Sunday, 12 May 2013

10 things you can do at home with your baby (on the cheap)

I was on the phone with a friend tonight and we started talking about doing more adventurous things at home with her one year old. She's not a big fan of messy, but I told her to GET OVER IT! Kids love playing and exploring with textures and messy just comes with the territory- Right!?

 So we made a list of different easy activities she could do at home with her little monster. There's a good mix of messy and none-messy activities (it's really up to you how messy you let the activity get!) All these activities are great for developing fine motor skills and creativity. Try your hardest to let them explore on their own terms and get ready to get messy!
1. Homemade Edible Finger Paint: It's messy, but your little monsters will LOVE it!! All you need is corn flour/corn starch, cold & boiling water and colouring! We all know how much our little monsters like putting stuff in their mouths, so this is a great way for them to explore with paint and for you not to have to worry how much as going into their little tummies!
The Imagination Tree has a great home made recipe of Finger paints.
If you want to colour your paints natural check out Kayle Ann
 GREAT deals on food colouring (way cheaper then what you buy them for at the store!!)

2.Discovery Bottles: These are easy to make and the best thing about them is that you can change them when you think your little monster is getting board with them! We like to do seasonal ones or that ever the kids are interested in - it's limitless what you can put inside!  Add paint or food colouring for different colours, glitter is amazing inside them and anything that can fit thought the top! There's some great ones at Southern Thomas
You can use ANY type of clear plastic bottles, but if you like the Voss water bottles-

3. Ice Play: Freeze different coloured water in ice trays, balloons, plastic eggs- whatever and let your baby explore. You can do this with or without water: in a highchair, at the table, outside or even in the bath!! Growing A Jeweled Rose has some cute photo's:
You can use any type of ice trays, but if you want something unique:

4. Wet Food Play: This could be Big Bowl of Jelly (Jell-O), Cooked Pasta or Mashed Potatoes!! Why not- they play with at meal time already!! Add food colouring if desired! (Add elements for your little monster to scoop, pour & mix with, bath toys or animals!)
Cute photo's of Jelly Play on Playing and Learning Begins At Home:

5. Crazy Foam: All kids love crazy foam/soap!! You can do this in the bath too- where ever you do it have a jug of water to help wash it off them- trust me it will get every where!!! (Once again add elements for your child to scoop, pour & mix with, bath toys or animals!
Stock up on Crazy Foam-

6. Sensory-Treasure Baskets: This is something our little monster do natural, but putting together a basket, might just distract them from what you don't want then to play with! To make you own treasure basket, take a box or basket which is large enough to hold a few items, but shallow enough for your little monster to be able to reach inside and select different objects.
Try to include lots of different textures in the items you put in the treasure basket. Some things you might like to include: Metal: measuring spoons, colander, whisk, large keys, jar lids, tea strainer, sauce pan, bells tied on a string. Natural materials: wooden spoons, bowls and blocks, sponges, large shells, fir cones, twig spheres, woolen pompoms, large pebbles, whole fruits and vegetables. Fabric: scarves and pieces of material including knitted items, cotton, silk, velvet, leather, chiffon, terry, fur

Sit alongside your baby and let them explore. Observe as they pass items from one hand to another, turn them over, put one inside another. You can chat as you look at the items, but the key idea here is to let your baby explore the items their way, rather than you having to ‘teach’ them about the objects. (From: Nurture Store)
You have lots of thins around the house that can go into a Treasure Basket!
7.Quicksand Goo: This is using corn flour (corn starch) You might remember it from your childhood- I sure do!! It's messy (again) but lots of fun!  Add food colouring- blue for the ocean, green for grass! You can add some of their toys that fit the theme, the Goo is really easy to wash off! (Once again- add other elements for your little monster to scoop, pour & mix with!)
I'm sure you have some old corn flour in the cupboard!
8. Flour or Corn Flour Play: This is a great Sensory Play activity for babies. They loving feeling things in their hands and the concentration levels are intense! (Once again add elements for your little monster to scoop, pour & mix with, bath toys or animals!)
Cute photos of a baby exploring corn flour at Train up a child learn as we go
I'm sure you have some old flour or corn flour in the cupboard!
9. Oat Play: Add elements for your child to scoop, pour & mix the dried oats with! You can add cars to drive through the oats or animals to walk through!! This works great with any kind of dried food as well! For those who are brave- Carrots Are Orange add water- we LOVE it!
Just grab any dry food from the cupboard to use!
10. Nature: God made dirt, Dirt don't hurt!! Bring it inside if it's too cold! It's one of the best things around (and it's FREE), let your little monsters explore "rough bark, soft grass, squishy mud, coarse dirt, and cool water." At The Pleasantest Things  they went for a shoes off walk:
Take your little monsters outside for some free fun!

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