Play (and learn) with everyday items

Get ready to PLAY using items in your home that engage your child’s fine motor skills and cognitive development.

These games help your child to learn while having fun and are a great way to keep them entertained at home during this time of self-quarantine.

Baby barrow

Age group: 12-24 months

You’ll need:
An area in your home that’s clear of any obstacles and preferably has a carpeted or padded floor. Alternatively put down a thick blanket/ comforter on hard floor surfaces.

How to play:
Pick up your child’s legs to imitate a wheelbarrow so they’re balancing on their hands with you supporting their legs. Encourage them to ‘walk’ on their hands for three or four steps, or more. Be careful while picking them up and putting them down – make sure that they don’t accidently hit their head in all the excitement.

This is a wonderful exercise to strengthen your child’s upper-body muscles, which are part of gross motor skills development. You’ll usually laugh together as the child ‘collapses’ after a few steps.

Music instrument

Age group: 2 years and up

You’ll need:
A plastic bottle and raw rice.

How to play:
Fill the plastic bottle halfway with rice and challenge your little one to play it as a shaker while singing their favourite nursery rhyme. After your child is done playing, rinse the rice and cook as usual.

Singing along while playing an “instrument” teaches your child the art of multi-tasking which engages their cognitive development.

Click for more games to play with a box of smarties.