If you are looking for a quick, simple activity to keep your little ones engaged and using all their senses, why not try making them a "nature soup"?
While this is something you can enjoy at any time of the year, it's great for the summer when you can get outside to play in a shady spot. All you need is a bowl of water, some citrus fruits, maybe some herbs and a few things from the garden such as leaves or petals.
Our Newport and Cwmbran class leader Kaye, made this one during the hot weather, as you can see from the pictures, included lavender and rosemary from her garden which gave amazing smells.
To make the soup fill a bowl with water, wash and slice the citrus fruits and pop them in the water with your herbs. Very quick and simple!
The fruit and the herbs all infuse in the water and create a fantastic sensory experience of smells, colours, and touch. Babies can splash the water, use spoons, scoops, ladles, grab whatever you've got and just let them explore!
It's also a good one for older children to get involved in as they go about the garden finding extra "ingredients" for their soup (or magic potion if they're Harry Potter fans) - a handy way to get them involved in some gardening, you could encourage them to pull up your weeds! And if you grow your own herbs then adding a few of those would all add to the spectacular array of smells and colours in your "soup". Try lavender, mint, basil, coriander, thyme, rosemary, all readily available at garden centres and supermarkets.
Babies love splashing in water and especially when the weather is hot some mint infused water will be very welcome for cooling them down.
Don't forget to stay safe with your little ones in the sun, use sun cream, a sun hat and get them in the shade to explore their soup.
For more inspiration for simple, sensory fun for your baby or toddler, get along to your local Tots Play class, where you can also enjoy music, yoga, sign language and massage activities and some special time together. Find you local class HERE.
Have fun creating your nature soups, and a wonderful summer of play times with your little one.
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