Three MORE Simple Activities | Baby & Toddler Play

I'm back again with three more super easy new activities for your baby or toddler (click here for my previous post Three Simple Activities). My aim with these activities is that they are low cost, low mess and low fuss! My 15 month old is at the stage where new and interesting things really capture her attention and (can) keep her occupied for ages! I relish in these moments of independent play during our busy life - and try to breathe deep, take it all in and appreciate those times.

So without further ado - here are today's ideas!

This is such a beautiful activity for fine motor development. Your little one will love pulling out the pipe cleaners and may even try to put them back in again. This one was a big hit! You could also use straws if that's what you've got around the house (although my colander holes were too small for straws).

Does your toddler love putting things into boxes and then taking them out again over and over? We love finger puppet play at the moment and this is a great chance to talk about animal names and the sounds they make. You could also cut up scrap material to put into the tissue box and pull them out like pretend 'tissues'.

Don't you find it amusing that 'tupperware' the brand is the word we use for all plastic containers? Every kitchen in Australia probably has a whole cupboard named after it! Anyway, my little one has loved playing with tupperware for months and is just beginning to recognise a few colours. I presented them to her all jumbled up and assisted her to sort them out into their colours. She loved the pom poms and kept calling them "balls". She couldn't yet put the right coloured pom poms into the right cups on her own, but it was still fun and I tried to show her! It goes without saying that this activity requires constant supervision to ensure that the pom poms aren't swallowed.


Hope you found something useful whether you are a regular reader or have just somehow stumbled upon my little corner of the internet.

Lauren :)


Sprinkled With Love | Baby #2 Needs Some Love Too

Have you read my previous "Baby Shower Ideas" post? Well I'm pleased to announce that I now have an 11 week old divine nephew who I (and his cousin) absolutely adore. I had the honour of hosting a "Baby Sprinkle" for a very dear friend of mine over the weekend and wanted to share some of the lovely little things I planned. It was very low key and at my friend's request, I didn't go overboard.

Second time around parents usually have most of the things they'll need from their first baby - but I think it's still special to have a little get together to celebrate the new arrival of a second baby. Hence the mother is 'sprinkled with love' rather than 'showered' with hundreds of expensive gifts!

Firstly, I wanted to help my friend come up with some baby boy name inspiration - she was after unique and unusual names, and liked several that we came up with. We shared many-a-laugh as the sheet was passed around the table. There really aren't many names to choose from that begin with I, V, Y and Q ;)

For the last baby shower I hosted, I did the 'Nursery Rhyme Quiz' so a similar idea for the baby sprinkle was 'Name that Story Book'. With most of the attendees being teacher types like me, I thought I'd made it too easy, but numbers 8 and 9 had everyone stumped! Please comment below if you'd like a copy of either of these games emailed to you and I can include the answer sheet.

Pictured below is a special little token gift for the mumma-to-be, with the hope that every time she gets it out of her pantry, she'll be reminded of her 'baby sprinkle (I'm sure her almost two year old will love them!) You could also do these a gifts for guests, but as I said, we kept it cheap, easy and low key (these little jars are available at the Reject Shop).

Photograph taken by the mother-to-be :)

The gifts I did prepare for the guests were these white chocolate and sprinkle covered strawberries! I don't normally include food photos on my blog - but I was quite proud of myself for whipping up these little beauties and popped them into baby blue noodle boxes!

Right Photograph taken by the mother-to-be :)

So, mumma-to-be if you're reading this, I hope you enjoyed your special day with us and we cannot wait to celebrate the arrival of your little man.

Thanks for reading,

Food Colouring Fun | More Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory Play is becoming a regular activity in our household...and we are loving it! I've built up my resources and figured out a great way to manage the mess. I'm really enjoying watching the cogs turning in my little toddler's mind as she plays, and then asks for "more" by signing (incase you're wondering, we've also taught her "eat", "all gone" and "toilet" in baby sign language).

