10 Brilliant Baby Play Ideas

baby play ideas

Baby’s minds are like little sponges. Growing and learning at a rapid rate every single day. That’s why baby play is so important for their early development, but we often struggle to come up with ideas of what to do with them (granted often babies do love to play with the same toys over and over again!). I’m Lauren, an Early Childhood Educator and a mother of two so I know all about this stuff! Here are some of my favourite baby play ideas from my blog Teacher Types. Fi I’ve got your little Starfish in mind while I’m writing this guest post for you! xx

Baby Play Ideas Teething Basket

Teething Toy Basket

No doubt parents of babies have experienced the grumpiness of a teething baby – I remember gathering all of the teething toys in the house that I could find and offering them to my little man in this treasure basket. Teething babies just want to chew on everything! Check out the great teething toys from Jack and Izz as well (I know Fi has written about them before – HERE!).

Baby Play Ideas Mirror Play

Mirror Play

A baby safe mirror on the floor during tummy time is a great way for babies to begin developing their sense of self. You could also attach one to a wall low to the ground for baby to look at him or herself during play time (this is a popular Montessori technique).

Baby Play Ideas Ball Pit

Ball pit!

So fun! Great for babies who can sit, or even if they’re still a little wobbly the balls will cushion their fall. Balls are the ideal size for little hands to pick up which is another skill your baby can practise while hanging out in the ball pit.

Baby Play Ideas Cars on play mat

Cars on a play mat

My little man loves cars (this probably started at around 9 months). We have a great collection of the Fisher Price Little People range and he loves watching them roll down a ramp. I also wanted to mention these gorgeous play mats from Ecoviva – (http://ecoviva.com.au/) – they are soft and quishy, double sided and so comfy for babies to play on.

Baby Play Ideas Zip lock bag painting

Zip Lock Bag Painting

What a great way for babies to explore paint without the mess! You could also use shaving cream or hair gel for a squishy sensory play experience.

Baby Play Ideas Viewtainers

Posting in View-tainers

Now these might be suitable for older babies or toddlers who are not in the putting-everything-in-their-mouth phase (or under close supervision from you of course), but they are the niftiest little containers (hubby tells me you can get them from hardware stores). They have a flexible lid with a slit in it ideal for posting popsticks or pom poms in. Then tip them out and repeat!

Baby Play Ideas Hand Kites

Hand Kites

I love rainbows! And babies do too! The colours of these hand kites (from Mini Minds (https://www.etsy.com/shop/minimindsaustralia) are a delight to the senses. So fun to play with and swirl around.

Baby Play Ideas Homemade Maracas

Homemade Maracas

We always seem to have these ‘Kinder Surprise’ containers around the place, and they make the best maracas. Just fill them with rice and tape between two spoons. Babies naturally flat their arms around which is why rattles are such a popular baby toy.

Baby Play Ideas Material Balls

Materials Balls

Have you ever left your baby with access to a packet of baby wipes and seen them pull them out one after another? That’s the idea behind these material balls. ‘O-balls’ are ideal and I just cut up some material scraps to fill them with.

baby play ideas discovery bottles

Discovery Bottles

This post wouldn’t be complete without my personal favourite – discovery bottles (we use the plastic Voss water bottles because they’re just so pretty). Discovery bottles allow babies safe access to materials they otherwise wouldn’t. Fill them with a variety of materials – water or not, get creative and your baby will explore their senses of sight and sound.

Sometimes less is more when it comes to baby toys. You’ll find that with only a few toys out at a time, your baby is more likely to actually play and engage with them, rather than just looking at one object for 3 seconds before moving on to the next. Try doing a toy rotation, or get out a different box of toys each week, create some different themed treasure baskets based on colour, texture, sound or nature. Or if you’re still looking for some fresh new ideas – just head to Pinterest and search ‘baby play’ haha!

Lauren (Lauren’s blog, Teacher Types, HERE, her Facebook HERE and her Instagram HERE)

Lauren and I have done a guest blog swap Minecraft as an Educational tool HERE at Teacher Types.

About Lauren Hunt

Lauren is a teacher and mother tippy-tapping and typing away on my lap top. Her blog, Teacher Type,s is a place where parents and teachers of young children can be inspired by a multitude of activity ideas, resources and parenting stories. In the past she has been a guest advisor for Adelaide Mummy Meetings, as well as being a regular contributor at Childhood 101, Adelady, Parent Talk Australia and Kid Magazine.


    • Thanks Sarah – Excellent idea! I have saved so many ideas from when my boy was little too, but they grow up quicker than you know and it’s always great to have some ideas saved up for when that time comes! Enjoy every minute xx

    • Haha babies do love mess don’t they?! A ball pit is on my to-do list for my boy, especially when he’s sitting on his own which might not be too long away! Glad it has been tried and tested 😊

  1. Such brilliant ideas! I can relate to so many of these when my 2 were small. Ball pit was a hit at the birthday parties and we just discussed today a car mat my son was given for his 2nd birthday still gets lugged out from the playroom! And the mirror is a classic! Lauren has some brilliant stuff here. 🙂

    • I’ve always wanted to get our son a car mat for the playroom too, this just cements it further! So glad a lot of these have worked for you Suzy!

  2. These are such great ideas! I did the teething toy basket with my little one. She looked like she was drowning in teethers lol. She also loved the mirror play. She would get so excited with that one.

    • I’m so glad you like and agree with the ideas Mackenie. I love that so many mums have tried and tested these ideas and they’ve worked. I think I have a busy weekend ahead of me getting some of these things 😊

    • You’re welcome, I thought it was such A as great (guest) post it was too good not to share! They are amazing aren’t they? I love all the ideas and can’t wait to try with our boy 😊
      Thank you, you too! 😁


Leave a Reply