Coming up with creative play prompts for your baby or young toddler can be challenging at times. You have to be mindful of what they're likely to put in their mouths, make sure it is stimulating but not so challenging that they lose interest, and at that age they develop so fast that it can be tricky for play opportunities to keep pace.
With that in mind, I thought a sensory tub centred on pouring would be appropriate for my little Ava. She enjoys pouring and drizzling water when she is in the bath (that is, the water left in the tub that miraculously didn't end up on the blinds, the floor or me), and I thought this new interest may translate well into her playtime.
I was wrong; she had a better idea.
I had pulled out an underbed storage container, and supplied coloured rice (see here for the how-to), pearl barley and chickpeas to pour, and play teapots and cups, eggcups, a plastic jug, a sieve, a play saucepan, a coffee pot and funnels to pour with.
Ava couldn't get her little self in there fast enough! For the first few minutes, she contented herself with plunging her hands into the rice and chickpeas and revelling in the feel of them, running them through her chubby little fingers and clenching them in her fists.
That very quickly developed into a fun new activity - not pouring, oh no, - but banging things together to make new sounds. The delight on her face was so sweet! I just let her go at it, and wished that my ears had a mute button, 'cause let me tell you, my girl is loud.
When noise-making lost a little of its charm, Ava discovered the joys of climbing in and out of the tub.
Well, it's true "the best laid plans of mice and men do oft go astray", although I would suffix "especially where kids are concerned". Personally, it puts a big ol' smile on my face when my children adapt a game/activity like this to suit their moods. It is their play time, after all - not mine!
I hope you give this a go at home; try it out with water in the bathtub if you're hoping to contain the mess.
Thanks for reading! ~ L.