Friday, May 25, 2012

Baby Play: On and Off Bag

Ever since my littlest munchkin turned one, I have been run off my feet trying to keep up with her. She's getting into everything much faster and more persistently than ever before, and I'm left reeling! She's pulling washing off the indoor clothes line, changing the settings on my phone, climbing into drawers and then standing up and dancing in them the second I look elsewhere, and she somehow gets the remote control and has figured out how to get the batteries out!!! Don't fret, she's not unsupervised or anything, but she is a little whirlwind and sometimes I honestly cannot figure out how she gets the remote, or how she manages to reach shelves that should be too high for her! The only thing I have found which curbs Ava-mania for a while is open-ended activities which she can engage in, direct and explore.
Enter, the On-Off Bag.

Hmmm, now how do I get this...
....through there?
 Much like the Open-Close Baby basket I posted about here, this bag piggy-backed on another one of Ava's favourite concepts at the moment – On and Off. Not as in things that turn on and off like light switches (although she loves that too), but as in things which can be placed onto a pole and then taken off., almost like a homemade version of those stackable rings which little tots love.

Into a tote bag went a paper-towel holder, and a toilet roll holder (to stack things onto) and an assortment of on-hand things to stack, like paper-towel roll and toilet rolls, empty yoghurt cups, hair-ties (to encourage those developing fine motor skills), paper cups, a cloth basket with a handle, a Pringles container (I have had the same one for ages, they're the best for so many things!), a wicker wreath, and other oddments I found which did not matter to Ava at all. She only had eyes for the toilet roll holder, paper-towel roll, paper cup and the wreath.  

Ooooh, a screw. Fascinating!
Hee hee, this is fun!
Whoa. So cool.
Feels interesting.
 As you can tell from the photos, she was very happily engaged in playing with the items and figuring out how to put them onto the toilet roll holder. I wish you could have heard her, she kept giggling and squealing with joy!
Happy Bubba!

If you are looking for something to do with your little munchkin (under-18months old), then a great place to begin is by observing what your child is interested in. It may be a concept like off/on, over/under, up/down, etc, or a certain sensory experience like taste/sound/touch, or a theme like animals/fairies/pirates, etc. Use their current interest as the basis for further exploration, and you'll find that they stay engaged in the activity much longer than you may have expected. One of the best results of this engaged play is how much they'll learn. All you have to do then is sit back and watch your precious little one absorb it all like a sponge!
Thanks for reading! ~ L.

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