What activities to plan for babies?
“What activities can I plan for babies?”
A question that’s quite often asked to us or seen asked on other social media groups and pages
Are you stuck thinking what to do in with babies?
It can be hard can’t it? Especially if you are also expected to fit activities around a topic or theme also ! Ohhh my it’s hard to keep coming up with something exciting and new.
I think the reason so many Early Years educators struggle to know what to do ’with’ babies, is that …….
For decades we have been expected to PLAN, plot and formalise activities and events that will be happening within our baby rooms and settings.
To make them conform and fit to the chosen topic or theme and to be constantly thinking of new ideas and activities!
Ohhhh MY !
WAIT a minute
Let’s pause, reflect and consider and
Babies are born with an intrinsic desire to be curious, to find out, investigate, touch discover and learn.
To get moving
Remember - Piaget defined the first stage of development as ‘Sensorimotor’ meaning that , during this period, of a child’s life, they are learning about the world around them, using their senses to interact, inquire about their surroundings.
Sensori - motor
Senses - movement
Everything to a baby is new and exciting!
If a baby is moving, they are learning.
If they are handling and negotiating with objects, items, their surroundings they are learning!
Even if they are playing with their toes they are learning!
The best thing we can do as Early Years educators is to reframe our thinking, to TRUST in our understanding of child development, brain development and
TRUST in the child
To ensure we provide a safe, stimulating environment. Rich in potential!
To Leave space and time for babies to explore and investigate and be THERE ! Close at hand
To offer security, our love, presence and connection.
Someone once said that “ BUT, if we take away the planned crafted activities educators won’t be doing anything, they’ll just be playing !”
Play is the brains favourite way of learning! Babies don’t need activities planned based around ‘people who help us’or ‘The tiger who came to tea’
Let’s follow the child instead of the topic, for they are the curriculum ♥️
Instead of plastic electronic toys, introduce loose parts and heuristic items. Wooden curtain rings, bangles and wooden items.
Various types of brushes, mushroom brush, paint brush, scrubbing brush, shaving or pastry brush.
Loose parts, recycled materials, natural resources. Introduce treasure baskets.
Introduce voile, silks and materials.
A simple piece of silver cardboard or a Perspex mirror.
Books and hats
Attunement instead of attainment, connection and relationships. Filling up a child’s emotional cup and providing a safe, secure base from which babies can explore and be curious.
Catering tins and utensil containers with straws. If you are worried about sharp edges on tins? Ensure you use a high quality tin opener- this will ensure the rims are smooth.
Leave space and time for babies to explore. Just because we adults get bored with the same resources, doesn’t mean babies get bored.
Sensory is NOT about a carefully manicured Tuff tray. Sensory is in everything a child touches, feels, handles and manipulates. From the soft rug on which they play, to the items they mouth and explore.
Create a space, rich in potential using loose parts, recycled materials. Time and space to PLAY
Want to learn more from us ? There are many ways we can offer you help and further professional development