As you prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy you will probably be filled with excitement as you buy all the latest and greatest toys on the market. As your infant grows into a toddler so will their toys, many of the gadgets you can buy for babies only last a few months and the cost can seem more like you are buying a second hand car!
At Tots Play we know that there is enough expense when you have a little one, so to save you re-mortgaging the house (there will be plenty of time for that when your little babies are teenagers), we aim to give you lots of ideas for simple and inexpensive resources that you and your child can enjoy together for years to come, such as playing with feathers!
The Humble Feather
Now you will most probably have to restock but they are so cheap to pick up and available in many different sizes, colours and textures it won’t be a problem. We even have several varieties in our shop, take a look here.
For these activities all you need is your child and some pretty feathers, so why not have a go.
Infant Feather Fun
A new-born baby just wants their needs met. They want to be fed, changed and have lots of sleep. Despite their lack of interest in striking up a conversation they are still very responsive to the world around them. Studies have shown that even babies in the womb react to their mothers touch.
In the first few months of your baby’s life you can use a feather to gently tickle their skin. Use it lightly to touch their feet, legs, belly, arms, hands, neck and face. If at any point you notice your baby is showing signs that they are not enjoying it, stop. They will only enjoy activities like this if they are not hungry, tired or uncomfortable. You could equally use the tips of your fingers to create a tickling sensation on your infant’s skin; indeed Tots Play encourages you and your baby to explore touch together. There is though, still a high value in introducing resources like feathers that will allow your baby to experience different gentle sensations.
Bigger Baby Feather Fun
As your baby gets older and starts to physically interact with you more you can continue the tickle game with the feather but you will get a much more animated response. Your baby may even try to tickle you back.
Introduce the feather to song time, songs like This Little Piggy, Round and Round the Garden can all be adapted and sung with a feather playing the tickling role.
Place the feather in your hand and blow it towards your child allowing your breath to blow on them also, they will enjoy watch it gently fall. As they grow they will attempt to blow it back to you.
As you play with the feathers talk about the colours and sensations. Always talk through what you are doing and the body parts you are using, even if they are not ready to talk, this interaction will help your baby as they develop their language skills.
Toddler Feather Fun
Now your babe in arms in running around you can chase them with the feather to create a frenzy of excited squeals!
Continue to talk about the colours and size of the feathers but now they are a bit older ask them to repeat the descriptions back to you, or at least to try.
Play games with the feathers, for example, hide them and ask your child to find them (again this is another opportunity to use adjectives including colours and sizes).
An extension of the feather blowing game is that you blow the feather and ask your toddler to catch it. As they get good at this you can get them to start from further away so they have to run towards it first. A feather falls in a unique way and if you play this game with other resources such as beach balls, foam balls your child will learn that different materials interact with the world in different ways.
You could also have your toddler blow the feather, an action that will help their speech development. See if they can blow it straight up in the air, or along the ground. You could have a race and see who can get their feather over the line first.
Image sourced from teach-me-mommy.com
Feathers are a great resource to use in arts and crafts sensory activities, along with beads, glitter and pasta shells. Children can use them to create colourful collages, caking them in glue and experiencing the different textures.
Image sourced from Pinterest
These activities may seem simple, but by playing them with your little one you are helping them to understand and learn about their universe – and of course have some fun together.
Feathers are Just the Start of the Fun at Tots Play
Feathers are just one of the simple sensory items we use at our classes, and there is so much more for you and your little one to explore within our varied programme of sensory, musical and physical fun. We understand the importance of allowing children the chance to explore their world through play, and a Tots Play class provides a warm, welcoming and relaxed environment in which you can share this special time together, so why not come and join us soon.
Find a Tots Play class near you or sign up to our online course to learn new and exciting ways to play with your baby and toddler.
Click HERE to Subscribe to our Blog for regular updates and activity ideas.