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Keep your cardboard boxes, milk jugs, and containers handy because many of these 1 year

old activities use items that you already have around the house!

{Games} 1 Year Old Activities

Make a baby play station with toilet paper rolls

Stack recycled cups up and let baby knock them down | And Next Comes L

Make an easy game with an empty container and plastic eggs | Happily Ever Mom

Save your fabric scraps to make a quick and easy game | Hands on: as we Grow

Babies can play together with this cardboard box and ball station| Child Central Station

Make an obstacle course that keeps baby moving and climbing | Hands on: as we Grow

Grab some felt to make a peek-a-boo house | I Can Teach my Child

Baby wont stop giggling with this tickling game | Adventures at Home with Mum

Make a ramp and watch things roll with this super fun game | Learn with Play at Home

This ball and tube game keeps baby standing and having fun | Octavia and Vicky

Encourage babies to walk and move with simple baby games | How Wee Learn

Make your own pull along box for baby | Pink Oatmeal
Make a Baby Play Station
To create this simple baby play station from a toilet paper roll craft, you will need:

Toilet Paper Rolls

Felt, Fabric, Aluminum Foil, Bubble Wrap, or whatever you have around the house
that has texture
Curtain Rod
Hot Glue Gun

Note: Be careful of choking hazards! Choose things to wrap around the toilet paper rolls
that DO NOT have little pieces that can fall or be pulled off easily.

I was surprised with how simple these were to make. Cut everything before you glue to
make the process faster.

How to Make a DIY Baby Toy from Toilet Paper Rolls

1. Glue one side of the fabric (or, whatever you choose) to the toilet paper roll.
2. Add some glue as you slowly roll the toilet paper roll.
3. Glue the end shut (It will be hot, so watch your fingers! I used the edge of my
scissors to push the edge down into the glue).
4. Put glue around the rim of the toilet paper roll edge (See in the picture up there? Im
looking at step number three) and tuck all of the excess fabric inside the roll.
After the rolls have dried, remove an excess hot glue.

Put the rolls on a curtain rod and watch them roll!! Even my three-year-old got in on the

In a few months, consider using the rolls with paint for a unique art project.
Building With Plastic Cups
By Dyan Robson on October 31, 2013

This simple building activity has been an old favorite of the boys' for a really long time. It's quick to
set up and can use any type of recycling that you have on hand. We have used large yogurt
containers before, but I prefer to use the individual applesauce containers. And goodness, we have
tons of these containers kicking around!

This activity is so simple and inexpensive. It's also open-ended and can lead to all sorts of
creations. However, the reason I love an activity like this is that it often results in some great
sibling play. They work together to create (and destroy!), all while working on important skills like
cooperation and problem solving, just to name a few.

Like I mentioned, it's really quick to set up. Just set out the containers and let the building
J is very methodical when he builds and takes the time to carefully plan and count out the number
of containers that he needs. If he runs out, he simply puts construction on hold and requests more
Then the boys are always sure to destroy what has been built so that they can start over again.
Destruction is easily the best part, especially for a toddler like K. He was built for destruction!
Be sure to check out my other simple building activities: Building with Styrofoam and Colored Craft
Sticks and Building With Pool Noodles and Pipe Cleaners.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow

And Next Comes L on Facebook, Pinterest,
and Google +.
Infant & Toddler Fun: Balls, Bells, a Basket, and a Box

This fall has brought with it major changes to the composition of our childcare home. This summer-
we were quite busy with a number of school-aged children. When they went back to school we
enrolled a couple of new families and welcomed back some of our younger children who had taken
the summer off.

All of our infants have also grown and reached the stage in development where they have become
mobile and are ready for more exploration! We are all born ready to learn and explore!

Here is a simple create I made to give the children HOURS of exploration fun!

I took a cardboard box (this one had holes in it already, but you could put holes in any box)
and a plastic basket

and I taped them together to make a ramp.

The box is closed at the top of the ramp, but I opened it and taped the sides at the bottom.

The children have spent HOURS exploring this contraption.

I filled the white basket with ball pit balls

and large jingle bells.

It was difficult to time the photos just right- as they were very busy putting the balls through the
holes and down the ramp. After using the ramp on the floor for quite some time and having the
balls and bells roll all over the place, I opted to add a second basket to the end to catch things as
they came through. (The green basket is about 2 shorter than the white one, so there is still a
decent slope to the ramp).

