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What's In The Box? | Posting, Pulling, Object Permanence, and Enveloping with Babies and Toddlers.

What's In The Box? | Posting, Pulling, Object Permanence, and Enveloping with Babies and Toddlers.

What's In The Box? | Posting, Pulling, Object Permanence, and Enveloping with Babies and Toddlers.

The Enveloping Schema can be observed and encouraged in babies and toddlers in many interesting ways. Repeated wrapping, posting, pulling, and hiding will keep your little one busy time and time again.

Schemas are important patterns of thoughts and movements children use to develop skills and understanding of how their body moves and works and their relationships with the world around them.

When looking at Enveloping we often speak about object permanence, which is the understanding that something still exists when it cannot be seen. This understanding can be encouraged using open ended toys and resources like those I'll highlight in this article.

There are many other benefits of enveloping - spacial awareness, exploring size and shape, and awareness of their own body through age appropriate games like hide and seek or peekaboo. I know in our home we hear "where did you go?" and "where's the baby?" frequently while our older children play with our toddler, currently 15 months.

Below we are going to look at my favourite toys for our younger children during their baby and toddler years to engage their interest in enveloping! I will discuss some different ways your babies and toddlers may benefit from these items at different ages and stages, including the best time to buy to get the most out of them.

playdreamers wooden toys australia totli box object permanence montessori
1. I'm going to start with the Totli Box as this one covers so many factors all in one, well, box. Recommended for children aged 12 months and up, the Totli Box has an easy swing door to access all the included goodies - 3 play silks, 6 coins, a wooden ball, and a felt ball all in a sturdy cotton bag. Three sides are designed for posting and pushing with coins and balls, as well as pulling the play silks through. The play silks are a lovely smooth texture, soft on baby's skin, and just the right size for playing peekaboo. The Totli Box makes the perfect first birthday gift, and will be a firm favourite right through toddlerhood. The quality is wonderful, hand crafted using high-quality birchwood and silicone and is made to last through the love of many children.

Take a peek at the Totli Box here!
playdreamers object permanence enveloping schema blog australian toy store nsw
2. The Woodpecker Game by Tender Leaf Toys has been a popular gift at Playdreamers for years. Suitable from 18 months, it makes a wonderful first birthday gift to grow into or a great added purchase to bring something new in during the year. The four balls with happy faces sit in the tree stump, ready to be tapped through with an adorable woodpecker hammer. This game helps develop an understanding of object permanence - the balls were there, tap, tap, tap, now they're gone, but oh they're still here! This beautiful toy helps children learn about cause and effect, develops hand eye coordination, and keeps them playing with simple repetitive motion; and of course looks beautiful on the play shelf.

Take me to the Woodpecker Game!

playdreamers enveloping schema blog australian toy store forster nsw
3. The Dimpl Stack by Fat Brain Toys is a staple in our play. Fat Brain Toys have created a modern twist on a classic stacking and nesting toy by adding textured silicone dimple's for popping - wonderful for strengthening developing hands. We love to use our Dimpl Stack with various toys to hide underneath ("enveloping"). This is a wonderful way to develop spacial awareness skills, learning what will fit under which size cup, and of course object permanence. As children move into the toddler years memory games are also a hit. Place different items under each cup and exercise concentration skills with simple questions - "where's the blue ball?" followed by lots of wonderful praise "wow, you worked so hard to remember!"

Show me the Dimpl Stack!
grapat permanence box wooden montessori toys australia playdreamers forster nsw
4. If you're searching for open ended toys that will last years and years through various developments in play, take a peek at our range of luxe quality wooden toys by Grapat. We love the Object Permanence Box alongside Rings and Coins for simple posting, or the Nins, Rings, and Coins for colour sorting fun hiding Nins inside the stacked rings. Another favourite at Playdreamers is the Balls and Bowls for hiding, but also to use in a wide variety of play. Grapat pieces are wonderful to use with your favourite sensory play bases to bury and uncover over and over. These toys will keep babies busily grabbing and holding, toddlers sorting and hiding, and preschoolers endlessly using their imaginations! All hand crafted by a small family business in Spain, Grapat uses sustainable forestry and non toxic dyes making their toys incredibly safe and an Earth-friendly option. Many items are safe to start using at 6 months of age! The Grapat items we have mentioned are wonderful for younger children but some items including the Mandala pieces in the collection linked below are not appropriate for babies and toddlers as they are a choking hazard - please always check age recommendations.

