The Baby Club – Episode 18
Playing with Paper – Parenting Tips
In each episode of The Baby Club we have a ‘What’s in the bag?’ section, and in episode 18 we were playing with paper. When we were playing with it, you may not have been aware of how much thought had gone into how and why we used it. Also you might be interested to know how it inspired other parts of that specific episode. For that reason and to provide some parenting tips, I have written Nigel’s Baby Club Diaries. Hopefully they will help you see:-
- How important your interactions with very young children are.
- Why they can help with learning.
- Ideas for verbal interactions you can have with your baby.
- That you are not alone in your thoughts.
- That dad’s shouldn’t be embarrassed about getting involved too.
The information you will find here draws on Peeple’s Learning Together Programme. Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust charities were consultants on The Baby Club. As with anything regarding your baby, if you have any queries you should speak to your health visitor. They will be able to provide help and support with questions you may have.
Things you can do with paper?
During episode 18 we were playing with paper. You may have seen us scrunching the paper, drawing on the paper, and even throwing the paper. All of these help develop different aspects of your baby’s basic skills, and I will discuss these in a moment. But first I would like to give you a couple more ideas and things to look out for when you are trying this at home. These ideas are good as your baby gets older and you want to develop more complex skills.
- You can pass a scrunched up piece of paper between yourself and your baby like a ball.
- If you have lots of paper you can count how many pieces you have, or hide the paper underneath or inside something.
- If you are playing with different kinds of paper, encourage your child to find specific ones. It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop language. Simple phrases such as ‘Can you see the Yellow Paper?’, ‘Look at the Shiny Paper’, are good examples. Don’t worry if your baby isn’t sure, just point to it yourself: ‘Here they are – Here is the Yellow Paper!’. This is the first step towards learning what something is, and the more you repeat things like this the more your baby will get involved and understand.
What areas does this activity help with?
Taking things in turn is a good social skill to have. We use it during one of our most frequent activities, talking. Having a conversation is based around taking turns. If we all spoke over each other communication would become very difficult. We also use it when playing games and while learning. It’s an essential skill that will help with behaviour and aid good manners later.
Coordination & Muscle Tone
Passing a scrunched up piece of paper between you and your baby will help to develop hand eye coordination. Regular activities like this will speed up co-ordination and also help to tone the muscles used.
Numbers and Maths Development
Numbers and maths are a huge part of development even at this young age. But don’t think of it like the maths you know as an adult. At this stage, introducing the different words that are relevant to maths will help provide a solid foundation for later on. Words like ‘Count’ ‘None’, ‘More’, ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ are all very helpful when approaching numeracy.
Songs and Nursery Rhymes
Songs and nursery rhymes are a huge part of The Baby Club and a fun way for babies and young children to learn. You’ll be surprised how well babies remember information that is delivered in a song. When we were playing with paper we sang a rhyme about bits of paper. But there are many nursery rhymes that you could also use. If you are using tissue paper ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ is a good one, or you could draw a picture of an egg on the paper and sing Humpty Dumpty.
What other objects can I use?
Playing with a Stick
Playing with a Ball
Playing with Gloves
Playing with Leaves
Playing with a Saucepan
Playing with Cardboard Tubes
Playing with Bath Toys
Playing with Ribbons
Playing with Socks
Want to learn more?
If you have found this helpful and want to find out more about supporting your child’s learning, please check out Peeple’s Facebook page. If you’re a practitioner, you can find out about the Peep Learning Together Programme and training on the Peeple website, or email Charlotte on firstname.lastname@example.org.