With so many young children who are in the process of learning how to talk, it was the perfect
opportunity for me to observe and narrate.

The red ball fell through the box, it went under the ramp. Oh look, D found it!
H found an oven mitt, I wonder if that will fit into the hole. Look! H is pushing the mitt through
the hole. She has a red ball in her other hand, I bet she will put that through next.

The bell is rolling down the ramp. I can hear it. Here it comes- rolling out of the bottom!

We spent so much time testing the ramp, racing balls and bells.
Watching, listening, and observing.

We talked about colors.

We talked about prepositions.

We used our motor skills.

We worked on visual tracking.

We worked on sharing spaces.

We played until we were done, and came back when we were ready for more.

All while we were JUST PLAYING.

Have you ever tried to make a fun contraption for the children to explore? Id love to hear about it!

Dont forget, You can find Child Central Station on Facebook and Pinterest!
Monday, 16 September 2013
DIY Ribbon Tickle Time Baby Toy

Babies just adore having things brush over their face. A classic Baby play game that everyone has
done before is to get a sheet or light scarf and throw it up over a baby letting it slowly drift down
and brush over their face, or playing peek-a-boo with it - Lots of first giggles here!
Miss Cherub loves these type of games and I love playing them with her because she giggles and
smiles and coo's in excitement, she throws her arms and legs around as if she's going to take off. It
is so funny to watch.

The other thing she loves doing at the moment, which shows her developing pincer grasp and fine
motor skills, is to " read" the tags on any toys; carefully grabbing and inspecting with great focus
the writing on tag and flicking back and forth if there is a few together. I remember Dimples doing
this as a baby and I thought it was just so clever & adorable to watch.
This DIY tag toy was made to conquer both the fun of tickle time and the sensory aspect of having
soft things fall and brush over babies face and the fine motor aspect of flicking through 'tags'.

In her treasure basket shes been exploring a bunch of different materials and textures. I added this
DIY taggy toy that she loves and plays with each day. It is a new favourite.
It is a Link with ribbons tied to it.
So easy- Make sure the link is baby safe and make sure all ribbons are double tied and of course, be
aware that any long ribbons pose a strangulation hazard. I recommend always supervising and
interacting with the baby as they play, its a great opportunity to foster a connection through play
and watch them imitate you and learn through play.

I limited the ribbons to about 10-15 cm long and I tried to find a variation of ribbons.

Different colours, widths, textures, patterns, sizes and styles of ribbons make an interesting toy to
Miss Cherub had such a great time with it. She shook it and pulled it apart, swung it around, put it
over her own head and then slowed down inspecting each ribbon in details, trying to grasp the
ends and pull them into individual lengths, she passed it back and forth in her hands watching the
way the ribbons fell.

It was all so interesting time after time.

Peek-a-boo Baby!
We also used it as a tickle toy while she is both sitting and laying down; While Miss Cherub was
sitting i put it over her head and she tensed as it tickled the back of her neck, she giggled and tried
looking around. Her facial expressions were so funny to watch.

While she was laying she fluttered her eyes as it gently brushed over her face, then she was excited
and kicking around in anticipation waiting for it to fall again. Lots of fun.

Baby Learning Concepts:

Sensory Play
Developing Pincer grasp
Fine motor skills
Exploring different colours, texture, patterns and size ribbons
Laughter & fun in play

Happy Adventures
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of Moms and vote for Adventures at home with Mum in
the top 25 Australian Mums by clicking on the heart next
to me :)
Thanking you Kindly
Peek-a-Boo House
November 17, 2010 by Jenae - 26 Comments
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Babies love to see pictures of themselves (and the people they love). They also love to to
open thingsso today were using a couple travel packages of baby wipes to act as doors
and windows on a felt house! The opening and closing of the door and windows will
provide great fine motor practice for your little love.
Although this little house looks a bit labor intensive, it took less than 45-minutes to make
(with several distractions, mind you). It would make for a great handmade birthday or
Christmas gift!

Heres what youll need: a piece of cardboard, various colors of felt, 3 packages of
travel wipes (Target brand 40 ct. is what I used), a hot glue gun, 3 pictures of loved ones,
packing tape and scissors.
Here is an example of the wipes package I used.

1. Trace a rectangle and triangle on a piece of cardboard to make a house. My rectangle

measured 8.5x9.5.

