Archive for the ‘Homemade Toys’ Category

Cooper at 12 months

Anna & Molly @ 13 months

Target Skill: Fine Motor
Target Age: 9-18 Months

You Will Need:
Either an old formula container, coffee container, or yogurt container with a plastic lid
Round head clothes pins

Cut a round hole in the lid of the container.

Allow your child to try and place the clothes pins through the hole of the container. You might need to show your child how to do this at first.

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I love Becca’s blog called Fun & Engaging Activities for Toddlers! She has some great ideas on there for activities that you can do with your little ones. You should check it out. Remember, I have been on a quest to come up with some new ideas with the twins on how to teach them their colors. With 12 month olds, it has to be something hands-on so they can experience color through all of their senses. We do some flash cards while they are sitting in their highchairs, but flash cards for colors are not really all that engaging. So when I saw Becca’s blog post Color Mixing With Ice, I got a great idea.

What you Need:
Ice Cube Trays
Large Mixing Bowl
Food Coloring
Water Play Table, Plastic Tub, Wash Basin, or Bathtub
Measuring Cubs, Old Plastic Contains (ex. yogurt containers), and large spoons

1. In a large mixing bowl combine water and food coloring (color of your choice)
2. Pour the colored water into the ice cube trays and freeze over night.

3. The next day take the colored ice cubes and place them in a large plastic container and bring them outside to play with (or inside inside a bathtub)
2. Let your child have fun experimenting with these ice cubes inside a water play table, wash basin, plastic tub, or bathtub filled with water. Give your child some measuring cups, spoons, and old plastic containers to pick up the ice cubes with and put them inside a container filled with water.
Note: The food coloring might stain your child’s clothing. I let the girls play with the ice cubes in just a diaper. You could let your child play with this naked in the bathtub or with old clothing on that would not matter if it gets stained.

How I used this activity:
So far we used this to work on the color yellow. The girls seemed to enjoy this activity. I just played along side of them and talked about the color yellow ice cubes and then also talked about how they were melting and turning into yellow water.
The girls just got a new water play table so I let them play with the ice cubes in their new water play table. This activity held their attention for quiet a while, 15-20 minutes. The ice cubes all melted by the time the activity was over. Great warm summer day activity.

This would be a great activity to teach mixing colors to create new colors, Color Mixing With Ice, like Becca suggested. I plan on doing that activity with my 2.5 year old son this coming week.

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Trying to think up some new ways to teach my twin girls their colors. I came up with this one and it was big hit! My daughters are 12 months old. This activity should only be used on toddlers who have been transitioned to whole milk and do not have milk allergies.

All you need to make edible finger paint is the following:
Vanilla Pudding Mix
Whole Milk
Food Coloring

1. Make Vanilla Pudding according to the directions on the box.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring to the pudding.
3. Mix the food coloring in with the pudding. And Presto… YOUR DONE!

How I’ve used it:
I gave a dollop of the colored pudding to the girls on their highchair trays. Then let them run their fingers through the mixture and eat it off their fingers. While they are playing with the colored pudding, I talk to the girls about the color they are using. It is a fun activity. It is a little messy so I suggest doing this activity in just a diaper. This activity held my daughter’s attention for about 10 minutes, maybe 15. After we were done with the activity, we just went outside and played in the sprinkler and water table to wash off all the pudding 🙂

One Reader Wrote me a few questions and concerns so I thought it would be worth while to include them in this post:
1) what about the sugar in the pudding mix?  are your daughters having sugar already?  or if they are having sugar-free, isn’t the chemicals in that a concern?
I use regular pudding mix that has sugar in it. They just had their first birthday and had their first taste of sweets, cake and ice cream. I figured this activity will be done, at the most, once a week and I only give them a dollop of pudding on their highchairs. Most of the pudding does not even make it into their mouths anyways. I would not want to feed my girls sugary foods daily, but a fun activity like this every once and a while won’t hurt (in my opinion).

2) i’m thinking that milk is ok?  my baby is just turning 1 this sunday, so we havent quite transitioned her into whole milk.
After you baby turns one it is okay for her to have whole milk, that is unless he or she has an allergy or intolerance to dairy. My girls are still breastfeed at 12 months, but I have introduced them to some foods recently that have whole milk in them and I know they don’t have an intolerance to dairy/ whole milk. My girls have also been eating organic yogurt since they turned 10 months old. So as long as your baby is over 12 months of age and does not have an allergy or intolerance to dairy, this activity should be fine.

3) What about the food coloring and it’s role in causing hyperactivity?
Yes, I know there are studies that show that food dye can exasperate attention deficit/ hyper activity. So if you are at all concerned with this issue, don’t do this activity. I figured that the girls eat mostly organic, homemade babyfood anyways. They get very little processed foods that contain dyes and food colorings. I think my motto is “everything in moderation”. The girls ate a very insignificant amount of the pudding doing this activity for me to really be concerned.

4) Wouldn’t pureed food do the same trick to teach the babies their colors, without any additives or sugars?
Sure thing! What a great idea. I think that babies under the age of 12 months could really enjoy this activity using their pureed veggies and fruits. So if you don’t want to use pudding with food coloring, this is a great alternative.

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