Motherhood is a shock to the system. When your first child is born you enter a world full of new terms and presumed common knowledge, developmental concepts and a never ending list of do’s and don’ts. The pre-child me was pretty clueless to all things baby related. Who knew that babies could even play?
Sensory play, sensory bottles, discovery bottles, Montessori this and child-led that – it was all alien and the expanse of baby play ideas was nothing short of overwhelming. Clever marketers will have you believe that you need the latest loudest, brightest, all singing and dancing baby gadget to show your baby a good time and push them along to meet their milestones.
And as a new parent, I believed them!
Fast forward 7 years and I have three little darlings, and I can tell you with absolute confidence that you don’t need all the shiny singing baby gadgets. In fact, you hardly need anything at all all!
Baby play is an amazing process and today I’ve put together a collection of 21 simple play ideas we’ve tried and tested over the years. These ideas will not cost the earth, they’re devoid of pretentiousness and are all about having fun and playing.
Shall we take a look?
21 Simple Baby Play Ideas
Edible paint is a is fabulous way for babies to safely enjoy messy play. Many babies will love the sensation of squishing, squashing, moving the paint while trying to figure out the cause and effect of how paint found it way onto their tiny little hands
Some babies love noise and colour, and these simple sensory pots make use of items you’re likely to have in craft/kitchen cupboards.
Themed discovery baskets are a great way to introduce your baby to new sounds, textures and shapes, and can be as simple as grouping a number of same colour items, to shiny objects or even coordinated to use alongside a reading of their favourite book!
Sensory play doesn’t get easier than these liquid and solid sensory bags, using a zip locked bag and basic kitchen items.
My own baby loves playing with a stuffed shape sorter and will spend a number of ‘baby hours’ pulling out the ribbons and fabric, exploring the varied textures.
Can you imagine the fun of clambering over a soft cushion to then crawling over bubble wrap? Babies will LOVE this sensory runway!
This DIY play ring is an amazing way to stimulate very young babies and encourage tummy time!
I adore the idea of this spread of rainbow sensory bottles – a great way for babies to explore colour.
I child’s love of cardboard boxes starts early. Add ribbons and something amazing happens….
This baby’s engaged face tells you everything you need to about this shiny foil blanket experience.
Zip locked bags are an amazing tool for sensory play and can be used for mess-free art (perfect for babies who don’t like messy play), water beads and colour Polka Dot play.
Sensory bottles can be filled with all sorts of household items, but I love the way this blogger added ice and warm water for her baby to explore hot and cold.
This ball drop idea is just pure fun!
You could also try dying household ingredients like rice or pasta to create rainbow themed sensory bags for babies to explore colour and texture.
Babies love to look at themselves and I love the way natural items have been combined with a mirror to create a fantastic mirror baby play idea.
While some babies don’t enjoy mess, there are some that do and if your baby is one them, then this messy gloop idea is one to try!
Here you will see my baby boy playing with bubble wrap and paint. He loved squishing the paint (with the help of big sister) and was utterly bemused by the popping sound and feel of the bubble wrap.
Here’s a fabulous DIY baby play idea using ribbons.
And to finish off our collection of 21 Baby Play Ideas, here’s a simple rainbow musical shaker made using recycled materials!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of baby play ideas and have found a number of ideas to try with your baby!
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