So what have we been up to lately…play-wise that is? Well Mr. C is now just about seventeen months old. He’s been walking for a couple of months and has a new curiosity about everything. I’ve tried to bring out more ‘homemade toys’ and create some different play experiences for him. Some have been a hit, some have been a miss, and most just largely depend on what kind of mood he’s in. He is typically not interested in anything he has to sit to play with at the moment. The kid just wants to go!! That said, before he was walking he was content to sit and play with some of these things longer.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any baby-play/activity related posts so I thought I would make up for it with one big one! Here’s a peek at a few of the activities we’ve been trying over the last couple of months in case you too are looking for ideas. As always, use your best judgement when picking an activity for your child. (If your seventeen month old is still mouthing things for example, then maybe beads aren’t the best choice) And as always, supervise, supervise, supervise (but don’t forget to have LOTS and LOTS of fun!! )
Pom-Pom Play is big around here. Anytime I bust out the pom-pom bin he’s sure to have fun. He mostly enjoys just dumping them out of containers and putting them back in, but he’s also had fun stuffing them into egg cartons and such too. There are numerous ways you can play with them. Fill a container with pom-poms, supply the extras and see what happens! We used an old puffs container and egg carton here.
Salt Trays – I got this idea from one of my favorite blogs Dirt & Boogers. Mr. C didn’t really know what to make of it or do with it so I will probably try again in another month or so. In the meantime I still thought it was worth mentioning. Your kids might love them, so do check it out. I thought it was pretty cool!
Various Sensory Bins. We’ve tried rice, beans and oatmeal to name a few. Rice has been the biggest hit. I’m also finding that if I put the materials in a bin large enough for him to stand and play at he’s a much happier camper than if he has to sit and play.
Bubbles, another inspiration I from my good friend Amanda over at Dirt & Boogers. Take the bubbles into the kitchen! (Can you tell I’m a huge Dirt & Boogers fan right now?) Amanda started her blog when her son J was right around my little guy’s age so her blog has become my go-to spot for new play ideas for the little mister. If you are looking for any kind of toddler play inspiration you must check it out!
Beads & Jars. This one is another favorite right up there with the pom-poms!
Homemade Ball Pit. Both my boys had fun with this one!
Painting. He’s still kinda trying to get the hang of this and he’s not big on getting paint on his hands, but with every exposure he gets a little more into it. As you can see our little artist takes his work very seriously…
Balloons. Mr. C loves when we blow up two or three balloons and hit them about the room. Get a pool noodle out and he’s even happier. We cut a pool noodle in half for the little guy (less damage he can do that way)
Tissue Box and Paper Strips. It’s fun just putting the strips of paper into the hole in the tissue box. This is actually one activity I wish I would have thought of sooner. I think he would have enjoyed this one from a much earlier age.
Plastic Cups – We’ve stacked them like blocks, just randomly batted them around and taken materials from our sensory bins and made “shakers” out of them.
We made this Shaker using a little duct tape, the plastic cups and a few kidney beans…. Use your imagination. Anything that we can use as a “shaka (as C says) is a big hit.
Building Forts. This is especially fun when we bring in our night-time turtle or firefly.
Homemade Play Dough. To the play dough I will usually add some buttons, straws, cookie cutters etc Anything I can think of to enhance the experience or change the way with which he can play with the play dough. If you are looking for a good play dough recipe, here’s one that I like from The Imagination Tree to get you started. An added bonus…. it’s a quite calming activity too.
Phew! I’m tired after just writing about all this play 🙂 Now you know what we’ve been up to. What have you been up to? Does your little one have any favorite activities? Feel free to share in the comments. We are always looking for great ideas!