Finding new and interesting ways to play with Elliott has been something that I have searched and scoured online and pinterest for hours for. I want play time to be fun for both of us, as well as encourage him to develop.
Black and white cards and books are a great way to develop a babies ability to focus their attention and levels of concentration up until your little one is 13 weeks. We were (I was) a tad bit too excited when we “moved up” to the coloured cards in baby college when we passed the 13 week mark. Now I can print and laminate colour picture cards and he doesn’t have to look at my questionable drawings and patterns anymore. Although I might make some colourful ones just because I love home- made things. I created my own black and white picture cards following my baby college classes. Babies’ vision is limited in the first year and they respond well to simple, bold patterns with high contrast. This explains all the toys and resources out their to support their visual development. With the cards and books, we use them for short bursts of time and ensure that we focus. I tend to sit him on my knee away from any distractions (often facing the wall than the room). I then spend 30 seconds or so talking through the picture or pattern repeating key words or phrases. I also move the cards from left to right, as suggested in class, to encourage him to track the picture. I can really see the difference it has made in the few weeks that we have been working on it.
Sat in a baby class I saw a mum pull out a plastic jar full of shiny things and watched her little one shake it in delight and be mesmerised by the contents and it inspired me to create my own sensory jars. Now Elliott can recognise colours, I opted for the rather colourful contents for our jars. The eggs make a great shaker too! I also let him touch the pom poms with his hands and put them in a tray and sit him on my knee and let him explore them with his feet. As they are rather small I make sure that I keep an extra close eye on him during this play and don’t let him put the pom poms in his mouth.
As well as being a great shaker, Elliott also likes the sensory jars during tummy time to be rolled back and forth in front of him which helps him to follow and track with his eyes too.
For Valentines day one of my gifts and card came in this very fabulously pink moonpig box and was wrapped in bubble wrap. The teacher in me just couldn’t throw it away and so I decided to celotape the bubble wrap to the outside of the box and allow Elliott to explore it with both his hands and feet…. which went down a treat! I also added tin foil to one side and allowed him to do the same. I’m going to add some felt I now have left over from a craft project to one side for an all round wonderfully free sensory box.
These are just a few of our favourite things at the moment, I continue to hunt for new and exciting ways as he grows, any suggestions or great activities you’ve brought or even better…. made! Let me know in the comments below.