Babies just seem to love containers, especially finding one with various items inside and dumping them out. Contain that natural inclination with these variations on in and out games!
For the first version, I simply filled a shoebox with a few toys, trying to make them novel for Veronika; we had a few new squishy balls, empty So Delicious yogurt containers, and some favorite soft toys.
The entire goal of the game was for her to reach in and pull things out, then fill the box back up and start all over again. She was up for it!
The shoebox proved to be a little too big for her to lift and dump, so I eventually transferred everything to a small toy bin. I showed her how to upend this.
What a fun game, mommy!
For the next version, I got a little more technical with language learning. Use a plastic bowl instead of a box (just to mix things up!) and add different toys.
Pop beads are a fun burst of color for babies; just be sure you have these joined in secure loops, since the individual beads can pose a choking hazard.
This time, I first said, “Put in,” and encouraged her to place items in the bowl.
Then we reversed it: “Take out,” I said, each time she reached in a hand to grab out an item.
Note: ‘take out’ happened a lot more than ‘put in’, which I expected! But repeating the words each time will help your baby learn the concepts.
I also encouraged her to hand toys to me, using an open-hand gesture and language.
This is a great game to play on repeat as your little one nears that exciting moment of first words!