Play Ideas From Your Kitchen Cupboard {Guest Post}

Sometimes I find the best play ideas are the simplest ones. The activities which don't require many materials. You don't even need to go to the craft shop. In fact you probably already have these items in your pantry, utensil drawer or kitchen cupboard. That's the theme of today's guest post by Amy from The Egg Box Parent. She has some fantastic ideas to share with you all today (and something for all ages!).

Thanks Amy! The floor is yours!
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My name is Amy I am mum to a very busy one year old. I have lots of qualification in early childhood and I am currently finishing my masters in Child Development. I have worked within early years my entire carer both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. My most recent role led me to work with some of the most disadvantaged children and families in Australia. Upon meeting these families it soon became apparent that these children needed to gain the same skills as any other child, without any toys, flash cards or printouts. Through this my Instagram page The Egg Box Parent was born. My philosophy leans heavily towards education. I believe that children do not need copious amounts of toys to help them achieve their developmental milestones and we already have all the resources we need to get them there. We all know that the favourite present at Christmas is the box the toy came in, I have embraced this and try to create as many learning opportunities as possible with what I can find in the cupboard at home.

- Musical pots and pans
- Tissue box scarves
- Fine motor with cotton balls
- Pasta in a tub!


1. Tummy Time Pillowcase

This activity is perfect for those tummy time babies but older babies can get lots of enjoyment out of it also.
Resources;
  • Pillow case
  • Baking paper
  • Tin foil
  • Paper 

Scrunch up some foil and baking paper and place in the pillowcase, pushing it to one end. Lay the pillowcase on the floor and place baby on top. Little hands will soon work out there is something interesting to crunch inside. Tummy time itself helps develops lots of skills and recent research suggests that babies who engage in tummy time regularly are more likely to reach gross motor milestones such as rolling, crawling and walking sooner than those who do not. The activity itself is designed to stimulate babies sense's in particular touch and sound but as we all know, taste is likely to get a look in too.

2. Sensory wash

This activity is ideal for babies who are 6 months right though to 5 years (and older). For little ones this can be done in the bath tub, for older children you can get them in the garden with a bucket or washing up bowl.
Resources;
  • Dish clothes
  • Water
  • Paddling pool, tub, bath, shower, bucket
  • Herbs and or fruit (we used rosemary, thyme, lemon and orange peel)
  • Something to clean 


Have a hunt around the kitchen for foods that have a nice fragrance and wont turn to mush in water. Place your items in the middle of your clean dishcloth, (we have placed them in separate cloths but they can all go in together) pull the cloth together and tie the corners together creating a pouch. (or sew if you have the skills!) Once you have you have cloths loaded with your lovely scents place them in a tub of warm water and let your little ones go wild, we added some things to 'clean' as rubbing the cloths makes the scent much stronger. Try to talk to your child and ask lots of open questions if they are talking if they are not yet verbalising then use lots of adjectives.

3. Rice Writing. 

This activity is great for our preschooler.
Resources;

  • Rice
  • Tray
  • Pastry brush, stick or paint brush 


Place the rice in a shallow tray and cover the bottom of the tray, Allow you child to use the brush to move the rice around drawing or writing letters. You can dye your rice but this will require pre planning. Children can practice their letters or draw pictures. Using rice is a different skill to using a pencil and much more sensory but allows children's to practice letter shapes and develops creativity as well as fine motor control and hand-eye coordination.

4. Colander Threading

This activity is perfect for busy toddlers, its very simple, its safe and there is no mess!
Resources

  • Colander
  • Straws 


This one is really easy, give your Toddler a colander and a handful of straws. The objective is to push the straws through the holes of the colander. This activity develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor control.

5. Smash Bags

This activity is great for babies aged months plus (babies who are sitting).
Resources

  • Sandwich bags
  • Cereal such as cornflakes
  • Shaving foam or shaving gel (hair gel works too) 


Place your cereal in one bag and the shaving foam in the other, make sure you push the air our before sealing them, I tend to tape my bags onto the high chair or table. Encourage your baby to explore the different bags. This activity is very tactile and will develop sensory skills. Older children will be able to tell you how each bag feels. If you have a baby that enjoys banging things add a wooden spoon to the activity.

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Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas Amy!
Lauren xx

5 comments

  1. Awesome ideas. If there's one thing I would change about the way I parented my kids as toddlers it would be to have less toys. I remember how little they played with their toys and how often they played with my kitchen cupboard of plastic bowls and containers, lol (hours – daily!)

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  2. These are great ideas! We had already gotten rid of a lot of our baby and toddler toys before our third little man arrived so I'm very keen to learn new ways he can play without having to buy anything!

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  3. These types of play ideas are just THE BEST. So easy to achieve. My kids used to love playing with plastic cups often.

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  4. Great ideas that are so practical and don't require mum going to great lengths to entertain the kids.

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  5. Awesome ideas! Colander threading was one my girls absolute favourite things to do when she was little. Zip-lock bag painting with paint or paint & a bit of shaving foam was also on high rotation!
    #teamIBOT

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