Bloom Baby Classes Guide To Play Ideas For Your Growing Baby

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When Ana was first born we must have spent a small fortune on a tonne of plastic toys, packaged as if they were preparing for a nuclear holocaust that not even the strongest pair of scissors could break open!  Most of the time these toys just ate batteries and got ignored whilst my girls found more fun playing with some pots and pans and a wooden spoon! Below is a useful guide of heuristic play ideas for your growing baby supporting their learning and development through their first year..

0-3m

When your baby is newborn up to 3 months a baby doesn't really need any toys, you are enough for them. Being close to you is their preferred occupation! However you may want to encourage their development naturally and there are a few things you buy to use at home that your baby will love.

Rainbow Ribbon Montessori Teether
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We love these Montessori Rainbow Ribbon Teethers, these are perfect for encouraging the muscles in your baby’s eyes and aiding their vision. Move the rainbow across their vision so they follow it with their eyes and tilt their heads to follow it around the room.

Another great addition for a young baby is a finger puppet. Finger puppets are also a great way of promoting early language skills, talking and singing a nursery rhyme to your baby with the puppet whilst she follows it with her eyes. Our Bloom babies love our mini caterpillar puppet at our baby classes

3-6m

At 3-6 months your baby is spending more of their time awake and is more aware of their surroundings. Baby is also increasing its own strength now its muscles are starting to develop. Your baby during this time will learn to roll and you will find that most things your baby grasps are put to their mouth. This is the way your baby learns about objects through its taste and texture.

Many babies love wooden items to put into their mouths such as wooden spoons and spatulas and these are really easy to find in local stores. They also help teethy babies. Another great and cheap item you can try is an emergency foil heat blanket or as we call them “Space foil!”

For babies learning tummy time place the foil underneath them and let them explore it whilst on their tummy. Or try cutting the foil into squares and let your baby explore the sound and touch of the foil in their hands.

The blankets are cheap to buy and available on amazon.


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6-12m

Your baby is getting more and more mobile during this stage, they may have learnt to sit unaided or even crawl! Your baby is now inquisitive and ready to explore even more about the world they live in. A treasure basket is a great way to encourage your child’s natural development. A treasure basket is a natural wicker basket filled with every day natural items such as metal spoons, feathers, pieces of material, wooden spoons and honey spoons etc. A treasure basket allows a baby to explore, experiment and make choices at their own pace.

Frequent users of treasure baskets have been observed sifting through and discarding all the items until they find their favorite object, proof of the vital connections taking place in the brain”

Tom Shea “a learning experience to treasure” 2004

The treasure basket method was created by Elinor Goldchmied many years ago. It supports the view that we can provide our babies with a richer sensory experience by providing natural heuristic items as opposed to plastic toys, with one smell and texture and taste. Natural objects possess a wide variety of sensory properties, and many therefore are perfect for the Treasure Basket. As a baby notices a lemon or a natural sponge, then picks it up and explores with their gums and tongue, she simultaneously catches its scent, colour, texture and flavour. You can also add household items such as a bunch of keys or an egg whisk, as a baby shakes the keys or hits with the whisk they are also promoting their motor control and cognitive development.

We hope you enjoyed our Blog on Heuristic baby toys, what is your baby’s favourite treasure basket item? Drop your comments below.