playideaspage

Play ideas and activities Play gym Stages: 3 to 6 months

Why do it?

  • Baby is likely to notice their hands around now, and will be interested in looking at them.
  • They will reach out for things hanging in front of them, like on a play gym.
  • They may hit or grab things by accident at first, before learning to touch them on purpose.
  • They’re making brain connections for using their eyes and hands together — this is the beginning of many fine motor skills they’ll develop over time.

How to do it

  • You’ll need:
    • 3 things baby might be interested in looking at and touching (such as a rattle, measuring spoons and a piece of fabric)
    • string or ribbon
    • sticky tape.
  • Attach the objects to the edge of a table using the string and sticky tape.
  • Position baby so their hands can touch an object.
  • Wait and watch — baby will touch something by accident, and after some repetitions they’re likely to start touching deliberately.
  • When they’re ready for new objects, swap the old things for new ones.
  • Aim for a wide selection of materials — fabric, wood, metal, shells (check for sharp edges), as well as plastic items.
  • Use tinsel down the windows, as it will sparkle.
  • Balloons are good for tying onto the play gym too — but watch for out for pets or older siblings who may pop them

Using more reo Māori

Kei te aha koe? What are you doing?
Kei te tākaro koe? Are you playing?
   
Taritari Wait
Mātaki Watch
   
Titiro mai, he aha tēnei? Look here, what’s this?
Taputapu tākaro Play things
   
Tārewa Hanging, dangling
Touch
   
Toro atu Reach out
Totoro Reach out
Wheriko To sparkle, gleam
   
Tatangi To rattle
   
Kei hea te Where is the ....
Koko Spoon
Ki Key
Pēpa Paper
Rīpene Ribbon
Anga Shell