I've posted back in February about making rainbow rice and rainbow spaghetti for sensory play, and this week I tried coloured macaroni. The difference between this and the rainbow spaghetti is that it's dry rather than wet and slippery. Such a feast for the senses - sight, sound and touch!!

I searched around a bit and tried three different methods -
  • simply diluting some food colouring in water
  • food colouring with vinegar
  • and food colouring with alcohol hand wash
I simply put the liquid in a container with some macaroni, shook it around a bit and left it out to dry on paper towel. I must say the pasta that I mixed with water became a bit sticky, and the vinegar had quite a strong smell (although many bloggers say that if you leave it out in the sun for a bit the smell will almost disappear). So the best result was actually the hand wash!

I had two things in mind for the rainbow pasta - a sensory bin (above) and a new discovery bottle (below).  Click this link for my other discovery bottle ideas. I was all enthused to create some new and interesting discovery bottles for my little miss, as they loose their appeal after a while.

From L-R Gems & Glitter | Coloured Pasta | Pom Poms & Rice | Paperclips & Foil | Oil & Food Colouring.

It's also lovely to combine plain pasta with other sensory materials such as lentils, beans and oats.

From L-R Macaroni | Oats | Red Lentils | Red Kidney Beans | Penne Pasta

So - my secrets to keeping the mess to a minimum, is to set up for sensory play outside. However it's winter here in little old Adelaide at the moment so my alternative is on the kitchen floor inside a little sand pit/ball pit/paddle pool/clam shell whatever you like to call them. It certainly contains the mess and makes pack up quick and easy. I'm currently modelling and teaching my toddler to use a dustpan and broom to pick up any stray sensory materials that might escape the pool (one of the key Montessori approaches to early learning is 'practical life' - ie washing dishes, cleaning up etc).

And there you have it - some simple sensory play ideas with items you may already have in your pantry :)

Thanks for reading

Love to Learn Linky Featured


Nuts 'n' Bolts Board | Toddler Play

This post is possible thanks to hubby! He did such an amazing job creating this "Nuts 'n' Bolts Board" for our toddler. She has recently shown such an interest in light switches, door knobs, handles, door knockers and buttons that we knew this would be the perfect outdoor activity to keep her amused. We find that Little Miss One is always so 'busy' when she's outside and is always interested in the jobs her Dad is doing in the garage or shed - so when I saw this idea on (yes you guessed it) Pinterest, we knew she would love it. And she does! The door bell is the favourite so far, and it's amazing to see her concentration when trying to put the key into the key hole. Her fine motor skills are developing right before our eyes!

Now, my previous post was about Sensory Play, and these boards are often referred to as "Sensory Boards" as they engage sight, touch and sound. Since it was going to be outside (undercover) and it needed to be relatively water proof, we didn't add any different textures such as carpet or fabric. So I thought "Nuts 'n' Bolts Toddler Board" was a more appropriate name.

Now I must point out that there are gaps. The top left is for her name (we took the blog photo before attaching the letters due to privacy reasons) and the gaps beyond her reach will allow us to add to it as she grows and gets taller! It's attached to a brick wall about 20 cm from the ground, so everything from the CD below is within reach of Miss One.

Here are the items we used (from L-R, top - bottom)
  • Letters of her name (not displayed due to privacy reasons)
  • Numbers 1, 2, 3
  • Hand towel rail (to clip things onto)
  • Door bell speaker (battery operated)
  • CD which spins
  • Slide bolt
  • Trailer socket
  • Light switch
  • Strip of metal (for magnets)
  • Key in a sliding door lock (we made sure to attach the key to the board so she couldn't remove it)
  • Door handle
  • Door bell button
  • Coloured carabiners
  • Wheels
  • Door security chain
The wooden board is marine ply which is important if the board may get wet. We also varnished it to give it a nicer finish.

It goes without saying that supervision is always essential when "under 3's" are playing with homemade toys such as these.

Thanks again hubby for creating this fantastic Nuts 'n' Bolts Toddler Board...

...and thanks to my readers for stopping by my little corner of the Internet once again :)

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