Seed counting

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Seed counting

Healthy eating: you know it’s important, but how do you make it fun? Here is a simple game that not only uses fruit that you can eat, but encourages early practice in counting as well. You need an apple, pear, orange or any other seeded fruit you like. Cut the fruit in quarters and together with your little one, count the number of seeds you can see, and then enjoy.

Life is a parade

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Life is a parade

Your little one is pretty active right now, climbing on top of the couch, climbing over his big sister, trying to escape out the front door! Encourage this new-found sense of adventure by getting down to his level and playing this game. Start by getting on the move through the house in a parade of two, one following the other, as you crawl under the table, climb over a pillow,.

Magnet fun

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Magnet fun

The humble household fridge magnet is brilliant for occupying small hands when you are most busy, like when you’re cooking the evening meal. If you want to be more creative with your magnets, why not get a set of numbers or alphabet letters that are available in toy shops? Even those holiday souvenir fridge magnets can be a colourful distraction for your child. Encourage your child to try to make.

Shoe play

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Shoe play

You know all those shoes you have hidden in the back of the wardrobe – the ones that still haven’t made it back into fashion but you can’t bear to part with them? Or ones that don’t quite fit ever since you had your little bundle of joy? Well now is the time to dust them off and bring them out of isolation! Your little one gets a real kick.

Flour fun!

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Flour fun!

Sometimes the contents of your kitchen presses can become the most fun play tools, and playing with lovely soft flour is no exception. To begin, set up a couple of buckets to catch escaped flour, or simply wait to vacuum it all up later. Add a couple of sieves or a powder shaker, or be more creative, and punch some holes in an old milk carton or egg container etc..

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.

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.

This is the way I wash my hands

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This is the way I wash my hands

It’s never too early to start good hygiene habits! Washing hands in lovely warm, soapy water is a pleasant and soothing distraction, and has the added benefits of keeping germs at bay! Keep a bottle of baby hand-wash by your kitchen and bathroom sink and prop your child up helping him wash his hands. You can even fill up a small bucket or basin with water and bubbles and let.

Mini-me animals!

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Mini-me animals!

This is a fun way to get that excess energy out of your little one, and it gets you both moving! Pretend to be a mummy or daddy animal and ask your toddler to follow you as you move around on all fours, roaring like a lion, prancing around like a horse and slithering on the ground like a snake! Take turns being the grown-up animal and make guessing what.