Playing ‘mummies, daddies and babies’ has long been one of our son’s favourite symbolic play themes! Let’s get one thing clear from the outset though, I am not interested in baby play only being ‘sold’ or encouraged to girls. Gender neutral play is healthy and children playing out the caring role of looking after babies has so many benefits! Props to support this play need not be fancy; in fact, most of ours are recycled items we already had at home!
So, what’s in B’s simple little baby play kit?
- a few saved baby nappies and plastic nappy covers
- several baby bits and pieces – cloth nappy, wraps, hair brush, cleaned recycled cream bottle, a few tiny baby clothes and little teddy bears and a rubber ducky
- a flannel/face washer, soft (dish) cloth and pocket pack of tissues
- plus access to other play items around (tea set, doctor kit…)
Kids don’t care if the nappies are a million sizes too big (unfortunately we didn’t hold onto any of our teeniest, tiniest, newborn nappies), and B loves doing them up and undoing them over and over! Dressing and undressing his ‘babies’ is possibly the trickiest part, but now, at just 4 years, it is one of the best ways to work on visual perception, bilateral coordination, grasping and manipulation skill practise.
I just love watching how attentive he is to his ‘babies’ (teddies, soft toys, dolls…)!
Of course, bathing baby goes hand in hand with changing baby – and a blue cloth wrap in a large shoe box makes a great pretend bath. B also likes to help himself to wet wipes for his babies, which makes for perfect incidental grasping practise too! If your ‘babies’ can be fully submerged in soapy, bubbly water – even better from a sensory perspective!
Maybe it’s the fact that our little boy still loves to be helped to settle to sleep, but it really is the cutest thing seeing him gently snuggle his little ‘babies’ in to sleep!
And the most practical, convenient part to these play props, is that they all fit nicely in one old, large, shoe box – an important point for us ‘small-space living’ fans!
The play possibilities are endless… and as I reassured B just the other day, “Yes, I’m pretty sure ‘Alec’ and ‘Bobby’ and ‘Teddy’ would love you to read them a story about Thor!”…
Thanks for visiting Kids Play Space!