We loved this balloon sensory activity! Balloons always need to be carefully monitored for choking reasons! I stayed on the floor and watched him closely as he handled the balloons because as you can imagine with any 6 month old they spent most of the time in his mouth! We have spent time around latex so I also know he is not allergic and I also washed the balloons in mild soap before using to remove any powder.
I used a small funnel and filled the balloons with: dried chickpeas, rice, flour, sugar, egg noodles, water and oats. We have been playing with these balloons for many days now! We talk about the colors, sing the rainbow song, drop them on baking pans to watch them fall and hear the different noises that each makes, manipulate them in our hands and lots and lots of chewing! He loves the yellow balloon filled with chickpeas the most and was the least interested in the water balloon- which was surprising to me.
Did you try this activity? What did you put in your balloons?
Brrrrrr..... COLD! Ice cubes were a fascinating and frustrating adventure for my little teething babe. If you think about it most babies have not really been exposed to cold, as generally adults are always so obsessed with ensuring that babies are warm and comfortable-not too hot and not too cold. So ice was a different experience as he wanted to hold on to it, taste it and play but it is uncomfortable cold and slippery! Parker's tolerance was much longer than I anticipated as he wants so badly to play and accomplish whatever "goal" he had set out to do in his little mind!
In other activities, Parker has mostly ecstatically enjoyed the experience but I honestly don't think enjoyment happened with the ice until the end of this activity. He was grumpy and whiny! He did not want me to move him or take him away from the ice (I was watching for his ques to tell me he was done- I am not trying to torture my kid lol) but rather he was focused and wanted to figure out how to hold it and get it to his mouth. He kept trying and failing... trying... failing... and well folks- that is frustrating for anyone-but it doesn't necessarily mean you should quit! It was also frustrating for me to watch him fail and whine because he can't do it himself. It is really hard for me to not just intervene and fix it for him. I did help him by putting the ice in his mouth and in his hand so he could do it himself but they did not fix his frustration as I was the one who controlled the ice or the ice would slip out of his hand and make him mad!
Eventually I stuck a piece of ice in a mesh feeder so he could really grasp it and have the control- and that was exactly what he wanted. I can only imagine what this personality is going to be like in the toddler years-sigh! He was so proud of himself and was back to my happy, giggly little boy. And Parker played and sucked on that piece of ice in the mesh feeder until it melted away.
Happy Baby=Happy Mamma!
I am always looking for interesting, new, and safe items for my little guy to discover, so one rainy afternoon I dug into my fridge to see what I could find. I found a lemon, a big kale leaf, a cucumber, an orange peel ( after mommy ate the orange- ha), and some rosemary. The lemon was the only item I did not leave on the tray as I did not want it citrus juice to get into his little eyes- ouch! I did let him smell and take a little taste of the lemon but left all other food items on the tray and watched him explore.
He picked the kale up by the stem and spent quite a while smacking the tray and watching the other objects move and bounce. The rosemary was extremely interesting to him- and each time he stuck the piney needles in his mouth he made a strange face and moved on to another item. I learned that Parker thinks that cucumbers are the most disgusting food ever- he shivered and gagged on the taste- repeatedly! It is interested to see what one decides to "like" verses "dislike" but he did like to play with the seeds and make a mess with the juicy pieces. He put the orange peel in his mouth a few times but mostly examined it in his hands.
Think about the food in your fridge- what would be interesting for your baby to explore?
Happy Baby= Happy Mamma!
Who knew spinach pasta could be so fun! My silly little 6 month old loves food like his mamma and is exploring both traditional baby food purees along with baby-led weaning. While this "activity" is technically "eating" (actually I don't think much pasta made it to his stomach) so much learning is happening when a baby sees, tastes, smells, feels, and even hears new foods.
Parker works to manipulates the pasta (and all his foods) in his hands while trying (both succeeding and failing) at getting it from his hand to mouth. He squishes it between his fingers, pulls the tangled mess of pasta apart and of course throws it off the side of the high chair while watching it fall. To an organized and well mannered adult this seems like a disaster of a mess but it is actually a baby learning to control his body and objects as well as understand the world around him- fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect are just a few of the ways he is learning.
