Today fun mum Danya of Danya Banya shares a fun idea for exploring ramps and rolling with babies and toddlers.
Rolling balls, cars, trains, and anything else that has wheels provides endless fun for babies and toddlers.
Since my eldest daughter JJ has recently started preschool, I’ve found myself gaining a few days a week of much cherished alone time with my second daughter, Bee. She’s at an age (11 months) where she’s very interested in the world around her. She loves to explore anything new. And she loves to explore cause and effect, over and over (and over) again. This is a simple activity that I set up in our home, with just the materials I had lying around the house. Maybe you would like to try it too?
Gather Your Materials
- DIY ramp – I used a bit of sturdy cardboard that I sticky-taped to one of our play chairs. You could also use a hard-cover book, a plank of wood or an upside down cookie tray
- Various balls
- Various vehicles
And Let Them Play!
Initially Bee investigated the ramp, lifting it up and down. Then I pulled out our ball box and our vehicles box, and let Bee explore.
She would turn over each car or train over to study their wheels, turning them with her fingers. While she was playing, I chatted away, describing what sort of vehicle it was, its colour, shape and size.
Whenever I saw a lapse in her play, I would roll a ball or vehicle down the ramp. Bee was mesmerised with the cause and effect, with her eyes trained on the toy. She would crawl after it and examine it anew.
And before long she had made her own way over to the ramp to try to roll some toys down herself. Because she is quite young, I would place the toys on the top of the ramp for her, so all she had to do was push them off. For an older child, they could do this all by themselves.
This Activity Works On:
- Recognition of shapes and sizes
- Understanding of cause and effect
- Development of gross motor and fine motor skills
- Spatial awareness
- And as I was chatting to her the whole time, she was also building on her understanding of language.
When JJ came home from preschool, she was immediately drawn to the remnants of our play, and started to explore.
Harmonious play across multiple age groups is any second (or third or fourth) mum’s dream!
JJ extended this activity herself by adding train tracks to the bottom of the ramp, aiming to get the vehicles to roll onto the tracks. She also sorted the various vehicles into their sets, which is great matching practice.
For older children, you could extend this activity by;
- Including some items that don’t roll and inviting your child to guess whether something will roll before they test it out.
- Have a race and roll two things at once.
- Change the ramp into a tunnel using a cardboard tube.
- An even trickier extension would be to add the cardboard tube at the bottom of the ramp and see if your child can aim their toys to roll down the ramp and into the tube.
Danya is a stay-at-home-mum of two girls, JJ and Bee. Together we sew, craft, play, bake, laugh and love. We focus on process over product (or, in other words, our results are often a bit sketchy, but we have fun along the way). I blog about us at www.danyabanya.com.