2. Cut out a piece of felt (8.5x9.5) and hot glue it onto the rectangle.
3. Trace the triangle onto a piece of felt and cut it out as well. Hot glue it on the cardboard.

4. Remove the plastic opening off of the wipes package.

5. The plastic door will still be sticky on the bottom, but go ahead and put some hot glue on the
bottom of it to ensure it stays in place.
6. Attach the door and two windows with hot glue.

7. Hot glue pieces of felt on top of the plastic.

8. Use gray felt to make window panes and two windows beside the door.
9. Use packing tape to secure a picture in each of the openings (or you could also put the pictures
down FIRST and then hot glue the plastic pieces on top).

We put a picture of each of the boys in the upstairs windows and Prince Charming and me in the
front door opening. :)
Little Brother L-O-V-E-D it!

I did have to open the containers so that they werent completely secure, but still shut, so that he
could lift them open. Im okay with that, though, because the house will be able to grow with
his fine motor abilities!
Just look at that happy face! Big Brother got a kick out of it too! :)

You could also add various textures (like sandpaper, cotton balls, etc) to make it a sensory
activity as welltoo bad I thought of that AFTER I made it! :)

Clothespin Drop
November 15, 2010 by Jenae - 12 Comments
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.
I first saw this idea on Chasing Cheerios and thought it would be perfect to try with Little Brother (1
year). He had a harder time than I originally anticipated he would with this activity, but it was
great to see him trying to problem solve!

Months later, it is now one of our most beloved toys and Little Brother has definitely mastered it!
This simple activity provides great practice with fine motor control and spatial awareness. I had
some felt out for a birthday banner I was making (details to come) and thought it would be fun to
embellish it with some colorful dots! :)

Heres what youll need: doll pins (found with the clothespins at any craft store or just
use regular clothespins) and a clean, empty 2-liter bottle. If you want to add the felt dots
for embellishment, youll need some felt, scissors, and a hot-glue gun.

1. Cut a large square opening towards the bottom of the two-liter bottle.

2. Tear 4 pieces of paper towel to pad the sharp corners on each side.
3. Cover with duct tapethe leopard print variety is especially exciting. :)

4. Give your little one the doll pins and let them get started trying to put them in the top. I had to
tilt the bottle at about a 45-degree angle to make it easier for little brother to put the doll pins in
the hole.
The square opening at the bottom lets them take the doll pins out and do it all over again!

Thats it! This little activity is sure to beat any toy you can buy! :)

*Just a word of cautionmake sure you are supervising this activity. Babies and young
toddlers still love to put things in their mouth. The doll pins are longer, but still very slim.
Try to make sure your child doesnt put them in his/her mouth (or just stick a paci in his/her
mouth like I did so there is no temptation). :)

The Perfect Shaker for a Little Spice Stealer

December 20, 2010 by Jenae - 10 Comments
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Little Brother (13 months) has been obsessed with taking my spices out of the kitchen
cabinet and carrying them around the house. I still have yet to find my bottle of homemade

They really are the perfect size of bottles to hold in his little hands. So in addition to
recruiting Prince Charming to install baby-proof latches on my lazy-susan, I also am going
to make a couple of shakers just for him. All I did was add some beans and colorful
pom-poms to a clean spice container.
I was going to put this into Little Brothers stocking for the 12 Days of Christmas, but after
he continued to get into my spice cabinet OVER and OVER again, I just gave in and gave it
to him right then and there.
I think hes pretty excited! :)
Baby Safe yummy Painting With Yogurt

Baby Painting! Of course that will be messy right? But is it safe to expose babies to paint, after all
most of it will end up in their mouth, all over their face and in their skin.

Well even though there are many of alternatives like making your own paints using natural safe
ingredients or non-toxic "safe" varieties many parents just won't go there.

