7 favourite Baby Play ideas

Nov 11, 2014

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Although my baby has recently turned 3, among my circle of friends there seems to be a baby boom happening. Lots of gorgeous new little people joining our lives and entering our hearts. What a blessing! To celebrate, here are a collection of 7 baby play ideas that both my children loved. These activities are generally suitable from when baby has developed their head control and is sitting up (approx. 6 months onwards) and all require supervision.

Posting Games

Babies and toddlers love putting things into other things. Simple posting games where they can use their hand-eye-coordination to pick up an object and push it through a hole are great for this age. Where did it go? Children learn about object permanence and that not being able to see something doesn't mean that it has disappeared. You can buy all sorts of toys that allow children to perform this function but something as simple as some blocks and a tissue box can perform the job just as well. Try with a complete tissue box that traps the objects inside and allows baby to shake the box to hear and find the objects. Try another time with a tissue box holder (or a tissue box with the bottom cut out) so that the object falls through when pushed in the hole. Where has the object gone? Lift up the box to find out.

Water Play

Kids of all ages generally love to splash in water. Babies tend to be especially drawn to water and with the right set-up and supervision (of course), water play is fabulous for keeping baby entertained. Try sailing little boats or ducks around the bath or a shallow paddling pool. Give your baby some leaves to put into a bowl of water and watch them float and try to push them down. A little tub of water with 2 cups is fabulous for tipping water back and forth and you can make your own little air-hockey table game for baby using their highchair tray table, some milk bottle lids and a bit of water. Try adding a very small amount of food colouring to their water play to make it more visible but be careful not to add too much otherwise all the little droplets that baby will inevitably splash everywhere could leave little coloured marks.

Sensory Play

Water is obviously a type of sensory play, but other than water, there are a number of other materials that your baby can safely play and experiment with as well. The favourite type of sensory materials that I was happy for my babies to play with were generally all edible. This meant that if they couldn't resist testing it with their mouths (which is what babies do), it's not such a big deal. Some materials that your baby may enjoy playing with and exploring are baked beans (give some both warm and cold for baby to feel the difference), cooked spaghetti or coloured pasta, gelatin or cornflour slime. Just a little bit of plain flour and a small amount of water (pictured above) are enough to keep baby experimenting for ages. Close supervision is required with all sensory activities.


Babies can start experimenting with colours, patterns and design early on. Whilst I would be leaving my Sharpies until they're quite a bit older, there are lots of baby safe ways to let your child get in on the arty fun. Try making a safe baby paint out of yoghurt and food colouring or one from condensed milk. Babies can paint pieces of bread or paper. Non-toxic crayons that are nice and thick for little hands to grasp are also a good idea but do tend to get chewed on. I allowed my children the use of markers pretty early on under direct supervision. The great thing about a marker is the strength of colour that is left on the page, unlike a crayon, as children tend to be more drawn to bright, bold colours and will be more inclined to keep on drawing.

Texture Crawl

Picture source: Octavia & Vicky
Your baby learning to move and crawl is an important developmental stage. A lovely way to help encourage this development as well as allowing children to further explore a variety of different textures and surfaces through their senses, is by providing things for them to move through or over. You could try making any of these gorgeous sensory rugs or use different surfaces you might already own like LEGO/DUPLO boards, fuzzy bath mats, crinkly cellophane etc. A baby obstacle course is another fun idea to keep baby entertained, moving and learning.

Baby Band

Cause and reaction. That's one of the first things that babies start to cotton-on to. "I hit this tin and it makes this sound. Hit the tin again, make the sound again." Babies learn this through doing and you don't need pre-bought baby toys to allow you child these experiences. Start by looking in your kitchen for supplies for your baby band. A couple of metal tins and a spoon work wonders at keeping baby busy banging (say that 5 times quickly) and it's easy to make your own shakers from recycled materials. In fact, just have a look around your kitchen and house and you'll be surprised at the amount of things you already have that you could give your baby to make noise with.

Playing with Ramps

Watching gravity take its toll as objects go racing down inclines is something even I still can't help but watch with fascination. Babies and children also love to push things over an edge and watch them roll or fall down the other side. It's very easy to set up your own little book ramps and provide baby with some balls or cars to roll down them. See what happens to the objects when the ramp is on different inclines. Provide baby with object that do not roll (ie. square blocks) and let them explore what happens. Cut some cardboard tubes in half lengthwise and attach together to make long slides that fit a ping-pong ball perfectly. (Once again, remember to always supervise).

You may be interested in some of our other posts for babies.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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Having trouble during nappy change time with a wriggly baby? Try BabyLove Nappy Pants - with no tabs to contend with, the 360-degree stretchy waist allows you to pull them up quickly and easily, so your active toddler can get back to action in no time! Request a sample.


  1. I remember giving my niece an old tissue box to play with on more than one occasion! She especially loved it when I filed it with old (clean) socks that she could pull out of the top.

    She had so much fun with it that her first birthday present may have involved a tissue box (extravagant aunt that I am!) http://ontheningnangnong.com/2013/10/27/first-birthday-present/

  2. Such fun ideas! I love the ramp one especially and will be doing that with our baby who's now a toddler. I'm still in denial he's growing so fast!

  3. haha, such fun. I like the sock idea :)

  4. It happens so fast! I'm still in denial that my baby who's in most of the above pictures is now 3 years old! We're still playing with ramps now though. :)


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