With a 5 year old, 3 year old and 9 month old, the biggest challenge is finding a play space that not only entertains, but is safe for all three of them. This play area is changed and adapted regularly to match their needs and interests.

Until recently, Cian used to play in a smaller baby play area by the window. Now that he is on the move, the whole room has been baby proofed (as much as is possible with two big brothers playing lego and constantly cutting and sticking in the same space).


Big boys:

  • Tuff tray
  • Wow! toys
  • Grimm’s rainbow
  • Grimm’s building boards
  • Circus scarves
  • Magnatiles

Baby toys:

  • Treasure basket
  • Sensory bottles
  • Building bricks


This was this morning’s set up. Now Cian is crawling forwards, and pulling himself up to kneeling, we’ve made sure that the bottom few storage shelves are suitable for him. Here we had taken some treasure baskets and tried to build a barrier round him, to try and keep him to stay put and give them a bit of space to play.

Both Ioan and Finn had decided to set up some small world play with the ‘Wow! toys’, Grimm’s rainbows and building boards, circus scarves and magnatiles.

With each of them having their own space, they played independently, alongside each other for hours.

Little man was happy just chilling and exploring his treasure basket.

A whole morning of them all busy and on task. I always take time to appreciate quiet moments like this while they last!

These are the some of the different ways we have set up the playroom previously. The final picture was when they’d just found out we were having baby number 3 and they were imagining what life would be like with three of each of them!

The first image is of ‘mouse castle’. They had this set up for a month and spent hours crawling through the tunnel squeaking like mice. The second is one of the many track configurations they have set up. The third shows how little space our baby area took up when he was a newborn!

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Expressive arts and design

ELG 17 – Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

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.

• Gradually develops ability to hold up own head.

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

• Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects.

• Explores objects with mouth, often picking up an object and holding it to the mouth.

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.