View the entire Grapat range here!
playdreamers enveloping schema blog fat brain innybin australian toy store forster nsw
5.  Shape sorters are a popular toy to introduce during the baby and toddler years, and our Fat Brain Toys InnyBin may be the coolest spin on one yet. The innovative InnyBin removes the challenge of shape sorting, replacing it with simple stretchy bands to push shapes through. This makes it a less stressful introduction and experience with enveloping shapes, especially for our younger children. Each shape features a different texture and is made of high quality materials. Tested and recommended for children from 10 months of age, the shapes are a great size for little hands. You aren't restricted to using the InnyBin with the shapes provided - we've used scarves, tissues, wooden balls, and other objects of varying sizes and textures for posting fun. This toy is super lightweight and a favourite of ours to take away or to appointments.

Get your InnyBin here!
playdreamers stacking cubes enveloping schema blog australian toy store djeco forster nsw
6. Stacking and Nesting Cubes have been around for a very long time - many of us adults remember using them in our junior years. They've stuck around as a popular toy because they're simple, versatile, and fun. My favourites are the Djeco Rainbow Stacking Cubes - 10 beautifully coloured cubes with educational prints - and the Zookabee Wooden Stacking Cubes which come with shapes for posting. Both of these sets are a fantastic size for collecting objects around the house, loading and unloading. I love the Rainbow Cubes by Djeco for colour sorting as toddlers begin to develop colour recognition and sorting skills.

See the Zookabee Wooden Cubes
Or the Djeco Rainbow Stacking Cubes

playdreamers taf toys tissue box childrens toys australia forster nsw
7. One of our more recent additions to Playdreamers is the Tissue Box by Taf Toys. I remember a time when my middle child was a toddler, I'd regularly find things popping out of our tissue boxes when I pulled one out to use. When you're in the enveloping stage it is normal to find objects stuffed into anything accessible - tissue boxes a popular target. And they love pulling the tissues out just as much! The Taf Toys Tissue Box has been designed to allow babies and toddlers to continuously satisfy their desire to hide goodies in boxes, and pull items out. You receive 8 organza tissues and two thick crinkly tissues with various textures and tabs to enjoy endless pulling, pushing, and games of peekaboo. This one is a great first birthday gift, suitable from 12 months and up.

Check out the Taf Toys Tissue Box now!
playdreamers enveloping schema blog post wooden toys australia totli nsw forster
8. Our Totli Ball Drop is an absolute must have in Montessori inspired homes. The simplicity keeps babies playing with little frustration, learning about cause and effect and object permanence while working on their fine motor skills manoeuvring the ball into place before releasing it to drop through. Suitable for babies from 7 months of age, this is great to introduce when your baby is just sitting up and ready to move on from their newborn toys. 

Find the Totli Ball Drop here!

As your baby begins to show interest in toys and independent play you may notice behaviours indicating they're reaching their Enveloping Schema era, this will often remain an active interest through to 5 and 6 years of age and beyond. Watching this interest develop and evolve is so much fun and providing activities and toys to engage this interest can be so easy! I'm passionate about removing stress from play for parents - you don't need elaborate scenes to provide meaningful play experiences for your kids.

Other easy ideas for toddlers are dress ups, dolls and baby wraps, and larger scarves; and sensory play bases like rainbow rice or dry lentils for burying and hiding objects.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of our incredible toys to engage your baby or toddler's interest in enveloping. This is my first blog post in some time, so if you have enjoyed it please pop me a comment and let me know your favourite toy in the list above! Engagement helps me know you're reading and encourages and inspires me to continue creating informative posts ongoing. All questions are always welcome below and I'll be sure to answer as swiftly as I can.

Thank you for being here,

Hannah x
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