A great idea from Naomi Claxton. Naomi likes to set her toddler ‘invitations to play’, we think these are wonderful ideas! This is a little fiddly to set up, but once made they will last for months. Great for exploring textures without getting messy!
You will need:
- A packet of balloons
- A funnel – if you don’t have one, try rolling up some cardboard
- Filling – try a selection from
o Sea salt
o Tea leaves from inside a tea bag
o Shaving gel
o Water Beads
o Golden Syrup
What to do:
- Set this one up while your toddler is sleeping!
- Stretch your balloon gently with your fingers, and blow it up a little way before letting the air out.
- Take your funnel and gently slide it into the balloon.
- Start spooning in a little of your filling – for example rice. You might have to stretch the neck of the balloon and give it a little jiggle here and there.
- When it is as full as you think it will get, take out the funnel and tie the neck firmly.
- With golden syrup and shaving gel, I squirted directly into the balloon without using the funnel. Shaving gel worked especially well, and smells really nice!
- For water beads, you can poke them in through the neck of the balloon one by one. They lend themselves well to a long thin balloon if there are any in your pack.
How to play:
- Set the balloons out on a tray.
- Encourage your little one to handle them, and talk about how they feel, using lots of different texture words.
- You could encourage your child to sniff the balloons.
- You could also talk about the colour of the balloons.
- For older children, you could start to talk about what might be inside the balloons. You could even put out one of the fillers, such as a small bowl of rice and ask them which balloon they think it is in.
- Try to discourage your little one from putting them near their mouths in case they try to bite the balloon and you end up with a leak.
- These lasted several months in a tin before I decided to throw them away and make some more another time.