These were Little bears first toys.
Mammas you do not need expensive items to entertain baby.
The wooden bunnies were made by my friend Karolien at www.momsdirectory.co.za and I painted them using nail polish . I used them to help him focus and do tracking with his eyes.
The plastic containers, I would put beans, ect in to make different sounds. I shook these for him to hear.
We placed all the items into the gift bag as storage and pointed out the bright items on the bag to bear as we spoke during the day.
The washing machine I made from an old mug box by cutting a hole in the centre and drawing on the details. I would place various tactile materials inside for him to pull out.
The finger puppet fitted over bears hand and I would place it on his hand or foot for body awareness and to get him to grasp at it and cross the midline.
Those first 1000 days are the most important and one of my peeves at having worked in several daycares, is how the school owners feel babies do not need as much stimulation as older children .
Today I’m sharing just a few of the items bear and i did together in his early months …
This is one of my all time favourite go to sensory activities and even my age 4/5 year old class enjoyed writing and playing in the shaving cream.
You can colour the shaving cream with a dash of food colouring .
Best of all if you spray into a cupcake tray , put a different colour into each cup, mix and leave in the fridge till bath time you have awesome bath paints. My older bears loved these.
Little bears reaction to the shaving cream was delightful. He was 4 months old here and loved mooooshing the cream over the tray.
And …no mess!
Just dump in bath 😛
For bath fun I love the www.acornkids.co.za bath foam which is the same as coloured shaving cream. Too much fun in a can.
Items as simple as a serviettes can keep babies entertained and are great for tactile discovery.
Just watch how quick those little hands can get to the mouth …
Another one of my favourites.
Little bear squished it in his chubby fingers, walked on it, rolled on it, crawled on it and I sat him in it, in his pool.
Obviously never leave baby alone with plastic of any kind. And watch items near babies mouth.
One of our favourite items when little bear was crawling was his www.melissaanddoug.com tunnel.
When my other bears were babies my budget didn’t allow for such fancy items and we made tunnels from empty boxes, chairs lined up and under beds.
Crawling obstacles were placed within reach to encourage movement and develop those gross motor skills.
Baking is one of the activities little bear and I enjoy together.
You can bake from young.
Even at just a few months he enjoyed tasting the dough, squishing it in his fingers and slamming rollers and cutters onto the dough.
As he’s gotten older he now helps add ingreadience to a bowl, place decorations on and has more control over the roller and cutters.
How cute is his chef hat from Theresa at www.magoo.co.za ?
Oh how much fun was Little bears first sandy day at the beach?
Sand is a wonderful medium to explore.
As I was stuck inside with a broken leg for most of bears early months we used kinetic sand from www.acornkids.co.za on a tray to play with often.
Garden sand is his favourite and he loves the feel of squishy mud between his fingers as he drags his bulldozers through it.
We’ve tried to build sand castles on the beach but up until now my OCD builds the castle and bears Toddler curiosity crushes it 😂
Did you know preschools steralise their sandpit sand with coarse salt. It keeps it free of worms and fleas.
If you have pets always keep your sandpit covered.
Water play can be just as exciting to explore as sand and again you don’t need any expensive water tables.
A large container with a bit of water, a small blow up pool or a plastic shell will do.
You could even put baby in the bath.
Boats, bath toys and kitchen odds make the best experimenting tools.
You can colour the water with a drop of food colouring or use www.acornkids.co.za angel powder.
A bit of bubble bath, shower gel or shampoo makes amazing bubbles.
Alternatively if your toddler is older you can give them a hand whisk and get them beating that water to make the bubbles …
A ball pit can be tremendous fun at any age .
We turned a mini blow up pool into bears first ball pit.
He would sit and play like that for a few minutes at a time and soon learnt to throw them out .
Who doesn’t love bubbles?
I collected some of Kikis bath bubbles and placed them in a container for little bear to explore. He enjoyed feeling the bubbles on his hands and feet.
So much fun in a box.
This is still one of little bears favourites.
I started by tying a balloon to his car chair or pram for him to watch.
As he began to sit and crawl I would blow up several and place them all around him to bop at and try catch.
Now that he is older we can throw them to him and he kicks them.
Bring nature inside
As I mentioned I was stuck with a heavy cast and moonboot for most of little bears early months and so i would often get one of my older bears to find me leaves, flowers, bark, stones, shells and other pieces of nature for bear to explore.
These really can be made with any container large enough for baby to sit in.
I filled Little bears blow up pool with a variety of different items and hid toys and small things in between for him to discover.
This one I used packaging pellets but you can use :
Cut up pool noodles
I introduced Little bear to paint at a very young age and it’s one of his go to activities.
It’s possible to let your child paint from 4/5 month old with help. You guide their hand and then watch as they learn to swipe the paper themselves.
If you are worried about mess mix a little dish liquid into your finger or poster paints , it helps it wash out faster.
Or you can make your own paint by mixing either flour or cornflour with a drop of colour and a small bit of Water till you have the consistency you need.
He has his own style and will paint anything in front of him.
This box was from his www.buddingminds.co.za kit and he had not finished painting yet so the box was his next project 😂🤣
I feature my discovery boxes often because I feel it’s important to place a child in an environment that fosters learning and discovery.
The box is an old train box but you could use a tray, shoe box, cupcake tray or printers tray.
Chose a theme
For this box we used a baking theme
Fill the box with items related to that theme and step back allowing your child to explore and discover each item for as long or short a period as they like.
This was my saving grace over the December holidays and kept bear busy enough for me to get some work done.
And always end with lots of mamma hugs and kisses