I prefer using paint to decorate the binoculars but Lincoln was very eager to outside so we used crayons to avoid drying time. He told me that he drew birds and squirrels and the sun. We put our binoculars on and went outside to search for random things. We went on a color hunt, a bear hunt, and eventually picked some raspberries from the bushes in our backyard.
For this particular kitchen basket I chose the following items: metal and plastic whisk, different sized wooden spoons, metal bowl, plastic bowl, strainer, funnel, and pasta spoon. While Layla explored, I prompted by making sounds with her and handing her various items.
I had a bunch of stale cereal and thought this activity would be really fun for Lincoln because he's been obsessed with birds and chipmunks and bunnies and squirrels lately. All of which are found in our yard! I poured all of the cereal into a bowl (which Lincoln gladly took a large sampling of). We then tied the string around each of our feeders. I decided to experiment to see which was better the puffs container or toilet paper roll.
I let Lincoln take a large scoop of the sunbutter and "paint" it all over the containers. We then rolled the covered containers in the cereal. It didn't fully stick on so we sprinkled the rest on top. Lincoln carried the small feeder and I carried the large and we hung them in a tree where we see A LOT of birds hang out.
Lincoln played music in the background and we had nursery rhymes playing in the background as well. She seemed to really enjoy the rattle-like instruments like the tambourine and maraca.
Before getting your baby set up, this activity requires a little prep work. Get your white piece of paper and cut it into the shape of a fish. I just did an easy design and made a triangle tail and circle top. I cut out a little mouth, too. I used my black sharpie to draw an eye on each side of the paper, and then put it into a large ziplock bag with orange washable paint.
I gave the bag to Layla and let her explore it first. She of course wanted to eat it, so with my hand over hers, I helped her spread the paint all around and squish and mash it. This helps her see how to play with it. And then I let her do more.
Take it out of the bag to let dry otherwise it will stick.
I called this level one because I will show a few ways we can alter to activity for older children. This is the most basic way to use straws and sorting. I started by making the container. I peeled the puffs container, took the lid off and snapped the top so it was open but still sealed. I used a thick piece of cardboard and poked holes in it using a pencil. Then I grabbed a handful of different colored straws.
All I did was tell Lincoln to put the straws inside. They fit perfectly and this kept him busy for a good 20 minutes of putting them in, taking them out, and trying again!
I placed Layla on her tummy with the three bags lined up and let her freely explore them. She doesn't have teeth so as you can see in the video, she enjoyed making raspberries on them and slobbering all over. At this level (5 months) I really just wanted to give her a unique experience, feel the cold bags, and move the water in the bag.
He didn't quite understand that I wanted him to organize them by size and I had to do a lot of showing him where I was placing certain rocks and why. We then moved onto pieces of bark and focused on filling up the circles with items from nature and how some circles had more or less than others.
The main goal from this activity was to understand size discrepancy and use proper terms to describe it.
Just like with tummy time, crawling takes practice. To promote crawling, scooting, and movement skills, I like to use items your baby already loves. I placed Layla on the blanket (the tabs are awesome because she loves trying to grab and eat them). I propped a musical book, penguin rattler, and few teething toys she really enjoys. I started by placing them just out of her reach.
I like to use the book as incentive, not only because it promotes early reading, but because it's colorful and she loves the noise. I pressed one of the songs and it makes her laugh. She scooted toward the book and I let her get it and play with it for a minute. Then I take it and move it further away. I continue on with this as she moves all around the room.
If your baby isn't moving yet, no worries. Place it an inch or two away, just enough so that your baby will reach for it. This hand-eye coordination move is super helpful. Plus it helps your baby persist until they get their desired outcome, which in this case is the musical book! Keep at it as long as your baby will let you!