Whether it's pasta, a banana, peas, some mash potatoes, or spinach leaves... try letting your baby "do it themselves"- watch their eyes and focus to see the learning that takes place!
Happy Baby= Happy Mamma!
It's so hard to be a little baby and want to stick everything in your mouth yet your "obnoxious" parents keep removing it before you have even had a proper taste! The injustice! I love food and flavor- actually who doesn't- so I do feel a bit bad that all he eats is the same liquid diet and a few plastic/wood toys- boo! Actually Parker did start solids this past month and has had a fair number of fruits and veggies without reactions (thankfully) so I felt semi-safe to try this activity with him!
We started with a plastic bag filled with "jello" and orange slices but quickly moved on to make a mess as he was only mildly entertained or curious with the plastic bag. Because I only felt "semi-safe" with using "jello" because of the limited amount of food exposure, I went with a sugar, dye, and gelatin free version I found at our local organic store called Simple Delish. It is not quite the same texture as jello but was definitely a similar experience. As you can imagine, we had orange "jello" everywhere- all over the highchair, baby, mommy, floor and walls but it was fun! He actually was not that interested in eating the jello (which was fine by me!) but rather painting with it and attempting to pick up the small and slippery orange slices. I did help him eat or drink some of the juice from the oranges which he thinks is really funny! Think about the texture and surprise sweetness when you bite into a juicy piece of fruit.... now think about doing this for the very first time!
It has been rainy and cold in our area recently which means we have been stuck inside our tiny little apartment with our same and very limited supply of toys- so boring! I understand that repetition is good for babies and that he is probably not "bored" BUT sometimes "mommy" needs to stimulate her creativity and have different conversational pieces to shake up the day. New objects, textures, sounds and manipulatives are always good for baby so I dug out some decorating supplies from my closet to explore with Parker. We found: artificial flowers, raffia, twine, some interesting textured packing paper, a little wool scarf, and burlap.
My little guy is not quite crawling but he is strong and able to roll and move around in a circle to get at the objects he wants. It was quite interesting to see what he gravitates to... the winner was the packing paper and raffia! Parker is constantly working on his gross motor skills as he pushes, rolls and reaches for objects just out of his reach but he is also working on hand- eye, hand-mouth, and hand- hand coordination. We play simple cause and effect games such as peekaboo with the paper, putting the flowers on our head and watching them fall, listening to the rustling of the raffia as he moves and pulls it apart, and so much more!
Happy Baby=Happy Mamma!
Who knew green peas could be so fun! Grab some frozen veggies out of your freezer and throw them in some warm water to practice some fine motor....and laughing skills! We made a mess! There were peas and water everywhere but it was so worth it. My floor needed mopped anyhow! :) The ability to pick up small object via "pinching" is a learned skill that takes practice but he was working hard at getting those tiny little buggers in his mouth. In case you were wonder....the answer is "yes, his dad and I ate those green peas for dinner"! Lol!
Happy Baby=Happy Mamma!
It so common and boring.... tissues and cotton balls?! But look at it through the eyes of a human that has just been on this earth for 5 1/2 months. He has just recently gained the ability (or permission) to grasp, touch and feel but a few limited objects/people. He is fascinated with everything! "It's so soft! The texture is so interesting... oh look at how the tissue floats through the air!". "Where did mommy go?- PEEKABOO!" I did not share the pictures of him trying to taste it but of course that happened as well! There is so much joy and good in the simple things!
Happy Baby=Happy Mamma!
Holly Flanders- I am an educational professional with a career that has been focused on infants - 3year old curriculum development as well as the quality vetting and training of childcare professionals. I am a new mommy on a mission to 'practice what I have preached' with my baby boy while helping new mammas and childcare professionals come up with easy and fun activities to help the babies they love learn and grow!