Prep: 10 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

Babies enjoy container play, especially the dumping part! The “fill and dump” activities help infants build strength and coordination of small motor muscles.

  • container (e.g., shoe box, plastic bowl, basket, purse)
  • household items or toys to fill and dump (e.g., small blocks or other toys, bean bags, wood slotted clothespins without springs, rolled socks, plastic spoons)

Step 1: Place your baby in a seated position on the floor.  Put a container in front of him filled with a variety of safe items. 

Step 2: Watch as your child lifts the items up to explore and transfers them from hand to hand. 

Step 3: Encourage your child to empty the containers and then fill them back up. 

Step 4: Provide simple language to describe what is happening (e.g., You found a bean bag. It’s soft and squishy. The block feels hard. You dumped all the blocks on the floor. They made a lot of noise.). 

Step 5: Make it fun. Follow your child’s lead and stop the activity when your child is no longer interested.