Summer is finally here! Shall we play?
Story & Treasure Baskets
A story basket is a perfect way to explore a book or theme together and can be adapted easily to suit your child’s age. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, and you can use toys and household resources you have around the house- you will be surprised how many items you can link in once you start looking!
Creating a summer/beach themed story basket is a great way to introduce and talk through the theme with your child. From ice cream scoops/bowls, to plastic/wooden ocean animals to items simply in the colour of the theme, these will all be perfect for the themed basket.
Allow your little one to explore the basket at their own pace, taking ownership of the learning and exploring each item. Adults can support learning by showing, modelling, offering verbal encouragement and asking questions.
Exposure to a range of textures, sounds and sights helps to create pathways in the brain for babies. You could create a summer themed basket around the colour yellow by including yellow sponges, yellow fabric materials, yellow balls, yellow household items that would be safe to explore and yellow toys. Shop yellow Petit Boum sensory bottles here.
Sharing the story together and allowing your baby to explore the items in the basket creates an ideal learning through play experience.
Umbrella Sensory Play
When it is a beautiful day, take the play outside! It is important to keep babies out of direct sunlight and cool in the shade, so this play set up is ideal. Using a large umbrella to protect baby, you can attach a variety of materials that can gently blow in the breeze and catch baby’s attention. Hanging items or toys will encourage little eyes to focus and reach up towards thus supporting visual and physical development. Ribbons, play scarves, wooden rings or CDs attached to ribbon (be careful not to be in sunlight) would all be ideal for this activity. It is important that baby is never left unattended and must be always under adult supervision with items out of reach.
Cloud Dough Sand – Sensory Play
Cloud dough is a simple, engaging and fun sensory play experience for little ones to enjoy. It can be made to create a beach like texture that can be set up for small world play and supporting development.
You will need:
- 6 cups of flour
- 2 cups of vegetable oil (or coconut oil if you would like an added sensory element)
Simply mix the ingredients together to create a mouldable texture and then you are good to go!
Including small world figures such as Lanka Kade allows the opportunity for creativity, imagination and speech and language. Shop Lanka Kade here.
Dress Up/Role Play
Role play is a fun way for children to learn about themselves, others, and the world that they live in. It supports a range of areas of development including imagination and creativity, speech and language, social and emotional, problem solving and physical development. As parents and carers, our role is to allow little ones to experience the world that they live in and opportunities to make sense of their experiences through play.
Have a box with a selection of items for little ones to explore and use to role play.
This can include:
- Sun hats
- Sun cream
- Suitcase to pack
- Beach balls/inflatable rings
- Buckets and spades
Shop Scrunch here
Ice cream stall
Who doesn’t like ice cream!? Why not set up your own role play ice cream shop! Perfect for toddlers as you can allow them to recreate experiences and use their imaginations. Talk about the colours & names of ice creams, count how many scoops, model language and ask your little shop keeper questions whilst they create their creations! You will need a selection of ice cream tubs, scoops and cones (real is perfect!). You can use a variety of materials to make the ‘ice creams’ – I personally like to use large pom poms with coloured rice as ‘sprinkles’ but you could use play dough, shaving foam and food colouring, scrunched up balls of coloured tissue paper or kinetic sand. The learning can be further extended by introducing a till and money and introducing numbers into the play.