We tried: A bag of desperation.

After months of pulling my hair out trying to find something to keep Miss T’s attention for more than 5 seconds I was almost ready to hand over my iphone and drown myself in a puddle of defeat.

In desperation yesterday we went op-shopping and brought home a little bag of random, pre-loved toy cars and trucks.

Was this victory?  It certainly looked closer than it had been as she busied herself in a serious conversation with a red fire truck all the way home.

Definitely a victory!  She sits still AND plays.  Well maybe only for 15-30min at a time, but hey, that’s hours on 5 seconds.

She pokes her chubby finger into the windows, spins the wheels, turns each one around and around and around.  Then starts all over again.

Such a brilliant, cheap and unexpected discovery.



We tried: Sensory play with rubber gloves

ImageActivity:  Rubber gloves filled with oats, marshmallows and coloured rice

Success: 6/10

Expected: Intrigue and confusion.

Unexpected: The peels of laughter when the gloves were wiggled in front of her or slapped on the floor.

Outcome: Miss T was happy to laugh and respond to the gloves provided they didn’t get too close.  After some encouragement on my part and close inspection on her part they slowly became more interesting.

They remained interesting for all of about half an hour and they aren’t something she goes back to play with. Not a huge success but something quick and easy to put together and definitely something to try again.

We tried: Ball Discovery Basket

ImageActivity:  Small round basket filled with a selection of ‘balls’

  • blue textured dryer ball
  • ball of string
  • pink tennis ball
  • plastic teething ball
  • string of felt balls

Success: 3/10

Expected: Kids love balls right?  They roll, they bounce, they unravel.  Enough to entertain for hours.  Oh the ignorance!

Unexpected: How annoyed MT would get when the balls rolled away from her.  I forgot to remember that she wasn’t on the move when we did this activity!!

Outcome: MT quickly got bored with the balls because she was unable to chase after them.  She settled for the felt balls on the string which she could wave about, suck on and jingle on the floor.  Not as successful as I hoped and probably one to try again now she is crawling.

We tried: Red discovery box


Activity:  Box filled with an assortment of red and white items from around the house.

  • Candle
  • Plastic disposable plate
  • Ribbon
  • Monkey toy
  • Small colander
  • Clag glue pot
  • Cloth nappy

Success: 10/10 and NO tears.  She played with this for over an hour, and although she favoured one item she did go back to the rest a number of times.

Expected: I thought MT would gravitate to one item and play with that.  She did.  The ribbon.

Unexpected: Since a lot of the items are ones MT has seen before in various capacities I didn’t think they would hold her interest for long.

Outcome: A really great idea that I have seen many mums do with their kids.  MT was very interested in exploring the box and examining each item.   She was happy to play with this on and off for the entire week.  WIN!

We tried: Baked Bean sensory play


Activity: Two piles of baked beans on the highchair tray. One hot and the other cold.

Success: 6/10. Mild success tainted severely by the climatic tears.

Expected: A lot of mess.

Unexpected: The tears.

Outcome: This kept MT occupied for about 20min. She started slowly, carefully touching each pile. Going from one to the other until she took a big handful of the warm ones. She swirled them together and tried really hard to pick up individual beans and taste them, sucking the juice from her fingers. After swishing them around the tray some more, she began mushing beans into the tray, into her hair and onto her legs.

At this point she realised she was covered in baked beans (what the?!) and burst into tears.

Not quite the sensory experience we were looking for.


Deb from Learn with Play at home has a list of the things baby might be learning during this activity.