Monthly Archives: November 2008

Homemade Toy: Family Photo Magnets

Much of our family live far away so J doesn’t get consistent interaction with them.  It is very important to me that J know his relatives and develop relationships with them as he gets older.  The first step to me was knowing who was who in his family.  At 10 months, I made some photo magnets for him to play with.  I printed pictures of each family member, put a sticky magnet on the back and then lamenated both together (so he couldn’t peel the magnet off the back).  He has loved them since the first day I put them up.  He often played with these while I cooked dinner (convenient for me since he was close by).  He quickly learned who was in each photo.  When we were plannning a visit to see certain family (or before family came to visit us), I emphasized their photos. 

Age Attempted: 10 months; this is an toy/activity he still plays with at 22 months. 

Teachable Moments:  Family members (or other important people in baby’s life)

Try Again?  This toy rests permanently on the refrigerator door, used often

Homemade Toy: Endless Scarf

You know that magic trick where the scarf just keeps coming?  Apparently magicians need to be using this trick on infants.  They love it. 

Tie a bunch of scarves/rags/fabric pieces together and stuff them in an empty tissue box (or wipee box is even better since it encourages them to open and close the lid).  At first, let a little hang out of the box to encourage them to pull. 

Age?  I think he first did this around 8 months

Try Again?  This just became a toy always available to him.  It lasted a couple months.

Stacking cups are definitely worth it!

Stacking cups are awesome.  Even now, at 21 months, J enjoys them. 

J first learned to tear down a tower that mom/dad created.  At first he was a very careful little boy, removing one cup at a time (starting around 8 or 9 months).  I also used the cups to help teach object permanence (the idea that an object doesn’t disappear simply because we can’t see it).  I would place a small toy under one of the cups and have him find it again.  Then I added two cups, hinding the small toy underneath one of them so that he had to find which cup help the surprise.  After working up to 3 and 4 cups and he was quick to find the surprise underneath, I started hiding the surprise while stacking,…  basically any way to make the game new and interesting. 

Of course eventually he learned to stack the cups himself, nest the cups (I use both activities to emphasize size – big/small), fill cups with the matching color pompoms, fill and spill in the bathtub,…  There are so many possibilities, long lasting possibilities!

A careful demolitionist at 10 months