We talk a lot at Tots Play about simple ways to engage your Tot, without spending lots of money on expensive toys, and love to give you ideas for things to make and enjoy at for play times at home.
Most often these take just a few minutes to make, but if you enjoy a bit more of a project, that is still super easy to do, and with just a few resources, why not have a go at making your baby their very own activity station like this one.
You Will Need
A large cardboard box
Extra card (optional)
Pair of scissors
Sticky back plastic/decorated paper/material/pens or however you want to decorate your box
A glue gun or strong glue
A rod/stick longer than the length of the box
Ribbons/toys to hang
Anything else you’d like to add on the base
How to Make It (See video below too)
Grab a large cardboard box.
Cut out the two largest front and back panels or just the front depending if you want to create a curtain at the back or not.
Pull the four top sections (the ones that usually close the box) upwards and Sellotape to create a taller box.
Create a lid using cardboard as you can then have the option of making it dark. You will need to be able to access the top so that you are able to change the things you hang from the rod we will be adding.
Using the panels that you have already cut out of the box (or separate cardboard) to make the new taller sections at the top stronger. For the sides I covered the whole height of the box with extra cardboard to give support.
Cover these separate panels with any material you have. I used a nice dark material for the front and back and sticky back plastic for the side panels.
Attach the 4 panels to the cardboard box. 2 at the front and back on the top section and 2 down the whole height of the box either side. I found it a lot easier to use a glue gun for this job, but any strong glue will work. This will make your activity station nice and sturdy.
If you are creating a curtain section at the back, attach material at the back. I liked the idea of using different material in the background depending on what I was trying to achieve. I used Velcro for this job.
The curtain lets you change the background of the station and use different fabrics here if you would like to, but you could also just keep the back panel of the box.
Make two small holes near the top of the box at either side. Make sure that you can pop a rod/stick/tubing through the 2 holes so that it travels from one side to the other and make sure it fits through both holes and shows either side, so that it is safe and will not fall on to your baby.
Attach ribbons, light up toys bells or anything you wish to the rod at the top and then feed through the 2 holes.
Add any extra lights or toys that you want at the bottom and create a comfortable space for baby to play.
Lay your baby inside to enjoy their sensory play station.
You can change the toys and hanging items as often as you would like to give your baby different experiences, so see what he or she likes or seems to respond most to and be guided by those reactions for other things to try.
The ribbon rings and light up toys hanging from the rod in the picture here are available from our Online Store, along with a range of other sensory items that you could include in your baby activity station, so pop over and have a look, or you can use what you already have at home.
And there you go - a fantastic activity station for lots of enriching play time fun for your little one with very little expense.
Do pop a picture on our Facebook or Instagram pages of what yours looks like and what your baby enjoys most if you do give it a go.
Here's Hanna from Tots Play Northampton South with a short video showing you how it was made too.
For lots more ideas for simple playtime activities to enjoy with your little one, find out more about our classes and courses near you HERE.
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