I know it can be overwhelming when it comes to play, where do you start?
I am very aware that I share so many activities, ideas and resources it can be tricky to pinpoint a starting point. So I've made you one- here it is!
So we're going to start by making sure we have a good stock of resources in our cupboard that will support our play. Now don't panic, it does not need to be expensive. Hopefully you know me by now to know that everything I do is designed to inspire you, not make you feel like you need to spend lots of money, because when it comes to play, that is not the answer!
Instead I have put together three starter packs of resources I feel you would get lots of use of, and you will see that some of the resources overlap and that's because they have so much play potential, which effectively means they can be used in a wide variety of ways.
Esential items for baby play
When you have a baby, you will have stocked up on all the essentials for feeding and sleeping, but what about play? What items do you need for playing with a baby?
Here's my essentials box of resources for playing with a baby.
I know it looks a lot but actually when you realise that you could get a years worth of play from these items, it's maybe not so bad!
All of the items fit into the under the bed storage box at the back. I use these a lot of storing my resources as they fit under the sofa, in a cupboard and can actually be used for activities too. I usually pick mine up in Home Bargains.
Here are the essential items for baby play:
(Please note some items are not shown in the photo as they have since been adding on when I realised how essential they are!!)
basket/ bowl or shallow box
puppet or bath mit with clear face (from poundshop)
pasta or other pantry leftovers
scoops in various sizes
silver foil emergency blanket
black and white material or flashcards
light wand (Tiger)
shaker or rattle
spoons in various sizes
food colouring (I use Sugaflair)
watering can or jug
kitchen roll holder
selection of balls
battery powered fairy lights
I would recommend this box of goodies would support play for a baby from newborn to turning one. Of course you could add the toys you already have etc. But this essentials box would provide you with a variety of activities that you can mix up and adapt to suit the age and stage of your baby's development.
You will also notice that the essentials box does not include a tuff spot. Personally a tuff spot for me is an essential item but I know and can appreciate they are not for everyone. If you are thinking about purchasing a tuff spot, I highly recommend you read a recent blog post 'To Buy or Not To Buy a Tuff Spot' where I cover the positives and negatives of having a tuff spot and a few ideas for alternatives. Click here to have a read!
Don't forget our pack of first year playPROMPTS would be a perfect addition and would provide you with ideas of things to do with these items. Click the picture below!
Essential items for play with children aged 1+
Firstly, save all of those items from the baby box because you are bound to use them again. And as well all know, it's a really tricky stage when the children are at that in between stage of being an older baby but not quite a toddler!
But here is the next box of items I think would be ideal to have in your play cupboard that would provide a wide variety of activities for your little ones at home!
Again, I have tried to limit it to those that would fit into the under the bed storage box, mainly because we don't all have endless storage and as I said before the box is ideal for activities too!
This box includes:
pots and pans set (Ikea)
chalkboard spray paint
cereal and other pantry leftovers
pots- large, medium and small
variety of balls
purse and coins
brushes of various sizes
scoops in various sizes
small world people (I like the Happyland range)
dustpan and brush
cocont oil (for making play dough)
food colouring (I use Sugarflair)
Once again, you will have seen that I haven't included a tuff spot in the essentials list as I know they are not suitable to everyone and actually the box and tray included here would work just as well.
I do however, adore our tuff spot and use it regularly so if you are undecided please click to have a read of my blog post 'To Buy or Not To Buy a Tuff Spot'
Of course, there are still so many more things that I could add because so many household items hold so much play potential but I wanted to limit the list to just those things that could be stored in the box. I do feel that this collection of items is so versatile that it could provide a wide variety of activities.
If you are looking for inspiration for things to do with your little ones at home, don't forget our playPROMPTS are a fab resource to have to hand at home for days when your exhausted and in need of some inspiration!