It can be tricky to keep your baby and toddler entertained at home and you might feel you need to keep buying toys to keep them happy and to give yourself 10 minutes to be able to do something for yourself. Here are some top tips for getting the most out of your current toys, books or games at home without having to spend a fortune.
This is my number one top tip. Don’t have all of your toys out at once as what usually happens is your child will just flit from toy to toy (sound familiar?). Split them into 4 different bags or boxes and rotate them every week. This means when a new bag comes out it will have toys in which they haven’t seen for at least a month and that novelty of the toys can really do the trick!
Put your toys on different levels
Its surprising that this trick usually works, but try putting your toys in different places and on different levels. For example, set up some of your farm animals on the coffee table, a puzzle on the floor and some teddies on the sofa. If the toys are somewhere they didn’t expect, it can appear to be a whole new toy with different things to do with it!
We are often sucked into advertising nowadays, thinking our child needs complex toys to aid their development and this really isn’t the case at all. Give them some household items such as a tissue box, pans and a spoon, a whisk with things inside etc. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, look at what you’ve got.
Books with Toys
You can match some of the toys and books together. E.g. If your child loves a certain book then pair it up with some similar toys. A good example is the Gruffalo with a toy mouse, snake and owl. You can read the story and use the toys as a prop to enhance your story telling.
Open ended play
Replace some of your battery operated toys with open-ended toys to help encourage imaginative play (and therefore sustained play in the future!). It also means your battery toys with flashing lights and sounds keep their novelty for when you really need those 5 minutes to yourself! A good open ended toy is something like stacking blocks, bowls, cups, spoons, balls, tea sets etc.
We hope this helps you with your baby, toddler or child this week. Happy Playing!