Create some a baby play area with some simple baby and toddler play shelves! Great for encouraging independence and self-selection with a variety of carefully chosen toys.
Baby and toddler play shelves
Instagram friends have been asking me to share pictures of our play spaces as well as toy storage and organisation ideas. Here are our baby and toddler play shelves which we have been using for some months as an independent play space, and also as simple storage for toys and resources.
The older children have a similar set of shelves which I will also share soon, and both are IKEA “expedit” units (now named something else I think!) These are fabulous because they come in a variety of sizes, from this simple 2×2 unit up to 4×4 (which I use to store the kids clothes in!) The shelves can be left open like this, perfect for storing larger play items and baskets on, or used to put drawers in too which are good for hiding away puzzles and games. We have these in our hallway and they’re awesome.
Baby and toddler toys and resources:
On the baby and toddler play shelves we have two open baskets. One os a baby treasure basket (click the link to read all about how we make those, the pedagogical thinking behind them and the sorts of items to include within them.) They are suitable from approximately 6 months to around 18 months +.
The top two shelves currently contain our very simple DIY stacking toy which uses a mug tree and curtain rings, alongside some metal dip dishes (6 for £1 in Poundland!) These are such a fabulous open-ended toy to have and are used just as much by my older children as the baby. They are great for stacking, lining up, turning over, filling, emptying and pretend play.
On the other side we have some of our favourite wooden rainbow toys, of which we are gathering quite a collection now! The wooden rainbow is a wonderful, open-ended toy that can be used in so many ways and we now have the much larger version to complement it too. The rainbow lighthouse stacking toy is from IKEA and good for motor and logical problem solving skills.
The Rainbow Baby Beads toy is marvellously tactile and satisfying to play with. I haven’t met a single adult or child who hasn’t sat with this for a long time, turning t over and around in their hands and enjoying how it moves and feels. It’s a real winner and one I give as a gift for new babies or encourage others to buy most of all.
Here is a full list of our most favourite baby and toddler toys to inspire you!
Baby boy has been playing here for at least 4 months now and will turn 1 next week (how?!) The materials and open-ended toys available will change and be rotated over time, following his interests. I imagine we may add some more wooden cars, trains and trucks soon!
See our other PLAY SPACES and keep watch for upcoming posts about toy storage, materials organisation and learning shelves for older children.
Follow my PLAY SPACE board on Pinterest for ideas collected around the web too. Follow Anna @ The Imagination Tree’s board Play Spaces on Pinterest.
Here’s a huge collection of BABY PLAY IDEAS to get you started!
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