Okay, so you know your little one shouldn’t be glued to the screen, but what should they be doing?
Here are twenty play ideas that your little one will love more than their favourite character on TV.
1. Yoghurt finger painting
Warning this is a messy one! With your little one, mix together greek or vanilla yoghurt and food colouring to make your very own edible paint. This can be used as body paint or on a tray for lots of sensory fun.
2. Sensory playdough
Try this recipe for a different take on the classic playdough. Explore the garden together to see what sensory plants you could mix to make a unique scent.
3. Sandpit treasure hunt
Find some buttons, stones or even coins to hide in the sandpit. Dig through the sand together to find your treasure.
4. Cubby house
Collect some sheets, chairs, pillows, boxes and blankets to create your very own hideaway. Remember to take in a stash of your favourite books to share inside when you are finished.
5. Nature walk
Chat with your little one about some of the things you might see together on your outdoor adventure (for example, a bird, a dog, a gumnut, a stone etc). Make a list or draw pictures of these items and tick them off or colour them in as they are found.
6. Making icy poles
Blend together your favourite fruit with vanilla yoghurt. Poor into icy pole moulds or ice block trays, set in the freezer and enjoy outside in the shade.
7. Rainbow chalk drawing
Your little one will have hours of fun using giant chalk to draw on the concrete or fence outside. Use a spray bottle with water to make your graffiti disappear instantly.
8. Messy mud play
Now that summer has hit, it’s time to go outside and get wet and dirty. It’s easy to make mud, just get the hose or a bucket of water into the sand, get out your bucket, spade, digger and play!
Collect containers, milk lids, boxes, ribbons, tissue paper and catalogues for endless hours of imagination and entertainment for your little one. Give them some masking tape and watch them create their very own masterpiece.
10. Park play
Visit your local park for a picnic and hours of active fun. Perth has a range of fantastic nature play areas for kids. Check them out at this link.
11. Simple board games
Play one of these simple board games together: Beetle, Mr Potato Head Pals, The Shopping List Game, Memory, Honey Bee Tree, Pop-up Pirate or Memory.
12. Dress ups
Put together a box with hats, scarves, jackets, sunglasses and necklaces and let your little one’s imagination run wild. You don’t need to spend money on expensive costumes – look through your old clothes or in op shops. You can even make some things yourself, like tails made out of old stockings stuffed with newspaper, or capes made out of old pillowcases.
13. Rainbow rice
Check out this recipe for making rainbow rice with your little one.
14. Musical instruments
Make your very own musical shakers by using empty containers and items such as dried beans, rice, gumnuts and even nuts and bolts.
Cut potatoes into some unique shapes to create your very own mural (or wrapping paper for Christmas). Find the instructions here.
17. Puppet show
An old cardboard box can be easily made into a stage for your very own puppet show. Try making some puppets out of old socks or by following these instructions to make wooden spoon puppets.
18. Floating boats
There are many outdoor areas in Perth near water and kids love to create and float their very own boats. Be resourceful to see what materials you could use to make a boat (an old ice cream container, old rubber thongs, corks, sponges or even bark from a tree). For more boat ideas, click here.
19. Fishing game
When it gets a little too hot outdoors why not make your very own indoor fishing game. All you need is some paper, a stick, a strong magnet and some paper clips. Find the instructions here.
20. Star crayons
Check out this great recipe to make your very own rainbow crayons. Best of all you are recycling all those old broken bits!
Great to meet you!
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m passionate about early language development and the real difference that every parent can make when it comes to teaching their child to communicate.
I’ve been a paediatric speech pathologist for over 14 years, working in both Melbourne and Perth. I currently work part-time for a not-for-profit paediatric therapy organisation in Perth, which I love.
My other, and most important job, is being Mum to my beautiful girls, Ella (4) and Chloe (2). When we’re not busy reading books, splashing in puddles or checking the letterbox, I also enjoy taking Oskar (our first and furry baby) for walks, going to the beach and getting out in the veggie patch.
I hope that you find the information, videos and tip sheets on this website helpful. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear from you so send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.