No Excuses

   Written by on October 26, 2015 at 7:53 am

I was handling an empty water bottle earlier today and was enjoying the sounds it made as I manipulated it. It reminded me of some of the at-risk babies I visited with when I was working. I taught the parents of those wee ones that there need never be a time when the baby had nothing in which to encourage her to explore/manipulate/handle, view, smell, taste. I would show them things they likely already had in the home.

logo-wee-notesOne of the things I used was an empty water bottle or soda pop bottle. First it was rinsed and dried thoroughly. An empty water bottle makes amazing sounds with very little pressure. I would provide examples of bottles that contained sand, rice, beans, small pebbles, bells, pom-poms, etc. The top of the bottle was glued and/or taped on for safety.

I so enjoyed watching the child learn how to interact with the new “toy.” But I enjoyed even more seeing the parent enjoy the child’s interaction with the new toy.

You can provide another toy using a soda pop bottle. Fill it three quarters full with water.

Add blue and green liquid food color until it’s a nice shade and resembles beach water.

Fill the remainder of the way with clear oil. Carefully place the top on the bottle very securely and follow with tape.  When turned on its side, and tilted back and forth, it imitates the waves in the ocean. Not only does this help the baby learn cause (movement of the bottle) and effect (waves), but it is calming and may help a tired, grumpy baby relax and fall asleep.

Save an empty toilet tissue roll as well as a tube from paper towels, plastic wrap, or wrapping paper. Glue some bright paper, stickers, or color interesting shapes on the rolls. Place them on the floor with your baby and watch as she discovers how they roll when she bumps them. This entertains the baby, and encourages her to crawl to reach it again. If you want to make it even more interesting, cover one end of the tube with tape, place small objects inside and tape the other end closed.  Wow! Listen to that.

During summer when the temperatures soar, place several small toys in a bowl of water with the juice from a lime or lemon.  Place the bowl in the freezer over night. When your little one gets hot and fretful, remove the ice from the bowl and place it near her. She will enjoy touching it, licking it, trying to pick it up, and figuring out how to get at the toys locked inside the ice. This is another great developmental toy using the senses (eyes, hands, tongue, ears, and nose).

As you can see, it isn’t necessary to spend lots of money on expensive toys to assist in your little one’s development and provide entertainment. Young children learn better when a caregiver interacts with them as they play. Use words to assist in verbal understanding (cold, melting, waves, ocean, rolls, jingle bells, etc.) and communication (when she smiles, say, “Yes, you like that. It makes you happy”).

NOTE:  Please, please, please be careful to stay with your baby when she is playing and remove toys with small pieces when she is finished playing. Happy Safe Parenting!

©2015 Brenda Holland-Robinson

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