So here is an easy, not so messy way to introduce baby to colours, textures and paint play while
they learn some hands on skills needed to self-feed.
I used a children yogurt that was baby safe and mixed it into 3 different containers, using one drop
of natural food colouring I mixed a yellow, pink and blue shade of yogurt. I gave the containers to
Miss Cherub when she was on her high chair so she could explore them safely on her table. It was
a bit of an experiment and i wasn't sure how she would react but she loved it and it was easy to
clean up and wash off after.
I left the spoons in the containers so she could get some practice using and handling the spoons.
She is at the age now she is interested in self-feeding but needs to further develop her gross motor
skills and hand/eye coordination in order to succeed. So she did enjoy some colourful yogurt but
the majority of it was paint.
The splatters and drops she tipped out of the container on to her tray were poked out and smeared
in every fashion possible. She explored the squishy texture between her fingers and payed close
attention to the colours after she mixed them around with her hand.
It was a yummy bright Baby painting expedition.
Miss Cherub enjoyed herself tactfully experimenting with the containers; handling them, tipping
and turning them to see the yogurt drop out, putting the spoon in to scoop it out and eating some,
while some she flung and splattered on the tray. She used her fingers to scoop some out, and them
in different ways she run her fingers through the different colours, some times with her pointer
finger, sometimes trying to grab it in a pincer grip but mostly she rushed her palms through it
smearing it together.

Clean up was simple; wash the tray & containers in the sink, wipe the baby clean. done!
Learning concepts:
First Colours & Colour mixing
Exploring Textures
Sensory Play
Confidence with food
Bilateral coordination
Hand/eye coordination
Self feeding skills
Developing pincer grip and handling containers
Gross Motor Skills
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on Pinterest, or check us out on Instagram.

Fun with Mixing Bowls

September 29, 2010 by Jenae - 2 Comments
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Who needs a fancy new toy when there is something bright, shiny and equally as appealing
to a baby already tucked away in your cupboards?!?!

Just get a few bowls and some small toys.

Practice new vocabulary in and out.

As well as on top of.

Big Brother woke up from his nap and had just as much fun with the mixing bowls as Little
Brother did! He decided he would stack them on top of eachother.

Then we put the bowls inside of eachother.

And on top of eachother!

Its amazing how such a simple activity can be so fun and educational! We played with
these mixing bowls for probably 45 minutes!

What fun and simple activities do you like to do with your child(ren)?
Petite Picasso
November 15, 2012 by Jenae - 3 Comments
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Post by Contributing Writer Jennie

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Pablo Picasso

This quote from the famous artist is so true! I remember as a young girl loving to draw. I
kept sketch books for several years; however as I reached my adolescence I slowly
stopped. Art class was not mandatory at school anymore and I didnt have as much free
time either. The leisurely pace of childhood had passed. I think the importance of this post
is two-fold: to first, work on your little ones fine motor skills by teaching them to scribble,
and secondly, to instill a love for art at a young age! Some children will be naturally
drawn to art more than others and thats okay. Every child has different interests and
abilities. However, we as parents (and our childrens first teachers) can allow them
essential time to slow down life and be creative! Take a few minutes every day to scribble,
paint, mold with dough, or any other activity that speaks to your childs inner artist!

For this particular activity, here is what youll need: crayons and markers, a large
piece of paper or a brown paper shopping bag, and an adults lap to sit on.

Begin by showing your baby the crayons and paper, and then demonstrate how to scribble
on the paper.
I chose to use the side of a brown paper shopping bag because it is larger than a regular
piece of copy paper. Our large muscle groups (gross motor) develop before our small
muscle groups (fine motor), so it is difficult for a baby to scribble on a small piece of
paper. I also chose to use crayons because the wax on the paper provides friction, which is
stimulating to the nerves on the fingertips. This tactile exercise sends a stronger message to
the brain versus a writing utensil that doesnt provide much friction, like a marker.

Now, let your little one have a turn. He or she will likely draw in a circular motion as this
is the easiest motion for a baby and even a young child to do.
I repeatedly had to remind Twin Girl that We dont eat crayons. (This is why I said you
need an adults lap to sit on! J)

As your little one scribbles, talk to him or her about the picture: What color did you use?
What shapes do you see?
Now help him or her press down firmly and then press down gently. Use those words to
describe the different pressures.
Next, I offered Twin Girl a marker. I chose to use a marker this time so she could see the
fruits of her labor easier! Like I wrote earlier, a babys fine motor skills develop slowly, so
she does not have the strength she needs quite yet to color up a storm! She can color
with the marker much more effortlessly.
This first piece of art work may not be fridge-worthy, but you did provide a vital learning

Jennie is a stay-at-home mom to an almost-3 year old boy and 9

month old boy/girl twins. She received a degree in early childhood education and has
several years of experience teaching both Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten prior to
having children. While she jokes that shes had a successful day if no one goes hungry or
gets hurt, she realizes that its the little things we do that we might not even know were
doing that make a BIG difference to our children!
Pom Pom Drop- Keeping Toddlers Busy
February 24, 2014 by Jenae - 1 Comment
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Guest Post by Nicolette of Powerful Mothering.

