Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Birds Expanded

In a past post I shared my grand daughter experiencing her 
first play tray.
 This week I changed it up a bit.
 I moved the wooden pieces out of the tub and onto the floor to see how she would interact with them.
 Having them on the floor made it a lot easier for her to reach 
 and spend a bit more time exploring each piece.

After giving her some time playing with the small birds I switched them for
bigger stuffed bird toys.
Most of these make bird sounds when you press on the back.
It took a lot of effort on her part to make the birds sing.
She preferred to hand them to one of the adults to make it happen.
A few of them are finger puppets
and she was particularly interested in the crow.
Here she is flying like a bird.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Baby Sign Language

During my career I have worked as an interpreter for the Deaf and an intervenor for the Deaf/Blind.  
I loved signing and watching Deaf children learn their language and express themselves.
When my own children were young I introduced them to sign language but didn't use it as much as I would have liked.
Having grand children gives me the opportunity to start very early.
My daughter and son in-law were open to learning too.
The above picture is showing her sign 'milk'.
We started with signs that were relevant to her like;
mom, dad, nana, opa, milk, water, book
To help everyone learn the signs I created a photo block.
On each side of the block is a photo of an important person in my 
grand daughter's life.
In the corner I added a picture of the sign and the word.

It's fun to roll and find her picture then make the sign 'baby'.
Her first sign was 'water'.
To date she is signing dad (for most of the adults), milk, sleep, again, eat, baby, dog, and help.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Treasure Basket - Rings

For Christmas I made my granddaughter a Treasure Basket.
A Treasure Basket is a container filled with things you would find around your house or at a thrift store.
The basket provides your child with an opportunity to discover and explore.
This first treasure basket contained a stubby paper towel holder, that I found at a thrift store, and a variety of rings.
The rings are made of plastic or wood or metal.
And there are two of each.
She spent sometime playing and trying out different ways to handle the rings
and the stubby holder.
It turns out that it is a great instrument for banging and swinging around.

She even discovered that some of the rings make a great musical instrument.
Each month I will change the items in the basket.
This will allow new explorations but also limit how many play things she has in her home.

Monday, January 22, 2018

First Play Tray - Birds

Last week I created a play tray for my grand daughter.
It was her first and I decided to make one about birds because her dad likes birds and shares that interest with her.
I kept it simple with pieces of wood and little, plastic bird figurines.
She liked the birds, especially when she heard me make bird noises.
But she showed more interest in the pieces of wood.
I involved myself a bit into her play here and incorporated the wood pieces and birds together.
She became more interested in the birds. 
Taking a good look at each of them.
She even made some of them fly around.
The next day I placed some dried moss in the bin to add a new texture.
I had found it when walking in the woods and
I thought it looked like a birds nest.
We continue our interests in birds when we go out for a walk.
So far we have heard a few different birds but have only seen crows.
She is learning to say "caa, caa".


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Raising a Book Lover

I love children's books and through my career I've collected a large library.
When I retired last year I sorted through them all and above is what I have left.
Behind each door is a cubby full of books waiting to be shared.
In another book shelf I've stored my baby board books.
Those are the ones we are using right now.
Every month I bring a new bunch of books to my daughter's place,
I am their baby book library - Nana's library.
My daughter and son in-law introduced books right from birth.
They made it a part of their bed time routine in the beginning.
My husband (Opa) and I shared books with her any time we could.
Starting with just reading one page, if that was all she was interested in.
I liked using flap books because we were into 'peek-a-boo".
Those books kept her attention a little longer.
Sharing books gave us that wonderful experience to bond,
for us to get to know each other,
to build trust, introduce new words, concepts, emotions, 
and to have fun.
And her love of books grew to more than just bedtime.
There were usually a couple of books available in her toy basket
to be seen as an everyday item not something special to be pulled out 
at certain times.
She was allowed to play with them, become familiar with how they felt
and learn how to open and flip the pages.
As she grew older the amount of books available to her at one time increased.
Her mom created a book shelf that is at her level and is in their main living area.
She has become more specific in which books she wants to look at.
She picks through the books until she finds the one she wants, carries it to one of us, climbs up on our laps, and turn the pages.
She now has her favourite books and her favourite pages.
Today she turns one and she loves books.
She loves to share them with us 
or enjoy them herself.

I think it's time to bring out the felt board and expand on the stories.