With the dark nights rolling in, and a little less time to explore outdoors, I try to find activities that will get my little girl using her hands and exploring. She loves messy play, as do I, but this can take a little while to set up and tidy away so I’ve been trying to find activities that need little preparation time and don’t make too much mess.

Our first activity was a super simple one, I gave E two jugs. One filled with lids from all our Tupperware and an empty one. Really quick to prepare and she loved it. She spent ages taking them out and putting them back in again and transferring them between the jugs.

Our next activity were sensory bags. I got 4 zip lock bags and basically filled them with anything that I had to hand that looked quite interesting. In one bag I put water and cut up straws, in the second bag I put water and googly eyes, in the third bag I put rice and sequins and in the last bag I put some glittery pipe cleaners, glitter and some little snowflakes. I put each item in each bag and topped up with water/rice, I then made sure all the air was out of each bag before zipping them shut. I was going to use the tuff tray but decided it’d be great for them to be on the floor so just stuck it to the clear plastic mat we have under E’s high chair (to catch all the food!) with masking tape. She loved prodding them and seeing the different items move around, she then explored the bags with her feet and even got her mouse to ‘bounce’ on the bags. My top tips would be to make sure the bags are securely stuck down and use better zip lock bags than the ones I used as mine leaked! Apparently using sticky back plastic to stick them down is a great way of ensuring they don’t leak.

Our third activity was creating a leaf owl. We collected lots of different leaves (E loves collecting things on our walks-stones, acorns, leaves etc) so this was a great activity for her. We then used the plastic bit you get over cards when you buy them and filled them with the leaves. To create our owl, we made some eyes and a beak (out of card) and used some of the leftover leaves as its wings. So effective!

Thanks to social media (including of course this blog!) for the inspiration and ideas to do activities like this!