Getting children excited about activities

I love setting up a small "pop up" creative space for my baby. Painting, jewel sorting, motor activities etc. I let my 11 month old baby select what she wants to do and for how long she wants to. 

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Age recommendation: Baby and toddler (you need to be with them for this activity and they should not be putting anything in their mouths given the small objects). 

Materials: Water paint, tape, paper, jewels or rocks, muffin tin, mason jar, water bottle, marbles. 

How to play:

  • I love the element of surprise. I love preparing these types of "pop up" play or creativity spaces when my daughter sleeps so that when she wakes up I can see her eye light up. I also enjoy seeing what she feels drawn to first and how she initiates her own play. How she explores new objects. 
  • Paint and Tape: We painted on some white paper and then added some tape on top (then my daughter painting on the tape as well).  
  • Jewels, muffin tin and Mason jar: For this activity, i game my baby both the Mason jar and muffin tin and demonstrated that she can place the jewels in either object. We sorted same colours together and I repeated the words "same" "different" "blue" to help with language development. 
  • Marbels and water bottle: I used this activity as a motor and coordination activity. I demonstrated how to place the marble into the small opening of the water bottle then allowed her to figure it out. 

Learning and development: At around 12 months, one of the cognitive milestones is that your child explores objects by shaking, banging or throwing them. They should also put things in a container and take them out. Lastly, around this age, they should follow simple directions such as "pick up the marble".