slider-imba1Play is an important part of learning for babies, toddlers and older children. It encourages children to think, explore their world, communicate, test their skills and practice adult skills. The following are some simple games and activities to help encourage your little ones to be creative and have fun.

Peek a Boo

Playing peek a boo with a young baby can be hilarious for both adults and babies. babies find this game so amusing at first because they do not have a sense of object permanence. This means that if they can’t see you they don’t think that you exist anymore and therefore they get such a surprise when you appear again.

Messy Play

Children love mess! Messy play encourages children to be creative and individualistic. It can also be a soothing and relaxing activity for children of all ages. Some examples of messy play include painting, play dough, pottery, helping with baking and playing with other materials like sand and water or shaving foam (if they are old enough to understand not to eat it).

Recipe for Play Dough:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of water.

You can also add non-toxic food colouring to create colourful play dough. This can be refrigerated for up to three days wrapped in cling film.

Magic Box

You will probably have noticed that children love looking through bags or taking clothes in and out of the washing machine so why not make them their very own ‘magic box.’ Use a large box or basket that is low enough for a child to reach into and strong enough for them to lean on. Fill the box with items that are safe for your child to play with, ensuring that they are not a choking hazard, have a toxic coating, sharp edges and can be kept clean. Choose items that are different shapes, textures, colours and make different sounds when banged.  Here are a few ideas for your magic box:

  • Large sea-shells
  • Large pebbles
  • Sponges
  • Wooden spoon
  • Metal spoon
  • Toilet roll tube
  • Tin foil tube
  • Small books
  • Toothbrush
  • Beanie bags
  • Tennis ball
  • Cloth (different textures such as felt, velvet)
  • Bells
  • Small cake tin
  • Dry rice in a bottle

As your child gets older you can adjust the box to suit them. For older children you could add a torch, clock, lock and keys, magnets, magnifying glass, whoopee cushion or deck of cards.

Singing & Dancing

Children love to jump around and make noise. Singing and dancing is fun and it allows your child to show off their talents, while keeping them fit.

Find songs to entertain kids of all ages with videos and words to play and download at http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-songs.

Join in with your children and show the some of your moves. Put some of the old classics on such as Grease and The Sound of Music.

Entertainment for all ages

Dress up and put little concerts on with themes such as Line dancing, Saturday Night Fever or a Ballet show.

Out ‘n’ About

Getting out and amount can be daunting with multiples. For the first year try and go for walks or visit a relative or friend to have a change of scenery. When your multiples are a little bit older you will be able to bring them to playgrounds, farms and many other places that will entertain them for hours. Here is a few places that have been recommended by IMBA members:


  • Malahide Castle
  • The Phoenix Park
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • The National Aquatic Centre


  • Brigit’s Garden


  • Fota Wildlife Park