Some of the best learning and entertainment for infants is done with the simple things you have already got in your home. Many of the handiest items might even be found in your recycling bin! Here are some simple activities that you and your baby are sure to love.
Where’s the scarf? – A silky scarf or piece of fabric treaded through a recycled paper towel tube is a great way to start a game.
When you thread the scarf through, allow a little bit of it to peek through the opposite end of the tube. Moving the tube and scarf around slowly will give your baby and opportunity to follow the movement of the scarf and even grab at or pull the fabric through. Your baby will love to touch the smooth texture of the fabric. (Some scarves have beads or sequins that could choke a baby so ensure the scarf/fabric is free of these or other hazards).
Tap dancing – Babies love to use their hands to explore but their feet can also be great tools for learning and fun.
With baby lying on her back hold a clean recycled tin pie plate at her feet. Make sure it is at a distance close enough for her to touch when she moves her feet around. Your baby will love the sound the tin pie plate makes each time her feet hit it and the feeling of the smooth cool aluminum on her feet.
Containers – Plastic containers are easily the most versatile recycled item. Here are some of the activities you can do with your baby using plastic containers (like yogurt tubs).
As stacking blocks – collecting different sized and shaped containers is a great way to build a fine set of stacking blocks. Your baby will enjoy placing one on top of another to build a tower (knocking it down too!) and placing objects, like a sponge, inside a container and pulling it out.
For drumming – one of the classic ways to keep a busy baby occupied is to provide them with some pots and pans to bang on. Why not try adding some recycled containers to the band, they will give your baby a host of new sounds to explore. With a wooden spoon your child is sure to be able to create some great music!
At Bath Time – Unbreakable containers and an old colander are some of the most engaging toys for water play. Pretend it is raining by pouring water through the colander or, fill up a container and encourage your child to pour it into another.
Stacking Tower – of course you can buy a stacking tower but why not make one out of free, recycled items!
All you need is a paper towel tube and round items that will fit over the tube (like Mason jar lids or ribbon spools). While you hold the tube steady, your child will have great fun taking the different sized rings on and off the tube.