Fascinated is an understatement! This kid was like a little kitten playing with the moving light- giggling, yelling, and trying so hard to catch the moving target! I had a larger flashlight for me and a small plastic light that was easy for him to handle. I set up some shatter proof mirrors and let him explore the light, shadows and reflections. I hid the small flashlight under a small sheep skin and watched him "paw" at it as I moved it around! What makes dark? What makes light? Look at that shadow! Why can't I grab it? These simple activities are stepping stones for helping Parker understand the world around him! Physics for a 7 month old!!!
This sudsy activity was great entertainment and so easy to clean up! I created the soapy bubbles with about a 3/4 cup of water and a few squirts of Parker's tear free bath soap. I combined the water and soap with my kitchen mixer on high for about 3 minutes and... TADA! We had a big pan of suds! Once you make the bubbles, there is very little water remaining so clean up is simple. No clothing change was required! We added some new bath toys to discover in the bubbles; explored the suds on our hands, feet, the floor, our mouth (of course!); and threw it in the air!
This activity was inspired by one of Parker's favorite Sesame Street books: " Bubbles Bubbles!"
Happy Baby=Happy Mamma!
,"Hey Mom! What is that!?!?" I love how curious babies are! Parker, along with most every other baby I know, is incredibly interested to touch and play with things are are not toys! While this leads to great frustration for both he and I over the many objects I am still try to learn to child proof (because they are dangerous), it is so fun to watch him discover newness in the world around him.
This activity turned out to be much messier than I planned! I secured green construction paper on a baking sheet and covered the paper with white sugar. Sugar has a interesting texture- similar to sand in many ways- yet sticky and sweet tasting! I taped the green construction paper underneath for the purpose of contrast so he could see the color as he drew in the sugar. Of course he tasted the sugar but did not eat more than a lick or two as it was far to sweet for his liking! He spent a good amount of time sitting still and examining the small bits of sugar on his fingers and rubbing them together curious at their sticky feel.
This did turn into a full body experience which is why it became far messier than I envisioned. If I was to do it again, I would do it right before bath time as we had stick body parts for the rest of the day regardless of how many times I attempted clean him off. Also, we had sugar all over our hard wood floor but truthfully that was much easier to clean up than the sticky baby! It's worth the mess!
Happy Baby= Happy Mamma!
My little baby has become quite the explorer! We are in full baby proofing mode and you can't leave anything on the floor (even a crumb) without this curious George getting a hold of it!
So tonight while prepping dinner, Parker discover a butternut squash seed that I dropped and with high concentration worked at picking it up...to of course stick it in his mouth! So while hollowing out my squash for dinner, I save the seeds and stringy innards for him to explore under more careful supervision while he waited for his salmon and squash to bake.
He found the seeds to be the most interesting part and worked for several minutes using his pinchers to pick up each seed one by one. He also used his hands to smear the orange. slimy squash all over the white butcher paper in a lovely display of artistic brilliance- aka mess! This is not only a great sensory experience but butternut squash (acorn or pumpkin) are so very delicious and an awesome compliment to just about any dinner. Dual purpose! Perfect for a busy mom!
Happy Baby=Happy Mama!
Cold hands! Parker didn't seem to mind the cold at all! We played with this ice block until we had a mess all over the floor- then moved the action to our kitchen sink! I put colorful ribbons that I used for a previous play activity into the bottom of a round baking dish, filled it with water and stuck it in my freezer for a day. I let the block sit out for a while so that he could feel and grab the ribbons. Once the ice really started to melt he grabbed the ribbon and made the block move quickly against the side of the pan so that ice chunks and water was everywhere! Definitely worth trying with your baby or toddler! :)
I had every intention of having a "controlled mess" for this mother's day card making project! I found a cute pinterest photo of two baby handprints made into flowers and tried best to replicate by painting Parker's hand and placing it gently on the construction paper! HA! Parker doesn't do gentle anymore and does not like being controlled so it turned into a messy disaster of fun- I glued a heart on the card that said "Happy Mother's Day" and the grandparent's got an authentic home-made card with pictures of him making the gift.
We started with just the hands and then I gave him a textured ball to play with as well. I bet we would have only had half the mess without the ball as of course it ended up bouncing and rolling on my floor! Oh my! But my floors needed a good cleaning anyhow and Parker is washable :) You may think that the mess is not worth it but I promise it was so much fun for both of us. There is so much learning that happens when a child gets to see and do for themselves... mixing colors with his hands, watching the cause and effective of the paint splatter when he smacked the ball down on the paper (or threw it on the floor!) and seeing the marks that his little fingers and hands make on the paper and tray.
Give painting with your baby a try and do not forget to keep the camera close by for some awesome messy shots!
Happy Baby=Happy Mama!
It seems so fitting that since my little Parker loves cats so much that I get him a ball of yarn! He very much acted like a little kitten as well- using all limps to grab and hold the yarn, bite the yarn and play chase with the yarn! He practiced using his pinching skills to pick up the thin object as well as coordinating two hands at the same time to put tension on a string to manipulate it in the way he wanted. Oh and of course he also worked on his new "trick" of army crawling across the floor to chase the moving pieces that I attached on to a small dowel rod- just like a kitty! It is the simple things! And we played with these pieces of yarn for many days!
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!
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!