A great way to support babies development is to provide safe opportunities for them to explore and discover new experiences and to experiment .
When introducing new Food and textures creative play provides babies with the opportunity to try and test new texture experiences, in a positive and fun environment. Do ensure that you baby is supervised at all times during creative play and any sharp and choking hazards are out of the way.
Pop up puppet
This helps when a baby is getting idea that something still exists even when it can't be seen
What you'll need: A yoghurt pot or large paper cup; a straw, a small colourful toy (a finger puppet works best); some tape or glue.
Punch a hole in the bottom of yoghurt pot, or coffee cup. Insert a straw through the hole, then glue or tape to the tip a small cuddly toy, plastic figure, or, even better, a finger puppet (just slip it over the end of the stick and secure it with a bit of tape). Now you have a hand-operated pop-up toy. Pull the stick down so the toy or puppet is hidden inside the can or cup, then push it up suddenly when you want the jack-in-the-can to greet your baby.
Sharing the experience of the making activity helps to involve baby and there is often a greater response to playing with an item when participants in the game have been involved in the making.
See through bottle
This helps when a baby is discovering the that items change and that they can affect the way the items change.
Skills developed: dexterity, familiarity with colours
What you'll need: a clear plastic bottle (or several) with a tightly fitting screw-on lid; food colouring; washing-up liquid.
Fill a large, clear plastic bottle, such as a water bottle, one-third full of water. Add a few drops of washing-up liquid and a few drops of food colouring. Close the bottle tightly and give it to your baby; show him how to shake it up and make eye-catching coloured bubbles. Make several bottles using different shades of food colouring. Try adding oil, glitter etc., and use them to introduce your baby to the various colours. Show him how to roll the bottles across the floor.
This helps to inspire your child’s love of reading and stories introduce animated bedtime story.
Skills developed: Verbal, hearing
What you'll need: A felt board, available from educational toy shops and catalogues; sheets of coloured felt and scissors, or ready-cut felt shapes.
You can use traditional shop-bought felt shapes, which usually come in themed sets (farm animals, numbers, faces, and so on) or make your own by cutting them out with scissors. A good place to start is with simple shapes and picture you have cut out of magazines and tell a story.
Sit facing your baby with the felt board propped on your knees so it is clearly visible. Tell your story - any story! It could be about something you have done together that day. Include your baby in the story, use different voices, facial expressions, try whispering and use pauses. Involve your baby in the story as much a possible.
Box Peek a boo
This provides the experience of a positive surprise and that items can still there even though they can’t be seen.
Skills developed: Understanding of object permanence, fine motor skills
What you'll need: Recycled boxes, teddy bear or other toys.
Playing with and hiding teddies around the home is a fun way to keep your baby engaged in where has teddy gone. Use your recycling boxes and hide teddy in one of the boxes. You could use the box as a house and lay teddy on a blanket to show he was sleeping. Using examples of activity in role play can support the your babies understanding of what the activity is all about. My three boys came to the office the other day, and transformed a box into a very cool house. It took them hours and they were so proud of their creation. Never underestimate the power of a box!
If you would like to discover more about how The Creation Station could support the work you are doing in your setting, please contact our inspiring team on 0844 854 9100.