Baby Play: Tissue Box Play

Jan 6, 2013

Ageapprox. 6 months to 2 years (see bottom for tips)

Materials: Cardboard Tissue Box and Milk bottle lids
(N is currently 13 months. See bottom for tips to simplify or extend to meet your child's needs)

Set up as an "Invitation to Play" Different coloured Milk Bottle Lids on a plastic tray and a Tissue Box

Woah! What to do first? Stimulated by the different colours and bits and pieces

Tipping the tray. Learning about gravity.

Using fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to put the milk bottle lids in the tissue box.

Where have the milk bottle lids gone? You can hear them when you shake the box. 
Reaching for the lids and learning about object permanence.

Baby is Learning:

- Fine motor skills
- Pincer grasp (picking up small objects with thumb and pointer finger)
- Hand and eye coordination
- Cause and effect (ie. tipping the tray will make the bottle lids fall off. Shaking the tissue box with lids inside it makes a rattle sound etc.)
- Shapes. The milk bottle lids are round. The tissue box is rectangular with angles and corners.
- Colours. The milk bottle lids are all the same shape/size but different colours.
- Emotions. Excitement, anticipation and enjoyment.
- About Gravity. Physical items fall down and always tip to the lowest point
- Language from the interactions you have with baby
- What to do with the materials. Put the milk bottle lids in the tissue box. Get the out again. etc
- Object Permanence. Just because you can't see it any more doesn't mean it's not there.

Handy Tips:

Simplify this activity by ensuring that the opening of the tissue box is large and easy for baby to put things inside. Allow baby to explore the materials without pushing the need to post them inside the tissue box. Pop some in the box for baby to shake and rattle and see if they can get them out.

Extend this activity for older babies by sorting the milk bottle lids into colours. Ask baby to put the "blue" milk bottle lids in the tissue box etc.

Mix it up by providing some items that are too big to fit inside the tissue box. Let baby experiment and figure this out.

Repeat this activity as often as you like because babies (& children) need repetition to consolidate their learning and understanding. 

Talk to your baby about what they are doing. This will help them begin to understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as helping develop their vocabulary. "You have a red lid", "Where have the lids gone? Shake, shake, shake. What is that sound, baby?" 

Play with baby. Once they have explored on their own and been given an opportunity to discover on their own, you could show them how to put the lids into the tissue box or how you get them out.

Supervise. Babies need constant supervision.


Happy playing,
Debs :)

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