Learning through Play

Fun with feet
Take babies shoes/socks off and let them experience standing on different surfaces both outside and indoors e.g. grass, sand, concrete, mud, gravel or door mat, carpet, wooden floor, tiles, rugs, wicker, upside down shower mat, foam, non slip matting, corrugated cardboard. This activity will expose them to texture and temperature but is also good for developing the foot muscles and balance.

Basket of treasures
Fill a basket with different objects for baby to explore. Mix it up or stick to a theme. For example, use items from the bathroom such as nail brush, comb, your slippers, exfoliating gloves, loafer, nail files, bottles, flannel, sponges, cotton wool and a body puff. Never leave your child unattended with any of the items you choose, due to choking risk.

Another example could be to explore items used for cleaning such as a clean feather duster, dusting cloths or a soft bristled brush. Pretend to give your baby a spring clean or just let them touch and feel.

Just about anything can be used in a box of treasures. Try items which open and close, twist or turn, make a noise or move. Try different materials; scarves, ties, ribbons. Reactions to 'opposites' can also be interesting; try items which are hard, soft, smooth, rough, cold and warm.

Let's get smelling
Gather together a range of different products to introduce baby to different smells such as essential oils (peppermint, lavender, lemon), mint toothpaste, fruity lip balms, exotic perfumes, bars of soap etc. Oils and perfumes can be applied to cotton wool and placed in a small container with a lid (with holes) to keep them separate and slightly safer for wandering hands and mouths.

Feathery fun
Whether it be the feather duster, a feather boa, or a bowl of craft feathers of different colours much tickling fun can be had.

Explore your Garden
The garden or local park holds many new and exciting experiences for youngsters. Take delight in exploring together the plants, grass, flowers, insects, birds, worms and bees. Listen for sounds, see what moves, and discover what is hiding in the undergrowth.

Water play
Have an impromptu bath (why not get in with baby for extra fun), use the kids water table, the paddling pool, baby bath or just the washing up bowl on the kitchen floor.... anything will do. There are endless different ways of using water to play. Filling and emptying containers will keep little ones entertained for hours. Try pouring, splashing, floating, sinking, whooshing, washing and absorbing. Fill up the play tea pot and enjoy a spot of afternoon tea together. Thicken with corn flour and watch or feel what happens. Add glitter or food colouring. Change the temperature of the water by adding ice cubes or pour warm water over frozen trays. How about blowing bubbles through a straw or adding bubble bath? Or creating a duck pond with your rubber ducks from the bathroom? The options are endless. For pouring water you can use household items such as yogurt pots, the plastic play tea pot, jugs, or even the watering can. A variety of other items might be fun, including table tennis balls, fabric, plastic bottles with holes pierced in/plant pots, funnels, sponges, tubing, small fishing nets, water wheels, the kitchen sieve or even a water pistol.

Going sailing
Stick a straw mast into an upturned scourer for a quick and easy boat. Watch them glide or make two and have a race. Add a paper sail by punching holes in the paper and slotting onto the straw and get blowing for some extra wind power!

A trip to the beach
Fill a washing up bowl with play sand (or oatmeal for a safer alternative) and add stones, shells, feathers, wicker balls etc. Let them explore your mini beach with both hands and bare feet. Get some plastic cups and make sand castles or use a comb to rake beautiful patterns.

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All content within our website is provided for general information only, never leave a baby or small child unattended. Always take care to keep small objects out of reach of small children due to the risk of choking.
Appy-now does not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on our website.
Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your baby's health or development.