I always love this time of year. The change of season always seems to inspire me to get organised and plan new ways to play and this Fall I’ve got a whole bunch of activities planned to keep Florence busy. I thought I would start […]
Category: Baby Play
With the weather outside so incredibly hot at the moment (I’m not complaining, love the sunshine!), we’ve been taking refuge indoors during the warmest times of the day and so I’ve been looking for ways to keep Florence entertained and calm at the same time. […]
Not so long ago, I told you all about our plans to transform our garden from a drab and swampy mess into a toddler friendly play space for Florence to take advantage of through the summer. While I have planters across the middle of the garden which Florence is obviously able to play with, I wanted to create a little garden patch of her own within the whole garden itself and I thought I’d show you how we made our own Little Tikes Turtle Sensory Garden.
We bought a Little Tikes Turtle Sandpit from Smyths Toy Shop, but if you’re lucky you can pick them up on facebook selling groups or gumtree second hand for half the price. You will only need the base bit so either discard of the lid or store it away somewhere. I am still trying to think up a handy use for it so we’ve kept ours. Sean drilled a few holes in the bottom of the sandpit to allow for water drainage so that it didn’t become swamped through rainy periods.
We filled the pit with a 125L bag of peat free compost before planting our herbs & plants. We chose to plant a variety of strong scented herbs opting for rosemary, thyme, lavender, basil & mint along with a strawberry plant and some pink & purple petunias in between which are just starting to come into bloom. For added colour I’ve sewn some seed packets I picked up from Wilko but have to confess, I have no idea which ones went in! I think some of them might be sweet peas? They seem to be coming along just nicely anyway. The turtle sandpit is conveniently accessible from all angles but I’ve also made sure to leave a patch without any plants at the front so that she can climb in and out to play & explore this little corner of our garden too.
We have also added some little bug windmills from B&M which she loves to watch spin in the breeze along with some hand painted Lady Bug Pebbles which are just waiting for their spots.
Each morning I’ve headed out with Florence – in all weathers! – to check on how it’s all growing, to water the plants & we even ‘tickle’ them for extra growing power. Of course, this is already a great source of sensory play for Florence as there are a wealth of textures on offer for her to feel, there’s an abundance of smells, and the herbs are completely edible so it opens up an opportunity to explore her sense of taste too. Once the all the flowers are in full bloom the bright colours will also be quite visually stimulating, but for now the windmills and little bug touches are doing a pretty good job!
At just over one year old, the whole concept of what we are doing and why isn’t exactly understood just yet, but I hope that this Little Tikes turtle sensory garden of ours will act as a lovely baby friendly introduction to gardening and provide a whole host of play opportunities over time.
I’ll be back soon with a post on the progress of our garden as a whole as we’ve made so many improvements over the last few weeks but in the meantime if you fancy giving this a go yourself, I’d love to hear how you get on!
With so many lovely responses to my recent Simple Baby Play posts, I thought I would finally get around to sharing with you a list of items I class as baby play essentials. These are all things that I have built up over time and […]
I’ve had so many lovely messages about my last baby play post that I thought I’d share another five simple baby play ideas with you guys. What’s in the bag? Whenever my Mum comes to visit, the first thing Florence does is empty her handbag […]
Since having Florence, I have become passionate about play. I have loved seeing how, even from an early age, Florence has learned new skills and understandings through playing and today I wanted to share with you 5 simple baby play activities that you can do with your little one without needing anything you don’t probably already have at home.
Florence loves balls! We have a basket of balls of all different types and sizes and it’s the first thing I grab when we need a quick play activity. We practice rolling them, throwing them, bouncing them, putting them in and out of the basket and sometimes even the dog joins in for a little game of fetch! Ball games are a brilliant introduction to physical play and a great way to develop hand eye coordination and gross motor skills.
Pots & Pans Band
Babies love making noise and this super simple baby play is always a winner in our house. Plus it’s free as everyone has at least one saucepan and a wooden spoon in their kitchen and honestly, that is all you need! You can add a few more pots or pans or musical instruments in to the mix if you want to.
Helping with the laundry
This is hands down one of the best buyers of time for when you just need to get stuff done – ie laundry! I actually happened upon it by accident, I popped Florence down in the laundry basket for a quick second and she busied herself with the pegs for ages! Taking them in and out of the beg basket, clipping them on to the side, putting them all back in.
All you need for this is a colander and a pack of pipe cleaners or straws. Poke the pipe cleaners through the holes of the upside down colander and encourage your baby to pull them out and poke them back in again. Simple as that and it keeps Florrie’s little fingers busy for a while. I often name the colors of the pipe cleaners as she picks one up.
Explore the Garden
Now that the weather is showing signs of improving we are getting out into the garden a lot more. Florence loves being outside and we are currently in the middle of making our garden a lovely little toddler friendly play space. Simply having free roam to explore and take in everything the great outdoors has to offer is perhaps the simplest sensory play a little one could need. Florence likes tickling the flowers and picking up the stones & sticks to examine.
Today, Florence turned 11 months and I am finding it quite hard to believe just how close we are to Florence turning one! We are busy making plans to celebrate a year of Florence Ivy in style and today has been all about searching out […]
As you know, we’re working with Hape in the lead up to Christmas to share our thoughts on a selection of their baby toys. Last week, I told you all about all the fun we’ve been having with our Penguin wobbler and this week I […]