play: months 8-9
A few notes on the ways we’ve been playing around here, for archiving purposes (because I’m the family historian), and in case it inspires play with your little ones (I’d love to hear more if it does!). If you have ideas/tips/etc, I want to hear them!
It seems like everything is about “sensory play” — and I didn’t really know/think about what that was until a few weeks ago. It seems to be fancy talk for “let your kid touch everything/anything” and often, very very often, results in a giant mess. Whatevs. The house is barely clean these days anyways, might as well let the kid have fun, right?
1. Playdoh: I made some and it turned out awesome. I’ve presented it to Lil a few times – I thought she’d like the squishy texture after I saw her reach into a bowl of dough I was making one afternoon. She’s not really sure about it.
2. The dogs: If there is one thing she’s sure about, it’s the dogs. She watches them, giggles when they walk down the stairs or shake, and tries to pet them at almost every opportunity. Most recently, she’s learned that they enjoy her food, and she’ll hold it out to them. It drives me INSANE, this feeding the dogs of perfectly good human food, but it is REALLY cute.
Of particular interest are the dog’s noisy collars. The metal tags jingle, and Lilly’s been caught using them to make noise.
She’s also been caught trying to pull herself up on the dogs. They don’t seem to mind.
3. Water: This kid loves water. She’s found the dog bowls once or twice, and like any good mom would, I
stop her get out the camera and take pictures of her playing in the dogs’ water. I can tell she’s been watching them, too, because she opens her mouth, sticks out her tongue, and bends over to stick her face into the water. (I discourage her from actually drinking said water.)
4. Noodles: I made some noodles and Lil had a blast playing with them. I think noodles have a pretty awesome texture compared with most other things she’d encounter. Slimey and fun!
5. Sensory Bin: which is really just a fancy name for “dried peas in a tupperware container”. These are all over the Internet, and I jumped on board. Lil really likes running her hands through the peas, picking up the peas and dropping it, scooping up the peas with a spoon or other small container. She’ll concentrate on this activity for at least 20 minutes! The only downside is that there’s dried peas all over the living room.
6. Mealtime: Food is for fun until age one. I read that motto somewhere, and it stuck. Lil’s still nursing, so I don’t worry too much about what or how much she eats, other than attempting to put primarily healthy, whole foods in front of her. And food has soo many different textures! I can’t get over this photo of Lil with a drumstick.
7. Food preparation: Jason and I are really into making sure we incorporate Lil into our household duties/routines, especially that involving preparing meals. I had assumed she was too small to really help, so hadn’t been involving her much. One day last week, though, Lilly was having a particularly clingy day and wanted to be held. I popped her in the carrier and made stuffed shells. She had the best time digging her little fingers into the cottage cheese, spinach, herb mix as I spooned the mix into oversized pasta shells. Once I was nearly finished, she started digging into the pan of cheese, noodles, and tomato sauce, sticking the messy mix into her mouth, smiling, and going, “MMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!” I have to admit being frustrated initially — I just wanted to finish dinner so I could do something fun! — but Lilly provided a good reminder that the journey can be just as fun.
8. Gardening: Lil loves digging in dirt, sand, rocks, and playing with leaves, sticks, and grass! She’s been interested in observing worms, caterpillars, butterflies, and birds. Lots of textures and things to explore! Hopefully she’ll learn to stop eating these things soon. (Seriously, when do they stop putting things in their mouth!?)
9. Painting: I found a recipe for homemade paints using water, corn starch, and food coloring. I wasn’t sure how this would go over, since it seemed like it might be an activity for kids who are a bit older, but Lil really seemed to enjoy reaching into cups filled with squishy paint and smearing it everywhere. Including her mouth (obviously). And! When she was finished, she got to enjoy playing with water — I whisked her up to the bath immediately.
As Lilly’s social skills & motor coordination improve, I’m looking forward to being able to do even more with her! If any of you have tips/resources on play for 10-12 months & beyond, I’d love it if you’d share with me in the comments!