I made a rookie mistake when I became a mum of buying toys before bub was born. I was all too excited and I love being in a toy section of Kmart, Target and Big W. If something was on sale, I would get it without much thought. But as I have learnt, at least in their first 6 months of life, “toys” around the house probably fascinate them more than anything else. So what exactly are these “toys” am I talking about? It can be basically anything safe for them to explore and supervision would be required
So last week, Annabel and I started playing with different types of materials around the house. Anything that feels textural new and makes a sound would be a winner. We look at things like alumiminum foil, baking paper, plastic bag/wrappers, her nappy box, and her favourite a recycle plastic bottle with rice in it.
The aluminium foil was presented to her as a flat piece and by the end of it, it was basically squashed into a ball. She started off by hitting it to listen to the sound it made. Then she realised she could use her hands to manipulate the piece of foil into whatever shape she desired. That was pretty much the beginning of the fun for her, she even tried to eat a chunk of it, so do supervise closely.
The baking paper had a similar effect as the foil except that when she crushes the paper, it doesn’t necessarily stay in the form. Most of the time it opened up again and after a while she seemed to get really frustrated, so it didn’t entertain her as long as the foil did.
I also introduced different types of plastic bag-liked items around the house. Just random plastic for her to pull and explore. She kept using both her hands to pull them apart and squash them together as if she was playing an accordion. We recycled a bag of frozen berries, it was perfect because it has a zip lock end which trapped air and she could play it like a drum, hitting it non stop. And we had a wrapper than came with an item I order for her online, but she was more interested in the wrapper than the actual toy itself.
Her nappy box was useful for letting her sit in it to play. She initially didn’t like it but after I puffed it up with some pillows, she was happy to sit in to play for a bit. She even laid down and tried to pull the box around.
Finally… the rice bottle shaker was a big hit. Also one of the motivator for her to start commando crawling. She loved the sound it makes and tries to turn it but it would roll away and she would slowly pull herself towards the bottle and kept doing that for a good 15 minutes until she was tired.
Note to self… it is unnecessary to buy toys for them at this age, literally anything could entertain them. It is how we present them… giving them the opportunity to explore and develop on their own 🙂