My 18 month olds new obsession is to drag one of the plastic chairs rather noisily to the
kitchen then stand on it to see what is being done on the kitchen counter.

Now, usually I dont mind at all for her observing and sometimes helping by handing me a
tomato but at times it is not safe for her to be there. For instance when I am using the
eclectic beater to make a cake or using boiling hot liquids.

This is where a little distraction comes in! I give you the pom pom drop to occupy your
little one in the kitchen.
This one is rather simple to make and will occupy my toddler for about 5 to 10 minutes at a
time. Which is just enough time to beat the batter, pour the hot water into the tea cups or
strain some hot pasta in the sink.

Use a cardboard box of a nice size for your little one. Optionally paint it with pretty colors
to draw more interest from the toddler and make a few holes in the sides to fit pom poms.

There you have it, a pretty box and an appealing basket of pom poms to occupy your
toddler next time they toddle into the kitchen!

The first time we used this activity I had to show her that the pom poms went into the holes.
This sparked her curiosity and she took over making the pom poms disappear!
Check out my other ideas to keep toddlers busy in the kitchen and my toddlers favorite
things to do at 18 months old. :D

We would love to hear what do you do with your toddler when in the kitchen?

Nicolette is a stay-at-home mom of three kids, four years old and

younger. You will often find her on the floor at kid level, learning through play. Simple and
easy activities and crafts are the most popular with her little ones and she shares these on
her blog Powerful Mothering.
Pom Pom Drop- Keeping Toddlers Busy
February 24, 2014 by Jenae - 1 Comment
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Guest Post by Nicolette of Powerful Mothering.

My 18 month olds new obsession is to drag one of the plastic chairs rather noisily to the
kitchen then stand on it to see what is being done on the kitchen counter.

Now, usually I dont mind at all for her observing and sometimes helping by handing me a
tomato but at times it is not safe for her to be there. For instance when I am using the
eclectic beater to make a cake or using boiling hot liquids.

This is where a little distraction comes in! I give you the pom pom drop to occupy your
little one in the kitchen.
This one is rather simple to make and will occupy my toddler for about 5 to 10 minutes at a
time. Which is just enough time to beat the batter, pour the hot water into the tea cups or
strain some hot pasta in the sink.

Use a cardboard box of a nice size for your little one. Optionally paint it with pretty colors
to draw more interest from the toddler and make a few holes in the sides to fit pom poms.

There you have it, a pretty box and an appealing basket of pom poms to occupy your
toddler next time they toddle into the kitchen!

The first time we used this activity I had to show her that the pom poms went into the holes.
This sparked her curiosity and she took over making the pom poms disappear!
Check out my other ideas to keep toddlers busy in the kitchen and my toddlers favorite
things to do at 18 months old. :D

We would love to hear what do you do with your toddler when in the kitchen?

Nicolette is a stay-at-home mom of three kids, four years old and

younger. You will often find her on the floor at kid level, learning through play. Simple and
easy activities and crafts are the most popular with her little ones and she shares these on
her blog Powerful Mothering.
1 Comment

Preschoolers and Toddlers Learning Together: Pasta

January 5, 2012 by Jenae - 5 Comments
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Guest Post by Katey of Having Fun at Home

Having both a preschooler and a toddler at home at the same time can be a bit tricky.
Projects that work well for preschoolers often dont work well for toddlers- and the other
way around!

So when I thought of a project that would be engaging and educational for both my four-
year-old and my two-year-old I knew we had to try it.
Educational Objectives for Toddler:

Fine motor skills

Color Recognition

Educational Objectives for Preschooler:

Following written instructions

Pattern Recognition

Fine Motor Skills


Rubbing Alcohol

Food Dye (found out the hard way that it must be liquid dye and not gel; the gel doesnt
dissolve in alcohol)
Pasta (hollow and tubular- penne, etc.)

String or Yarn



Scotch Tape

1. Fill small containers with rubbing alcohol and mix a different color of food dye in each
vat. Submerge noodles in vats and leave for about a minute.

