Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In Response to Bonnie's Friend's Question

Ooh--I'd love to hear all of the ideas that she gets. It's nearly impossible for me to keep Rachel busy all day, every day. She's such a busy, busy, baby!
  • We try to go outside at least once a day, weather permitting. We watch for birds (and other animals) or go on "feeling adventures" where we touch everything we can and discuss smooth and rough and prickly, etc.
  • We swing, we slide, we play with fire hydrants. Anything that entertains her pretty much. We just talk about what's going on.
  • I also try to do something musical with her. We play on the piano or we bang on "drums," which are usually tupperware containers, boxes, etc. I also have some little castanets that we gave her for Easter. She likes those but can't use them very well.
  • We play with blocks a lot. We practice putting the blocks "in" things and "on" things.
  • I also will sing songs about the letters on the blocks--E says EE and E says Eh. Every letter makes a sound and E says EE and Eh.
  • Or R is for Rachel, that's good enough for me. R is for Rachel, that's good enough for me. R is for Rachel, that's good enough for me, oh Rachel, Rachel, Rachel starts with R!
  • I will find a block with a picture on it and then find the matching letter and show her: Airplane starts with A! She's so cute! She's started to hold two blocks beside each other and show me them, thinking she's doing the same thing I'm doing. She's not, but that's okay.
  • We sort the blocks by colors or write things with the letters: her name, simple words, etc.
  • I build towers and she knocks them down. We make lines and trains and castles with them. We balance them on our heads...
These are really disjointed ideas. Sorry. I'm tired...but I'm kind of on a roll so I'm going to continue.
  • I have a little tin can (with a plastic lid--no sharp edges). We cut a slit out of the lid and we use juice can lids for "coins." We practice putting those "in." They're fun for "music time," too.
  • Rachel loves bubbles. I blow, she tries to eat them right out of the air.
  • We play "cat and mouse." I crawl around on the floor and Rachel follows me around. Or I'll chase her saying, "I'm going to get you!" or "Roar!"
  • We sing songs. A lot of songs. We have a pig puppet and a cow puppet and we sing "Old MacDonald had a farm" using those animals first...and then we go through all of her stuffed animals. I don't know what an ewok we skip that one.
  • We do a lot of finger can find a ton online.
  • I have her follow me around the house while I clean up. It slows things down but gives us plenty to talk about. She loves helping with the laundry. "Who's shirt is this? It's mommy's shirt! What color is it?"
  • Sometimes we go on to Starfell or some other kid friendly site and I let her play around.
  • We read stories everyday and talk about the pictures
  • We bang on pots and pans
  • Peek a boo is a huge favorite.
  • When I'm really desperate we just take a bath or shower
  • We have a glass-top table that we play through. I'm usually looking down at her while she sits underneath it. I'll put my finger on the table and she'll put hers on the same spot underneath. And then I move my finger and she'll move hers. We also kiss each other through the glass. She thinks that's hilarious.
  • Mirrors are a lot of fun. We point to each other and ask where mommy and baby are. The other day Andrew put a sticker on her forehead and she spent a good 10 minutes at the mirror trying to get it off of the "other" baby--her reflection. So funny!
  • We take pictures just for fun. She loves the camera.
  • We look out the window and point to things we can see...
  • We people watch. She loves to watch big kids play--big for her is anything older than herself.
  • We have magnets on our front door and fridge. She likes to pull those off and then I put them back on. We haven't done a lot of experimenting with this, but she has taken them off the door and stuck them to the metal frame of her stroller, so I see some potential.
  • We've tried coloring but she's more interested in eating the crayons than coloring at this point
  • We often just categorize all of our toys by color, making piles of green toys, pink toys, etc.
  • She loves balls. We roll them all around the house. She chases after them and goes nuts.
  • I really want to start going to story time weekly...they do new finger plays there and Rachel loves to be surrounded by books and children. If only the weather would stay nice and warm...
  • We practice "being soft" with her stuffed animals and pictures in books. I help her stroke them gently and prompt her to "be nice."
  • We watch the clothes spin around in the washing machine
  • She loves to look at pictures and movies of herself. We talk about her and other little babies. She loves babies.
Pretty much anything that we can explore, we do. We talk about every aspect of everything. I have these cute puzzles that she's way too young for, but we sing songs about them...there are a ton of songs you can sing with minimal props. We have a farm puzzle and we sing Old Mac Donald and This little piggy and Baa Baa Blacksheep and any other song that has to do with any animal in the farm picture.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go to bed. I'm exhausted. I hope that's something along the lines of what she's looking for--and if she gets any good ideas, let me know! I'm running out of ideas myself. It isn't so much that Rachel gets bored with things...It's that I get bored of things.

I really want to get more organized though, because I think that Rachel's personality will demand much more structured entertainment in the any and all ideas are welcome.

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