Recently someone asked me for play ideas for a 10 month old - I have to admit it took me a while to know what to suggest. Vin has always been the kind of kiddo who gets bored quickly, so I have always had to think on my feet, plus I'm not always convinced that 'proper toys' are always worth it - I didn't want to say 'well actually my kid would play with a silicone whisk/ box of pinecones/ cracker box'. But that's exactly what little ones find fascinating. I don't know how many times I have heard parents complain that they spent so much money on 'fun educational gadgets' for their kids only for the kid to prefer a roll of tape or the box it came in!
Babies & toddlers are able to play more than people understand, mostly they're easy to please (or distract) -they like simple fun, exploring, interaction and sensory stimulation... here are some ideas from some great bloggers to get you started...
2. Read a story - check out The Educators' Spin On It for tips and book recommendations for reading to babies
|Fingerpainting for Toddlers|
3. Fingerpaint - Rainy Day Mum has a great Fingerpaint Recipe made from kitchen ingredients so fine for a little taste exploration!
4. Play with a sponge ball
5. Explore textures like we did with our Tactile Exploration Cards
6. Make sponge towers inspired by Toddler Approved
7. Dry pasta makes a great early sensory experience - hide some favourite toys and invite your little one to search for them
|Waterplay for Babies|
9. I love cotton wool balls for a sensory material (under extra supervision as they look super-tasty to little hands!) Check out our Bathtime Sensory Tub for inspiration
10. Fill a room with balloons (only under adult supervision)
11. Play peek-a-boo
12. Take a bath - check out Growing a Jewelled Rose's Sensory Baths for lots of colourful playful ideas
|Fine Motor Practise|
13. Practise fine motor skills especially that important pincer grip - pop some Cheerios, raisins, (cooked) pasta twists, halved grapes in a bowl and let your baby feed themself
15. Messy play - strip down to a nappy, pop your little one in their highchair on an oilcloth/playmat then let them get messy with some shaving foam, cooked spaghetti or this soapy mud from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
14. Blow bubbles and watch the delight spread over their little faces!
|Discovery Boxes and Treasure Baskets|
17. Smell flowers
18. Attach strips of ribbon to a mobile or baby gym for your baby to touch and reach for (under close supervision, also ensure your baby cannot pull themselves up on them)
20. Lie back and watch the clouds float by
21. Create some handprint art like these Handprint Birthday Cakes, Sea Creatures or this super-cute 'Don't Let the Pigeon...' artwork from Juggling With Kids
|Play in the Grass|
23. Bond with some Baby Massage - check out this post from Angelique Felix over at The Imagination Tree
24. Nappy off time
25. Explore with your feet
26. Play with jelly like we did here or this gorgeous Rainbow Gelatin Sensory Tub from No Time For Flashcards
27. Take your lunch outside and have a picnic
28. Visit the library - you are never too young to join the library (Vinnie was 4 weeks old when he got his first library card!) most of them have a Storytime or Sing and Song time to enjoy too
35. Practise crawling by chasing cardboard tubes around the floor
32. Create a photo album full of friends and family
33. Make animal noises. Roar, miaow and moo with your baby
34. Play airplane
35. Check out this great pinboard of Baby & Toddler play ideas with pins from Rainy Day Mum, Growing a Jewelled Rose, Sun Hats & Wellie Boots, Creative Family Fun and Hands On : As We Grow amongst others!