A baby play area doesn’t need to be large or fancy, just fun and functional. As you can see, this is just a small area, the size of his blanket.


  • Blanket
  • Cushions
  • Treasure basket filled with household items


We usually have the teepee up here, but I have taken it down for the moment as Cian is fascinated by nature. He enjoys watching wildlife in the garden, rain falling on the window and the hedge blowing in the wind.

At 5 months, Cian is enjoying spending more time sitting, so we prop him up with some cushions and his treasure basket of household objects. These are just objects with different textures to explore, such as bath puffs, washing up brushes, rolling pin, colander, wooden spoon, hair rollers.

We also have a handful of baby toys that were bought for us, he enjoys them but they don’t hold his interest for as long as the basket.

Cian will happily play independently here, under supervision, but more often than not he ends up with company. This treasure basket is still proving a hit for open ended play with his brothers at 5 and 3!

DfES Outcomes for EYFS (2013)

Communication and language

Listening and attention (Birth to 11 months)

• Turns towards a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.

• Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices.

• Reacts in interaction with others by smiling, looking and moving.

• Quietens or alerts to the sound of speech.


Speaking (Birth to 11 months)

• Makes own sounds in response when talked to by familiar adults.

• Practises and gradually develops speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like ‘baba, nono, gogo’.

Physical development

Moving and handling (Birth to 11 months)

• Turns head in response to sounds and sights.

• Makes movements with arms and legs which gradually become more controlled.

Personal, social and emotional development

Self-confidence and self-awareness (Birth to 11 months)

• Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions.

• Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention.

Managing feelings and behaviour (Birth to 11 months)

  • Shows a range of emotions such as pleasure, fear and excitement.

Making relationships (Birth to 11 months)

• Enjoys the company of others and seeks contact with others from birth.

• Responds when talked to, for example, moves arms and legs, changes facial expression, moves body and makes mouth movements.

• Recognises and is most responsive to main carer’s voice: face brightens, activity increases when familiar carer appears.