Category: Baby Play

DIY SENSORY EASTER EGGS FOR BABIES & TODDLERS {GIFTED SAMPLES USED}

DIY SENSORY EASTER EGGS FOR BABIES & TODDLERS {GIFTED SAMPLES USED}

Over the last week or so, I’ve been busy behind the scenes making bits and bobs for the littles’ Easter gifts. Today I wanted to share with you these unbelievably simple DIY sensory Easter eggs that I’ve added to William’s Easter basket ready to play […]

Toy Review: Playing in a Winter Wonderland with Zimpli Kids SnoBall Play

Toy Review: Playing in a Winter Wonderland with Zimpli Kids SnoBall Play

It’s been a long time since I shared any of our tuff spot play, but today I thought I’d show you one of the Christmas play activities we’ve been loving throughout Advent. This morning I created a winter wonderland tuff spot using the SnoBall Play […]

Toy Review: Hape Xylophone Shape Sorter

Toy Review: Hape Xylophone Shape Sorter

I’ve teamed up with one of my favourite toy brands to share my thoughts on their top picks for Christmas for babies & toddlers as part of my toy review series. Hape are the worlds largest producer of wooden toys priding themselves on their use of renewable and long lasting materials across their range. Today I’m here to tell you all about the Hape Xylophone Shape Sorter.

Combining two iconic toddler toys, Hape have created a 2 in 1 shape sorter & xylophone which offers a whole host of opportunities to learn and play.

The xylophone, technically a glockenspiel, is comprised of five metal bars with different notes , perfectly pitched for a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle and can be played using the plastic stick that comes with it. I do have to wonder why, when most of the the rest of the toy is made from wood, the stick is plastic? The stick itself is quite light weight and so doesn’t always make the desired sound when used to hit the notes, the way a wooden one would but it is a good shape for little hands.

The notes can also be played by placing the different coloured wooden blocks into their corresponding holes, making the sound a little rewarding sound of success! There is a square, a triangle, a circle, a star and a pentagon and once in place you can tap them, the way you would a piano, to make the bars chime.

The variety of colours and shapes offers up a great opportunity to teach and learn colour & shape words and introduce some sorting too.

I love the way this toy really is two toys 2-in-1 and how it combines sensory and musical play with early education in mind too.

Available on Amazon for £23.99, the Hape Xylophone shape sorter would make a brilliant Christmas or birthday gift for children aged 1-3.

Disclosure: I was sent one Hape Xylophone Shape Sorter in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Toy Review: Christmas Shopping with Wicked Uncle

Toy Review: Christmas Shopping with Wicked Uncle

Over the next few weeks, as we all busy ourselves with Christmas shopping and preparing for the most wonderful time of the year, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some of the many toys out there on the market for babies & toddlers. I am […]

Our Autumn Book Box

Our Autumn Book Box

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 […]

Calming Lavender Rice Sensory Play

Calming Lavender Rice Sensory 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. Over the past couple of weeks I have put together a few different sensory bins that have really worked a treat at stimulating Florence’s imagination and honing in on those fine motor skills. Today I wanted to share with you our Lavender Rice Sensory Play. This is just the perfect play invitation to relax your little one’s and keep them busy out of the heat of the day. I love the way were able to bring a little bit of summer indoors too by using fresh lavender from our garden.

The Recipe

Food Colouring – I used a mix of blue & red gel food colouring

500g Rice

Fresh Lavender

It really couldn’t be simpler.. just pour your rice into a zip lock bag and add in the food colouring. Leave to dry for two hours and then add fresh Lavender sprigs and some crushed lavender. Pour into a box and add some scoops and tools to enhance play.

Ways to Play

Pouring & Scooping

Florence spent a good 20 minutes just exploring the texture of the rice with the scoops and pouring the contents of the cups and scoops onto her other hand / feet. Pouring from one container to another is one of her latest skills and so it was really lovely to watch her really concentrate on filling one cup up with the contents of the scoop. The rice made a lovely rain like sound as it fell. Each time she did it, I would say ‘Scoop it up, pour it into the cup’ giving particular emphasis on ‘Scoop’ and ‘Cup’. By the time we were done, she was very close to mastering the word ‘cup’ herself! 

Flower Play

She soon noticed the flower stems and spent some time feeling them with her fingers. She enjoyed picking off the petals and sprinkling them into the rice. I invited her to smell them and we stood the remaining stems up in the rice to create a garden.

Small World Play

Later on I added some Happy Land Fairies to the box and began to act out a little scene with them for Florence. She soon joined in by making it ‘rain’ by pouring the rice on them, putting them to bed under a blanket of rice and then offering the lavender sprigs to them to smell too – very cute! She really seems to have found a love for roleplay already. 

This is definitely a sensory bin we will revisit over and over and luckily, the box we used has a lid so I can just store it away until we want to pull it out again. I really love the way that this play involves four of the five senses while at the same time being completely calming. At one point, Florence actually got in the box herself which makes me wonder if perhaps this would be a good mix to add to our tuff spot?  It is a perfect activity to pull out between bath & bedtime to wind down or first thing in the morning when everyone is just not quite awake just yet. I would advise putting a blanket or mat down underneath the box as the rice goes EVERYWHERE and is so easily trodden around the house. Having said that though, it’s super easy to vaccuum up so it’s not that big of a deal really.

Now that I have had my first attempt at dying rice for play, I am going to give some other colours & smells a go – I’m thinking maybe citrus fruits next by adding the zest of the fruits to the rice? What do you think?

I’d love to know if you give this a go, so please do pop me a little comment below if and when you do!

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

We Made a Mini Sensory Garden in a Sandpit

We Made a Mini Sensory Garden in a Sandpit

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 […]

50+ Simple Baby Play essentials you probably already have at home

50+ Simple Baby Play essentials you probably already have at home

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 […]