What’s in the box?

 Aim of the game:

Inspire your baby’s attention, help them to focus on others and to learn new words with this simple activity. The aim is to put objects or toys into a box and take them out one at a time to explore. It need not be many, you can always build this up over time but by simply putting items in a box, bag or container of some sort it creates a fun, exciting surprise element.


 What you will need:

 A box or container – avoid tubs or containers that your baby could see through as this will take away the element of surprise.

Objects or toys – this literally can be anything. We recommend starting off with exciting or interesting toys such as your baby’s favourite rattle, noisy or sensory toys.


 How to play:

  • Turn off any distractions such as the TV, radio, put your mobile phone on silent etc
  • Sit or lie opposite your baby so you are face to face, this way they can watch you, you can see their reaction and share the enjoyment as you explore the toys in the box
  • Present the box to your baby and if you wish you could sing a ‘what’s in the box?’ song as an introduction

 for an example listen here:

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  • Let your child take an object out and pause to see if they make a noise, gesture to or look at you. You then simply label the item for them so they can learn the word. Remember to keep your language simple (single word and short phrases) as this will make it easier for them to learn the words.
  • Repetition is the key to language learning so set yourself the challenge of saying the name of the item at least five times before they take another object out of the box! For example, “ball… you found a ball!… red ball… bouncy ball…wow ball!”
  • Once all objects have been taken out say “finished” so your baby knows the game has ended.


 How to extend:

  • Encourage your baby to request and ask for more by pausing rather than immediately offering them the box again once they’ve finished exploring the first toy. You can cue them in by asking “more?” or “more box?” and wait for them to wriggle, make a noise, look, good or gesture to indicate another turn.
  • Introduce new vocabulary sets by putting collections of objects in the box such as fruit, vegetables, animal toys, vehicles etc.
  • Introduce another person to help your child to learn to take turns and wait a little longer (e.g. a brother, sister, another adult or friend).



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