Firstly they’re using their fine motor skills to actually hold objects, and may be passing them from one hand to another. They have to have good hand-eye co-ordination if they are to negotiate the object inside of the pot their aiming for.
Providing pots of different sizes challenges them to experiment with size and volume as they see which toys fit inside each one.
As they get older you can extend their play by adding lids or turing the pots upside down and hiding objects underneath. Hiding and discovering the toys inside helps them to grasp the concept of object permanence – the idea that things still exist even when they can not see them. You can have lots of fun with this by changing the objects you hide inside and sometimes sneaking away the item they’re expecting to see. Rather than teasing them, this actual helps them develop their thinking skills, as they process a result they weren’t expecting.
Another way to add an extra dimension to this play is to use pots which have a fragrance. If you collect together some old tubs from the kitchen which had a smelly content you’ll find they still have an aroma when they’ve been emptied out. Try pots of herbs and spices, custard powder, cocoa and teabag boxes such as Earl Grey or peppermint. Babies have a very developed sense of smell from birth but it’s often a sense which we neglect to nurture as they grow older.
Why not see what you’ve got that your child could explore today?