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Highchair tray play for babies


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Hi!

I'm doing my EYP placement with babies at the moment and I'd like to put together some highchair tray activities for the 8 month old. The staff put out trays of interesting dry stuff for exploration but on the floor where the toddlers tip it up and empty it out. Little chap doesn't get a look in!

 

I have very little baby experience and am worrying about the health and safety aspect of highchair tray play given that little chap is bound to eat whatever is put in his tray.

 

If I make playdough, isn't the salt bad for him?

 

If I make jelly, isn't that bad for him because of the sugar content or the artificial sweetener content?

 

I thought about Cheerios but surely he shouldn't be eating them yet either!!!!!

 

I'd really welcome any suggestions and advice. What do you all give to your babies for tray play? (is that the real name for this type of sensory activity or have I made it up! I like it - nice rhyme - tray play)

 

Thank you all

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Yes thank you all - I thought a little more about this and decided baby yoghurt with a splash of food colouring might work well and also had the baby rice idea and I do like the couscous idea.

 

 

Do nurseries/childminders write policies about this type of play - maybe more of a risk assessment type thing? I saw a risk assessment document about Treasure baskets the other day and it made my wonder if this is standard practice across all settings.

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Great ideas already Pafandral! Risk assessments give you the opportunities to try exciting things with children. As for messy play with babies, you can offer them any foods they have already tried before, mix with a bit of water, puree it and fill up the tray and you are well on your way! ^_^

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We have a risk assessment for messy play in general, but we don't write them for each specific activity. This doesn't stop you assessing the risk though. I guess you might need to write one as evidence or somehow show you considered the child's safety.

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Yes. I thought it would be good evidence for the EYPS file but also good practise.

 

I could speak with his parents about what foods he s eaten so far - thus ticking another EYP box - and refer to allergies (he has none identified) and dietary requirements.

 

Adult to be always present.

Clean before and after

Minimise slip hazard for other staff and children

Not sharing the resource.

Only fresh made stuff or stored covered in fridge to avoid bacteria.

Choke hazard -

 

I thought I should risk assess choke hazard also by considering the lumpiness of stuff offered and that it should be lead by the baby's stage of weaning.

 

Do practitioners or parents have concerns about letting children play with food? The baby won t know that food is any different to paint or gloop at this stage!

 

Is there anything else I should consider? Thanks all. I m getting there!

 

 

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Playing with food is a tricky one and I'm sure lots of people will voice their opinions. I'm not a huge fan, but I acknowledge that it can be a valuable resource for little ones. I draw the line at filling the water tray with baked beans though!! Then there's the ethical argument. I know that if we play with food at nursery, it will make no difference to children who do not have enough to eat, but I'm always uncomfortable with the fact that our food is so plentiful that we can play with it. We try to 'offset' any food play with fundraising for our sponsored charity (SOS Children's Villages).

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Playing with food is a tricky one and I'm sure lots of people will voice their opinions. I'm not a huge fan, but I acknowledge that it can be a valuable resource for little ones. I draw the line at filling the water tray with baked beans though!! Then there's the ethical argument. I know that if we play with food at nursery, it will make no difference to children who do not have enough to eat, but I'm always uncomfortable with the fact that our food is so plentiful that we can play with it. We try to 'offset' any food play with fundraising for our sponsored charity (SOS Children's Villages).

 

Tricky isn't it....I used to get round that a bot by asking parent to donate out of date dry goods stuff such as flour for making gloop and pasta and rice for playing with dry and even cooking out of date spaghetti and mixing it with baby bubble bath....great slimey stuff I can tell you xD

 

Obviously can't do that if the baby is actually going to eat it but for older children in the water/builders tray it fine.

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Some great advice already.........but hope he isn't spending too much time sitting in a high chair?

 

No he won't be! I am mindful of that issue. It may well be that he enjoys this activity on a table top, sitting on an adults lap.

 

He just isn't getting a chance to feel the interesting textures at the moment because the nursery staff put them in trays on the floor of the baby compound er... area where the walking babies tip them all out. I don't think there is an expectation that little chap will access it and it's been things he def shouldn't eat - sand, paint, dry leaves

 

Slightly bigger chap came back from 2 months travelling yesterday and had a fascinating, enthralled 10 minutes squashing spilt peas onto his tray individually with his index finger in between spoonfuls of lunch.

 

And Alabaloo - love the picture. Might omit the sauce! :D

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