It’s a fact, babies just don’t stay babies for long, and at some point the cuddles and snuggles will not be enough, they will need….entertaining!
To coin a phrase…. How hard can it be?….well let me tell you, sometimes VERY hard indeed! Bearing in mind your precious little one will probably have an attention span of about a millisecond; you’ll need the largest box of tricks known to man in order to keep them entertained for long.
Now luckily they start off slowly, they get tired quickly, so this is their way of easing us into eventually spending 4 hours playing Monopoly or similar!
I started looking into sensory play and discovered a wealth of fantastic ideas to not only entertain baby but begin the very important process of learning too. Something to stimulate the senses and that baby can join in with, rather than just sitting/laying watching you do something! (Cause let’s face it that would be boring!)
I started by buying a large clear storage box with a lid, this would become the sensory box and would sit in our living room, on hand, for when entertainment was required. Then as I was out and about I’d be looking in shops and in nature to find things that would be safe but interesting to touch, hear etc. I found no end of inspiration on Pinterest and dedicated a board to all the ideas I liked.
I’ve compiled a list of what’s in our box so hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration too;
1. Tambourine – Lots of noise!
2. Maraca – Slightly less noise!
3. Spikey Ball & Ring – These are by far Georges Favourite items
4. Holey Ball – This can be stuffed with fabric scraps for them to pull out too
5. Little Tikes Drum – Lights up and plays tunes responding to the taps
6. Space Blanket – NOTE: this is a noisy one!!!!! They love it though, lay them on top and as they wriggle around it makes loads of rustly noise!
7. Bright Coloured tubs – Picnic pots from ASDA but they stack and you can hide things under them to find!
8. Transparent Rainbow Pencil case – Hold it up to a light, Magic!
9. Rain Shaker – My partner bought this as a souvenir in Mexico years ago but the sound is fantastic and George loves listening to it.
10. Plastic Bottles filled with different things! – We have one with Multi-coloured Plastic Buttons, one with wooden beads, one with clear Crystals and they all make a different sound too. We also have one with fluffy pompoms (I like this one best as its silent!)
11. Ribbons tied to a wooden curtain loop – An odd one I found on Pinterest but its fab, you can customise the colours, do a black & white one, multi-coloured, whatever you fancy!
12. A car polishing mitten – Another favourite, he loves feeling the microfiber fingers.
13. A shimmering rainbow fabric length – This can be wafted over them when lying down, they can snuggle it, held up in the sun it looks fab too!
14. A Shimmering Starry length of Fabric – This one I discovered at our Daisy Baby Wrigglers group and I just loved it! I sourced the fabric online and made our own night sky at home.
15. Feathers – I found some bright coloured craft ones.
16. Artificial Leaves – Sprinkle them over them as they lay down! George loves this!
17. Large Sparkly Pipe Cleaners – NOTE: you do need to be careful with these as they contain wire and they can hurt themselves if left to their own devises!
18. Bubbles! – No sensory box would be complete without a tube of bubbles for blowing! (TIP: Carry one in your changing bag too, just in case you need entertainment on the go!)
19. Sparkly Balls – Roll them about and the glitter disperses, let them stay still and it all settles. Fascinating!
20. A shower Puff – A clean unused one obviously, but the texture is a great new discovery!
21. A light up bow – Fibre optic light up present bow, changes colour.
22. A Cat teaser toy – NOTE: Shut the cats OUT the room when attempting play with this one!
23. A shimmering Gift Bag – In the sun this never fails to attract their attention!
24. A mermaid Cushion – George has a black/silver one and is fascinated by it!
25. Ok so this one technically isn’t in the box but it is something to entertain – No mess Painting! Another idea borrowed from Pinterest. Place a piece of paper in a zip lock food bag, put a few dollops of ready mixed paint on the paper, zip shut and tape down to their highchair tray. Encourage them to push the paint about inside the bag! Voila! Painting but without the mess!
There are so many more ideas to try and as we learn some more I will be sure to keep sharing them!