Before the world of sensory play was opened up to me, I often spent a large portion of my day wondering “what can I do next?”
Buddy loves his plastic fantastic toys, however I feel they limit the scope for interactive play and I wanted to introduce new things into the mix. So for anyone who is at a bit of a loss for some fun ideas and games to play with their baby, I have complied a list of some of our favourite and simple games. Please note, these are activities that I am happy to do with my child. If you feel an activity is unsuitable for your child please do not attempt it.
Dress up Peek-a-boo
This is such a simple game but Buddy loves it. It is really your basic peek-a-boo, but every time you jump out (from behind a door or the sofa) you put a different hat or scarf on. This produces squeals of laughter every time and is great to develop his visual awareness.
Who doesn’t love bubbles? Buddy loves nothing more than popping them and squeals in delight when we blow them at him.
We went one step further and purchased a bubble machine.
Painting with Baby Safe Edible Paint
We love getting messy in this house! This edible baby safe paint is really easy to make and has never stained anything in our home. You can find the recipe here.
At the moment I like to paint outside with Buddy as he is very inquisitive at the moment and likes to crawl all over. Painting outdoors definitely cuts down the clean up time. We use the back of wallpaper for painting as it is thicker and less likely to tear when Buddy crawls all over it. You can usually pick up wallpaper for a very good price in bargain bins.
Discovery baskets are containers filled with normal household objects for baby to explore. I set up a discovery basket every evening before going to bed and it is the first thing Buddy crawls to in the morning. He will play quietly, investigating the contents and examining items for up to 30 minutes at a time and it is something he enjoys going back to throughout the day.
You can find a list of items to include in your discovery basket on the following link.
Today our basket included a colander, a rolling pin, some measuring cups, jar lids and clothes pegs.
You can read more about the theory behind discovery baskets here and sensory learning here.
Have a Foam Party
Make some coloured foam in minutes and let your baby play with it. You can read how by following the link below.
I enjoy hiding toys in the foam and watching Buddy look for them. He loves splashing and slopping the foam and also trying to eat it.
Note – not suitable for eating and avoid contact with eyes.
Look at picture books
If you have a child who will happily sit and read a book, I envy you! Buddy will not sit still for long with a book however he does enjoy turning the pages and lifting the flaps on a peek-a-boo book. We make a game of turning the pages by hiding a wooden block beneath the page to encourage him to find it and thus progress with the story.
I make sure we have books in all of the rooms that Buddy plays in. They are at a low level to enable him to seek and explore them independently.
Play with Simple Musical Instruments
Buddy really enjoys chasing bottles filled with rice and pasta. These are so simple to make and provide endless entertainment.
We practice pushing them to each other. Shaking them and tipping them over to make fantastic noises.
Of course, if you are crafty, you can make these look fantastic. I haven’t got round to making mine beautiful yet, but Buddy enjoys them anyway!
You could also make your own drum kit!
Check out how we made ours here – Home made Drum Kit.
Get messy with Goo
This baby safe edible goo is simply cornflour and water. It in interactive and wonderfully messy. You can learn how to make it by clicking the link below.
We had fun touching and eating the goo, although I think my husband was more impressed than Buddy was!
Play with food
We know that food is great and essential, so let’s play with it. It doesn’t matter how much your baby actually eats at this age as it can be supplemented with breast milk or formula. The sensory element of it is the important part.
Spaghetti is one of my favourite foods to play with. You can read about our experience of playing with spaghetti here. Rainbow Spaghetti Play
We also enjoy playing with porridge oats to make an Edible Sand Pit
Or you could Discover Flour with this super simple sensory bin.
Play with Blocks
Blocks are great for open ended play. We love stacking and sorting them. You can see the result of Buddy’s bulldozer mode here.
Open Ended Play with Wooden Blocks
Buddy also enjoys sorting his blocks. I hide them in old egg cartons and let Buddy search and rummage, tipping them out and putting them back in again. It is a great problem solving activity.
I hope these ideas help you if you are stuck in a bit of a play rut with your little one. I have loads more ideas that I can’t wait to share so please let me know what you think, what you would like to see more of and what you would like to see less of and I will do my best to oblige!