounds familiar then it might be worth making your own edible playdough.
Here's a recipe for edible playdough:
Ingredients: 50g Icing sugar, 200g Marshmallows, food colouring.
1. Melt the marshmallows in the microwave in 4 10second bursts, stirring in between each.
2. Add sugar a little bit at a time and stir in.
3. When the mixture becomes a sticky mess, remove it from the bowl and place on a surface with icing sugar.
4. Add more sugar and fold in on itself.
5. Continue until you have play dough.
6. If you add some colour, keep extra sugar icing to hand because it will get sticky again. Go to top
Hide a Snack!
Why not hide a healthy snack each day... egg cartons, opaque plastic containers and blankets make great places to conceal their tasty treasure!
Have fun hiding some friendly characters around your house and garden. Try teddy in a branch or dolly under the table or in a basket. Go to top
Once baby is able to sit in their high chair, put out some 'edible paints' for him or her to explore. You could use almost anything as an edible paint – jam, ketchup, marmalade, chocolate spread, curd. Essentially any sauce or spread that isn't spicy and doesn't contain nuts. Go to top
On a warm day, lay a rug outside in a safe, shady place under a tree. Your Baby will love the patterns, movement and light coming through the leaves. You can even hang bells/wind chimes/ribbons/mirrors on the branches for an extra sensory experience. On a warm day allow your baby to feel the cool grass between her toes and fingers.
A simple and wonderful way for your little one to slowly discover nature. Go to top
Place a series of blocks of the same colour in front of your toddler, making sure to add at least one block that’s a different colour (you could also do this with small fruit or veggies).
Once she’s had a chance to look at all the blocks, ask her which one is the odd one out. Go to top
Set out a pile of objects like crayons or buttons and ask him to distribute them between you while saying “One for you, one for me”.
Make sure you each have a container to hold your growing collections. Go to top
Why do babies love it so much?
Peekaboo never grows old! You hide your eyes with your hands then slowly pull your hands away from your face. Your baby laughs and you laugh and then you do it again & again...
One reason why babies love peekaboo is the idea of "surprise". They are surprised when things come back after being out of sight. For a baby, nothing is given. They are born into a buzzing confusion, and gradually have to learn to make sense of what is happening around them. You know that when you see a ball roll behind a sofa it still exists, but your baby hasn't learnt this yet...
As your baby gets older they can start to adapt the game for themselves. The earliest version of peekaboo is simple... you announces you are coming with your voice before bringing your face into close focus for your baby.
As your baby gets older they will enjoy you hiding and reappearing, but after a year or so they can graduate to take control by hiding and reappearing themselves. Go to top
Using old tin cans or coffee cans, or even just plastic bottles, investigate putting different things in and shaking – rice, lentils, even frozen peas?
This could be messy but nothing a quick sweep up wouldn't solve.
You could cover the top with balloons, cling film, or fabric help on by an elastic band. Alternatively you could find some sticks and turn tin cans into mini drums. Go to top
Water can have a lovely, relaxing effect on children.
On a warm day you can get the paddling pool out, or in winter you could put some water in the bath, and play around with a series of cup and bowls, sieves and sponges. Explore how the water moves – and clean off at the same time! Go to top
Drape a large blanket over a table to create a dark hideout.
Use blu tack to stick pictures on the underside of the table or take some books into the hideout.
Your little one will love using the torch to make discoveries! Go to top
Get a pile of clean sheets and pillows, use furniture in the room to help build, or place some chairs around the room, and drape the sheets and blankets across the top. Make it cosy inside with blankets and pillows.
You could use torches inside, or eat your lunch, the things you could do in your new den are endless. Go to top