Introducing Guest Blogger: @explorewith.oliver

I’m Sam, Mama to Oliver (18 months) and part time early year’s teacher at a wonderful pre-school in the North East. I have over 7 years’ experience working with children and I am very passionate about children learning through play and above all children having fun when learning.

I started my Instagram account back in June 2020 during the 1st lockdown when all of the baby and toddler groups I attended suddenly closed and I found myself on furlough after only being at work a few weeks after maternity leave. I felt a wave of anxiety not just for myself but for Oliver. We were so used to heading out and about popping to see friends and family when we wanted, attending lots of baby play groups and filling in our time quite nicely…then it all ended. What were we to do now we were stuck at home unable to see anyone?

I remember sitting at home worrying about everything (because let’s face it, isn’t that what us Mamas do best?) I felt a sudden urge to do more with Oliver at home whether that be reading, spending more time out in the garden and doing some of our very own messy play sessions!

So I ordered a few bits and bobs online such as a large tuff tray (highly recommend!) some chalks and paint and off we went creating and exploring at home. My idea was to create easy and simple play based activities at home that everyone can set up and little ones will love to explore.




Simple play based learning ideas to try at home

How many of us have walked into a room and found that your little one has pulled all the wet wipes out of the packet? I know I have…it was one of Oliver’s favourite things to do. So, I decided to get an empty wipe packet and fill it with (clean) socks and give it to Oliver to pull out to his heart content- how easy and simple! This activity is great for working on fine motor skills and developing concentration and problem solving using something we all have around the house with little ones…not to mention it will give you enough time to sit down with a nice cuppa!

I’m really passionate about learning through play. Which is as easy as it sounds, encouraging your child to play and explore and you’ll find that they are learning while doing it. It develops their interests, concentration and investigation skills and above all lets their imagination go free! Next time your child is playing, play along with them and you’ll be amazed at what you both learn together.

A lot of play can be done from items around the house such as messy play with flour or shaving foam encouraging your little one to make marks using their fingers and hands exploring the texture and adding in household utensils such as spoons to draw circles and lines. For older children you could even make a game out of chores around the house such as matching up all the socks pairing the colours together- great for colour recognition and helps with the odd jobs to, win win!

I found that since I started my Instagram page, there are so so many parents with similar issues wondering just what to do to help their children develop and learn at home. So don’t worry you are not alone, and just remember you are doing an amazing job! We’ve got this x


Shop tracksuits here! Play approved ✔️ 

November 26, 2020 — Emily Ramplin


Samantha said:

These are such great ideas! Olive also loves baby wipes, I’m going to try the sock idea. I also love the flour idea and have finally bought a messy play tray too, so will definitely try this. Such a great read :) xx

Angela said:

I love how honest & refreshing this blog is ♥️

Vera Bowe said:

Some fab ideas and Oliver looks full of concentration in the pics.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.