Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Open Ended Baby Basket

Many of the posts here at HLM are directed at toddlers from about 2 years old and up. It's not that I lack for ideas for my littlest Munchkin Ava (just turned ONE!), it's just that she is far too busy exploring her world without my help (but with plenty of supervision) to give Mummy's ideas the time of day. You know what? That's fine by me! Actually, I'm usually jazzed that she gets into everything and mouths everything: she's my whirlwind bub or as hubby calls her, our little 2-stroke girl (motorbike joke) - plenty of energy, goes fast and makes lots of noise! On those rare occassions when she seems to want something different, I actually get to dip into my reservoir of baby play ideas and give it a go.
In theory.
In practice, she often 'wants something different' when her sister is having a meltdown (and yes, we have those at our house too!), when I'm trying to cook dinner and get on top of the cleaning (hahaha, like that's ever actually going to happen!), the phone's ringing, the bath's running, and Loki is trying to take over the Earth!!! Ok, not that last one. I saw the movie 'The Avengers' the other day. Ahem.
So what can we do to offer our tots some stimulation when our attention is elsewhere and we cannot sit and give them the time that we'd like to?

I offer open-ended baskets. It's very similar to the Treasure Baskets I've posted about before (see here, here and here) but I try to have a common denominator to the items. In this particular instance, the theme was 'Open and Close'.

I took my cue from Ava's new FAVOURITE thing to do: open and close everything. Drawers, cupboards, books, jars, containers, shoeboxes, DVD covers, curtains (well, she tries), bags, my purse (wallet). E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. So I zoomed around the house for about a minute collecting as many safe opening and closing things as I could, put them in a fabric basket, and left it where she could easily find it. I ended up including two little boxes, a ring box, a glittery sequinned box, two breath mint tins which each open differently, a screw top jar, a zippered purse and a drawstring bag. I also thought I should give her things to put in and out of the boxes, so I gave her a shoebox with wooden pattern tiles, and pieces of a texture matching puzzle which she loves.

Here she is getting into it, exploring what she has to work with ...

Practising opening and closing with the jar and tin ...

Ava thought she might be able to put the lid from one of the boxes onto the jar ... and she was right! Clever bubba!

Without exaggeration, Ava spent a solid hour playing with the contents of this basket. That is great for a one year old! Next time, I'll have to change up the contents, maybe a 'filling and emptying' basket?

Thanks for reading! ~ L.

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