Easy Baby & Toddler Development Activities
Your little one develops through play, it’s how they learn about and discover the world. But as an exhausted parent (and who isn’t?) it’s not always easy to know what you can do to encourage this development. Lisa Walker from brightplaybox shares some easy activities that you can put together in a few minutes with items you’ll have around your home to help your little one develop.
Lisa is a local Mum who’s lived in the area for 6 years. She lives with her husband and 18 month old son who was the inspiration for her new business. She can often be found walking around the heath either trying to get her son to sleep or letting him run off his energy.
Here are 3 easy to put together activities for your little one that will help them develop, and which you’ll enjoy too!
1. Sensory Bottles: For babies who can't yet sit
Sensory bottles are a great way to introduce your baby to new visually stimulating and interesting objects in a safe way as they can’t eat them! I also love using the contents as prompts for me in my ‘chat’ describing what they’re looking at. Depending how young your baby is, either you can show the bottle to them or they can hold it themselves.
Get your cameras out for this one – it’s great seeing the look on your baby’s face as they discover new things: shock, delight or confusion are all possible!
What you need:
- A plastic bottle
- Sellotape, it’s good to tape the lid on to make sure baby can’t get to the contents inside
- Any colourful and interesting ite
- ms you have around the house such as pasta shapes, beans, rice, tinsel, pieces of lego, twigs, leaves, coins, tin foil strips, kitchen clips, cotton balls, beads, glitter etc.
- Optional: you can add a transparent shampoo or shower gel which will suspend and slow down the speed at which items move (but if baby is holding their bottle this will make it a lot heavier).
Some easy bottles to make:
- For younger babies create bold, one colour bottles
- Let the seasons inspire you and fill them with leaves and flowers.
- Mix oil and water in a bottle and shake it up
How Sensory bottles help development
- Baby’s hand-eye coordination is developed as they focus on and reach for the bottles. Move the bottles across their face & get them to follow the colours and the sounds.
- Your baby will enhance their fine-motor skills as they handle the bottles.
- Baby can discover the world through being introduced to new items and will have their visual and auditory senses stimulated.
2. Bowl O' Noise: for older babies who can sit unsupported
Babies love making a noise, taking things out (and if you're lucky) putting things back in - so this activity is a winner on all fronts.
What you need:
A plastic container (a washing up bowl works well)
A mix of things that make noise such as rattles, musical toys, keys, if you have any cloth bags or bottles fill them with pasta or rice etc.
A big spoon so your little one can turn the bowl upside down and bang on it like a drum.
How to play:
- Fill the bowl with the items and let your little one have fun playing with everything.
- Encourage them to take the items out, turn over the bowl and bang on it with their hands and the spoon.
How bowl o’ noise helps development:
- Their communication will improve as they make their own noises as accompaniment to the music they are making, or if they are talking, as they tell you what they are shaking.
- They’ll use their hand-eye coordination to take the items out of the bowl and put them back and also to bang the underside of the bowl.
- They’ll be learning that their actions create an effect by making noises in the items they play with.
- Their senses will be stimulated by all the different noises, sights and textures
3. For toddlers: a super-easy colour sorting game
Teaching your toddler how to group and sort items helps them make sense of their surroundings and how to order things. Colour sorting is a great place to start as it’s easy for them to understand the connections.
What you need:
- 4 items of clothing in 4 different colours
- Items of those 4 colours from around the house. (E.g. lego, building blocks, shapes, kitchen clips, utensils etc.) Try to choose items with different textures to add a sensory exploration element to this activity.
How to play:
- Lay out the 4 items of clothing & place all the coloured items in a pile in the middle of them
- Help your little one place the items on the same colour clothing
- As you do this talk about the different items, what they are, what colour they are and what they are used for.
How colour sorting helps development:
- Hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills enhanced as little one places items.
- Learning developed as they understand about different colours and how similar items group together.
- Language developed as you talk through the game.
It goes without saying, that children must be supervised during these activities.
Want more ideas like this?
These are a few examples of the types of activities you can find in a brightplaybox, along with age-matched toys and books for your 0-2 year old and practical information about your child’s development for you. Visit this website to find out more about brightplaybox.
Like our facebook page for more easy-to-create developmentally beneficial activities for you and your little one to enjoy together.