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.

Simon says

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Simon says

This game can be easily adapted to suit even the smallest children. Games at this age should be simple, fast and use words from the world around them that they are beginning to recognize. Start by saying you are going to play a game, and that they need to do as you say. Use simple tasks and language at first like “hands on head”. Little ones love the repetition in.

Let’s exercise

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Let’s exercise

It might seem that your little one has a never-ending supply of energy and enthusiasm, so have fun together in this structured exercise routine! Play some fun, rhythmic music and announce that it’s “exercise time” before you begin. Let your child mirror your simple bending and stretching movements like these: put your hands on your head, touch the floor (well, at least she will!), shake your hands way up high.

Sweep it up

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Sweep it up

Maybe it’s the satisfaction of seeing a big pile of dirt, or maybe it’s simply a natural desire to help – whatever the reason, most small children are crazy about sweeping, so give yours a diminutive broom or push mop and a dustpan and brush. He’ll have a great time using it, and your floor might even get clean in the process. This is a good activity to help develop.

Box in a box

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Box in a box

This is an easy version of pass the parcel except bigger! Collect a variety of boxes that will nest one inside another. Cardboard boxes are good for this playtime. Try to get very large boxes and very small boxes, as well as everything in between. Place a favourite toy or treat in the smallest box for your child to find at the end of the game. Close the small box.

Stickers

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Stickers

Investing in a wide selection of stickers to be stored in your car, handbag, changing bag and anywhere else you can think of, is a great idea! A fussing toddler can be kept distracted for more than five minutes with a packet of stickers, as the simple act of trying to peel them off requires concentration while calm is restored. Simple block stickers used in the office are great, as.

Feely bag fun

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Feely bag fun

Sometimes the best ingredients for fun are already in your home. This home-made feely bag is a great way to introduce the concept of texture to your little one. Start off by gathering together a few different textured items that are small enough to fit inside a child-sized bag. The reusable cotton shopping bags are great for this kind of play. You can always write your little one’s name on.