Hide and seek

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Hide and seek

Here is a simple version of hide and seek that is perfect for younger children. Choose a room with lots of potential hiding spots (such as the dining room or sitting room) and start hiding! When you find a place to hide, like under the kitchen table, say in a loud voice, “Where am I hiding? Where has mummy gone? Can you see me?” Wait a moment or two in.

My first senses book

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My first senses book

Young children learn best at this age through using their senses. Here is a great way to introduce all the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. You’ll need 6 pieces of paper, a hole punch, string, glue, crayons. Alternatively a hardcover binder book with pages inside will work just as well. Make a page for each sense, using magazine cut-outs or photos found online (try www.flickr.com) and paste.

A pirate’s treasure bottle

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A pirate’s treasure bottle

This homemade toy may look like nothing more than a bottle of rice, but roll it once or twice, and a host of hidden objects will appear before your eyes. Playing with the treasure bottle is a great way of building the important eye muscles in your little one, and also aids concentration and hand-eye coordination. All that learning in one plastic bottle! You’ll need a clear plastic soft drink.

Make it shake!

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Make it shake!

It is undeniable just how much fun little ones get from music and their first musical instruments. You don’t need to go out and buy your mini-maestro their very own three-piece band kit if you give these fun craft ideas a go. Shakers become first musical instruments at this age, so channel your creativity and make some music! Simple sound maker: Using an empty large coffee can, put in a.

Explore jars

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Explore jars

A selection of jars and tubs filled with interesting objects will keep an inquisitive baby engaged. If you have the creative flair, try covering some tubs and jars with bright pictures (family and friends, animals etc. ). Then fill the newly decorated (and personalised!) containers with small toys like blocks, shakers, plastic balls, other smaller containers etc. Obviously ensure the size of the objects is not a choking hazard. Wobblers.

Surprise smell game

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Surprise smell game

Little ones are naturally inquisitive about the world around them and you can encourage that interest by helping them explore their sense of smell. You will need to source and collect at least five or six shakers or jars with pierced lids for the dry smells you will be using. You will also need something soft like cotton balls for the liquid smells in this game, for fresh food items.

Push me, pull me

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Push me, pull me

So it finally happened! Your quietly sitting baby has started to move around the house crawling, creeping and pulling at anything they can reach. Take advantage of this new active nature by providing fun, movable objects that will build up their budding muscles. Good items you may already have in your home for this kind of play include little one-size tables and chairs, (the wooden kind are the most sturdy),.

Tunnel time

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Tunnel time

Here is a great way to get a reluctant crawler and starter-walker moving. Tape a few cardboard boxes (large enough for your little one to try to crawl through easily) together with some strong masking tape to form a tunnel. Gather a selection of her favourite toys or stuffed animals together, and using cushions and pillows, create some obstacles in the tunnel making it more difficult to crawl through. Toys.

Splash, splash, splash!

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Splash, splash, splash!

What is wet, tactile, enjoyable and costs you nothing at all? Water! Little ones love playing with water, especially out of the bath so give this a go. Half fill the sink with water, add some dishwashing liquid for bubbles and you have made yourself an attractive, sensory activity for little ones to play with. A running tap works just as well or even a small (safely filled) washing tub.

My photo box

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My photo box

Little ones love to look at photos of themselves and other little people so this homemade photo box just for them is great. You’ll need a large selection of photos of other wobblers’ faces in a variety of moods. Wobblers and children you know are good but you can be creative and use images from magazines and the internet too (try www.flickr.com). Find an empty shoe box or gift box.