Since my previous post here on fun baby activities, Cameron has become even more interactive and is constantly on the move and has started scaling furniture and spends loads of time standing.
Clearly, both structured and free-form play contribute significantly – and in different ways – to a babies development. Some of the more structured activities we have been starting recently are:
1. Pegs: putting pegs in and out of bags/buckets and I put them on Cameron’s clothes so he has to unclip them which helps his fine-motor skills.
2. Hammering: you can use loads of different things for this – drums, xylophones, sticks with buckets, toy hammers, hands with tables. We sing songs and tap with the beat or while I make myself food or get Cam’s ready I let him loose with a pot and wooden spoon.
3. Stairs: best to do this when you have minimal stairs, a confident crawler and stander and padding around the stairs. Cam loves climbing and this obviously helps his gross motor skills.
4. Sink or float: this one is a bath game we play sometimes with various toys/objects.
5. Ball throwing: Cameron has just started to throw a ball and go to retrieve it which means loads of repetitive play.
6. Tunnel crawling/peek a boo: Cameron loves his tunnel (ikea one) now and takes to carrying items through it and playing peek a boo with me.
7. Threading: obviously, this one is done with the babies dexterity in mind so for Cameron I use something with a large hole that is easy to put a rod through but he’s slowly getting the hang of it. Once he’s older I’d love to get him some wooden threading buttons and lacing shoes.
8. Magnets: this I saw over at The Activity Mom where you use some simple magnets and your bub takes them off and puts them back on. This is great for toddlers too where you can use the alphabet magnets to spell simple words and play letter games and number games.
9. The “button bag”: fabric stores carry extra-large buttons (buy the biggest you can find, a minimum of 2 inches across) that make safe and satisfying play-things. They’re great for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Choose eight buttons or so in matching pairs and try find a widely varying selection of colours and textures. Put them in a small cloth bag, and let your baby take them out and put them back in, over and over. Help bub match them up, or make a pattern. This bag full of buttons is perfect to tuck in your purse or nappy bag to pull out when you’re away from home and your baby is getting bored.
Aside from this there’s lots of labelling going on here where I’m talking about body parts, actions, foods, etc to get Cameron onto the idea that everything has a name/place/purpose.
Cam is a lot more talkative now so it’s easier for me to ‘talk back’ to him and encourage him to have conversations with us. He’s loving waving, hi 5ing (although, he’s only done this around myself, Mike and my sister), signing [now regularly signs Dad, boobah (milk), finished (his version), and more recently bird (a lot like waving but he knows the sign and looks for them when I do it)] and we’re trying to teach him to clap.
It’s been rainy and gloomy so it’s spoiled our fun lately but just prior to this weather Cam and I had been going out everyday and having so much fun at parks with friends and his cousins. It’s so adorable to watch him play and get dirty, sandy and wet. You have to watch him though because he likes to eat anything he can grab so I just follow him around :P
Cameron is doing brilliantly at swimming and loves the socialisation wherever we go. He has to learn how to be gentle though – it’s so hard with young babies! He’s so rough with everyone and likes to follow older children.
I’ll do a post soon on how to make your own pretty recycled handmade paper and one on how to make a ‘key chain’ of sensory fabric flash cards which I’m working on at the moment.
Thank you to those voting and reading! I love hearing from you: