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Sibling Play Space at Home - Adding a Baby Toy Shelf

A look at how we have created a multi-age play space for our kids at home ...

Kids toy shelf with open ended toys - Grapat Nins, Grimms rainbow, baby toys. Set up t home for kids ply space.
Welcome to our kids play space at home!


Creating a space in the home for sibling play is such an exciting task! It can also be a bit tricky, especially if you have a range of ages to cater for like we do.


One of the best things about building and investing in a collection of open ended toys is that they can be used in many different ways as there is not right or wrong to play. This means that they are able to be used by a wide range of ages, which makes it easier to create a multi-age sibling play space at home!



This play space is in the corner of our lounge room as we don't have a dedicated playroom. It is a space for Miss 7 months, Miss 4 and Miss 7 to share which means it needs to work for a range of ages.



Now Miss 7 months is starting to be on the move it was time to baby proof our play space in our lounge room and add in her own play space - the baby shelf.


Up until this point in time Miss 7 months has had some toys in a basket and a few toys and books out in her little play space on the mat on our lounge room floor.



Kids Toy shelf at home with open ended toys including Grimms and Grapat wooden toys
Our toy shelf is in the corner of our lounge room.


The Baby Shelf


We now have a baby shelf on our toy shelf!


Little Miss 7 months is now able to get herself from the play mat over to the shelf by rolling and moving mostly backwards so it was time to make it more baby friendly.


Miss 7 months has some toys for her on the bottom shelf. Blocks and sensory jars are a favourite at the moment.



Blocks


We have used some blocks from the Grimms Building Set Forms and Colours. This is a great first block set, as it has a variety of block shapes and comes in little trays. This means that a few trays can be put out at a time, to make it less overwhelming for little kids. If you have the large stepped pyramid or other block set with larger pieces, some of the smallest squares make great first blocks!


Sensory Jars


An easy DIY toy to make for babies is sensory jars.


  • We have used an empty plastic Voss water bottle filled with sparkly pom poms, sequins and some bells. This one has been a favourite from when Miss 4 was a baby too!


  • The jars (plastic candy jars from Kmart Australia) are filled with chickpeas, gems, little flowers - made by Miss 7 and Miss 4 for their baby sister. Miss 7 months enjoys shaking them and pushing them around.


*Always supervise babies at all times with sensory bottles/jars. Ensure the lid is screwed on tightly/glued shut so babies cannot get the small items inside which are a choking hazard.



Discovery Basket


For this first discovery basket we have gone with a blue theme. I added in a blue silk, some blue blocks, a rain shaker rattle (Hape brand), some larger Grimms pebbles (the smallest have been put away for now) and a blue coloured DIY jar using blue ribbon, blue beads (to make a rattle sound), blue pom poms all sealed tightly in a plastic jar (ALWAYS use under adult supervision as it contains small parts, which are a choking hazard).



Mirror


I attached a acrylic mirror to the back of the shelf for some more fun play too with reflections. Our mirrors were from Educating Kids in a 2 pack, but places like Bunnings and even Kmart now sell acrylic mirrors.


Blue themed discovery basket for baby to play with at home
A discovery basket for baby to explore


Miss 7 months has been enjoying playing here already. Blocks have been a favourite. She has also really enjoyed pulling everything out of the discovery basket!


Open-ended play space for kids at home using open ended toys - Grimms and Grapat
Baby playtime with blocks and a silk.

Grimms Block Sets


Our block sets have now been moved out for the next little while as Miss 7 months gets better with her crawling and head control. When Miss 4 was a baby she bumped her head on the corner of the large stepped pyramid and it left a bruise. I would recommend moving these types of block sets out of the way until your baby has good head control while crawling and isn't likely to roll into them either.


We had our Grimms block sets mixed up in baskets on the lowest shelf, which I decided to move as they were heavy and I didn't want Miss 7 months to tip them on herself. We sorted them back into their trays and moved the large stepped pyramid to the top of our tv entertainment unit for the next little while.


Grimms blocks sets - the Grimms large stepped pyramid, Grimms 1001 nights, Grimms romanesque
Sorting our Grimms blocks into their sets

Small Loose Parts - Grapat Mandala


Our smaller loose parts are now up in containers and jars from Kmart on a higher shelf. We used bamboo lid kitchen storage containers and plastic candy jars from Kmart Australia.


These allow these beautiful loose parts to look pretty on display while being safely contained out of reach. The older girls can use them during nap times or ask to use them in another room or up on the dining table out of baby's reach.


All other smaller toys that could be unsafe for baby have been moved out of this area. Remember to check the age suitability (from the toy manufacturer) for all toys you have in your place space to make sure they are suitable for baby and properly secure all heavy furniture (e.g. toy shelves) the wall.


Kids toy shelf at home with Grapat mandala pieces in jars on a shelf.
Smaller loose parts are stored up high in jars.


The Higher Shelves


The other shelves are set up to cater for the interests of Miss 4 & Miss 7.


Kids toy shelf at home wiht open-ended toys, small world play, Grapat nest bowls and Grapat mandala.
The higher shelves have toys for the older girls.


I left the small world shelf empty without any characters to see what the girls would add.


Small world invitation to play for kids with Grapat Nins, Grimms rainbow, toadstool house.
A small world invitation to play

They excitedly set it up with their little air dry clay animals that they had made. I love this and wouldn’t thought to do it myself. (The small items are put away after play to ensure they don't accidentally drop to the floor).



Small world play invitation for kids using open ended toys
The shelf after some play!

They also built some block towers on the lower shelves for their baby sister to knock down, which was sweet of them!


 

I hope you enjoyed looking at how we have set up this space for sibling play.



Open-ended toys are fantastic for encouraging sibling play - especially with siblings with a wide age range. They are definitely worth the investment when you look at how much play potential they have over the years, with many starting to be played with from birth or 1 year old all the way up to adults!


I look forward to sharing how this space evolves over time as I know it will.



Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!

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sibling play space at home using open ended toys + Grimms and Grapat wooden toys


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