Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Simple Baby Fine Motor: Finger Crayons

I'm slowly exposing to Archer to the idea of working at his desk.  I'm hoping that as he gets used to it, it will open up a bunch of fun learning games for us.  Lately, for fine motor development, I've been getting out some finger crayons.
I got these at Michael's for Archer's Easter basket.  (These were the cheapest ones I found on Amazon). We'd tried regular toddler crayons and he just wasn't ready.  I like the shape because he can hold it in his palm. 
The first time, I used a big piece of paper and taped it to the table.  Since then, I've been able to use regular paper and just hold it for him.  We do it in very short bursts and it takes a lot of redirecting to keep him from eating them!  I'm hoping this will put us on the path toward coloring, markers and other pre-writing skills!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Simple Baby Sensory Play: Squigz in the Tub

In an effort to mix up bath time a little, I pulled out some Squigz and stuck them to the side of the tub. Archer had a great time hitting them, pulling them off and pulling them apart from each other.  He also LOVES the texture on his gums.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Books on the Shelf: Primates

Here are last week's Books on the Shelf:
They were all about primates.  Since Archer has been into animals, I thought this might be a good theme.  We were also able to visit some at the local zoo. I'm that mom at the zoo that always gets annoyed when parents point to apes and call them gorillas.  I don't say anything, but I always make sure my kiddos know whether we are looking at an ape or a monkey.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

12 Month Learning Shelves and Activities

Happy summer! I just realized that I never posted Archer's 12 month learning shelves!  Oops. Here's what we had.
One basket had a bunch of those activity balls.  He likes to pick up each one, shake it and then throw them behind him.  He also just dumped the whole basket frequently.

Another basket had his sorting food.  He's not quite ready to sort on his own, yet, but this is a good modeling activity.  He also really enjoys putting the food in the buckets, regardless of the color.  And eating them (see below).

This basket had his magnetic balls and sticks. He likes putting them together and taking them apart. 
We also started practicing looking for a "match."  I'd set out a bunch, hold one up, describe it and ask him to help me find the match.  Sometimes he could do it, sometimes he was too busy doing his own thing with them.  :)
His Dimpl was out on a shelf too.  He likes it, but struggles to do it himself, unless someone else is hold it for him.
Another shelf had his little school bus and school "door" (I can't find the set that includes the school door on Amazon). This was one of the absolute best garage sale finds!  While it was out, Archer played with it almost daily.  He likes opening and closing the door, pulling out the stop sign and putting the people in the bus.  He's also put finger puppets through the door or in the bus.

We had this fish color puzzle out.  Archer isn't quite ready to do it independently, but enjoyed taking all the pieces out and putting some back.  Mostly, we did it together.
We also had out the latch board.  Now this is one I always tease myself about buying it for him.  Yes, it is fine motor practice, but do I really want him to be able to open locks?? Regardless, it got lots of use, from both him and Xander.

The top of the shelves had his bottle and straws.  I know I already posted about it, but I still cannot believe how much time he devoted to this activity!!
On top of the shelves I had some Meet the Sight Words books.  We read them several times while they were out.  He seems to enjoy the words with which he is familiar.  He loves the movies, so that helps!

Still my adventurous boy!  He loves his Pikler's Triangle! 

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Simple Baby Fine Motor: Straws in the Bottle

Count this as a major win in my quest for fine motor activities for Archer!  I could not believe how long this activity held his attention and how often he would go get it off his shelves to do!  Hooray for occupying the baby!
We had an empty iced tea bottle that I gave him and some leftover straws from the Cupid's Blow Dart STEM Challenge.  I gave him three full straws and three straws cut in half.  The half straws were definitely much easier for him to get in.  The larger ones were more challenging, especially since they were the bendy type straw.  Straight ones would have been much better. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Cake Smash Photo Shoot

Archer recently turned 1, so we did a cake smash photo shoot.  I originally planned on just having his first cake experience be at his party, but I wanted to be able to enjoy that moment and not worry about getting the perfect setup/shot.  I am so happy I ended up doing a stand alone photoshoot, because I LOVE the outcome.
Here's the basic setup.  I wanted a plain white background, so I purchased a roll of white Better than Paper (with a Hobby Lobby coupon).  While it is durable and cleans easily, it ended up being a bit more translucent then I wanted.  I could see the outlet on the wall and the lines on the linoleum through it.  To fix it, I ended up using the back side of an old roll of bulletin board paper.  While this paper can tear, it was much more opaque.  Having the two taped up together worked perfectly. The frosting did all wipe off of the Better than Paper, so next time, maybe just use a different color.
For decorations, I just used crepe paper streamers and pom poms.  I was able to reuse the pom poms for Archer's party, which was great.  

To make the cake, I used a giant cupcake pan.  First I made the "liner" out of candy melts (melt half the bag in the microwave in 30 second bursts, brush it on the inside of the pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Repeat with the second half of the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  I found continually brushing the candy melts up the sides until it started to cool and become thicker really helped). I also baked each half of the cake by itself to make sure one side didn't burn.
For a test run, I took pictures of him in this adorable shirt I got from BowDacious Baby on Etsy.
For the cake smash pictures he wore this bow tie and suspender set.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Simple Baby Fine Motor: Magnetic Tiles

I'm always looking for quick and easy activities that hold Archer's interest.  Sensory play and fine motor work are a bit challenging since EVERYTHING goes in his mouth (including worms, rocks, stink bugs, etc.). 
This is one of those cases where simpler is best. Last week I tossed some Magna Tiles on our white board and he had a great time pulling them off and then putting them back on (the fences are from this set). For a younger baby, you could only have one side of the tiles on the board so that they stick out more.
Archer quickly moved on to having them flat. It could also easily be done on a fridge or dishwasher.

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