2. Take out pasta and dry on paper towels for about an hour.

3. Tie a crayon to one end of a piece of string or yarn (to keep the pasta from slipping off).
Wrap the other end of the string in scotch tape (to make it stiff for threading the pasta)
For Your Toddler:

Teach them to thread pasta pieces on to the snake. When they have that down, let them
practice color recognition by following instructions about which color to add to their snake
For Your Preschooler:

Write down several color patterns on paper. At the end of each written pattern, ask your
preschooler to predict what color comes next. Then have them make a pasta snake modeled
after each written pattern.

I found that both the toddler and the preschooler could work happily on their respective
projects at the same time- without over-extention for mom. Horray!

Katey writes about simple and inexpensive ideas for families to enjoy together at her
blog Having Fun at Home.

Tug-a-Toy: Gross Motor Game for Babies

September 13, 2012 by Jenae - 1 Comment
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.
Contributing Post from Jennie

Picture yourself sitting peacefully on the couch playing sweetly with your baby, then
ouch! those tiny fingers grab a big chunk of your hair and hold on for dear life! Sound
familiar? We all know how much babies LOVE to practice that strong grip, so lets put it to
the test. Lets play Tug-a-Toy! Not only will this be fun for you and your baby, it will also
be great gross motor practice for those arms!

Heres what youll need: a soft toy thats easy for your baby to grasp or a small piece
of cloth (like a clean burp cloth) will work too.

Encourage your baby to hold the toy.

Then grab the other end and give it a little tug.

If your little one really enjoys the back-and-forth game then feel free to tug slightly harder
each time, but try not to upset him/her.
Twin Boy decided he wanted a piece of the action. One of the great things about having
twins is they have a built in buddy to play with!

Now if youre little one really loves to play hard, then you can try the next step: You can try
to raise him/her off of the ground just a little bit! My twins arent that brave!

What a good work out for those arms and shoulders! Next thing you know theyll be 3
years old and asking you to help them hang on to the monkey bars at the playground!
Glowing Sensory Bottle for Bedtime
September 4, 2014 by Rachel

It can be hard for kids to decompress or calm-down for bedtime. We have a collection of
Go-to Sleep activities that are perfect for kids growing out of afternoon naps, but who still
need some down time activities, but we dont have something for bedtime.

Bedtime is not the time for play, for toys, or for fifteen drinks.
We needed something that would help calm our active and not-yet reading children as they
drifted off.

Time for a bottle full of sparkles and glowing stars. It reminds me of the milky way.


Durable plastic bottle

Hair Gel nearly full bottle.
Glitter Glue a squirt.
Glow in the dark paint a squirt.
Super Glue
Glow-in-the-dark mini stars. (affiliate link Would you believe I went to several different
stores and couldnt find them anywhere but online?!?)

Squirt the glitter glue in the bottom, and add a small amount of glow in the dark paint. The
glitter glue will add some sparkle and the paint will add just a hint of glow to the whole
bottle. The gel is great for resistance so the stars dont immediately fall to the bottom of
the bottle, and the little air bubbles inside the gel simulate all the little stars in the galaxy.
We added a couple of tablespoons of water as our gel was a little too thick. I wanted the
stars to fall, with a little resistance. My thick hair gel had the stars floating. Once you
have the consistency you want

Super glue the lid onto the bottle. VERY important! You dont want your child waking up
in a soup of sticky hair-gel! We used a very thick plastic bottle. The kind that does not
give when you try to squeeze it. If you are going to leave your child alone with the bottle,
be sure it is secure.

Finished. I love it!

If your child says they are having problems going to sleep, hand them the bottle and ask
them to count the stars. There are about 50 of the mini-stars in this bottle. My guess is that
they wont count them all.

Travel Memory Game {Road Trip Fun!}

July 21, 2014 by Carla Wiking

This simple handmade travel memory game is a great activity to bring on your next road
trip. The biggest challenge of traveling with kids is keeping them occupied. The more fun
things there are to do and play the less you have to hear the dreaded Are we there yet?
phrase. Preschoolers will love the fun challenge of finding the matching shapes and you
will love the quiet, mess-free play and learning!
What You Will Need To Make A Travel Memory Game:
8 pieces of craft felt in different colors
Pinking Shears (optional)
Cardboard (optional)

How To Make a Travel Memory Game:

1. With scissors or pinking shears, cut out 12 squares of felt about 2 1/2 by 2 1/2. (You can
create more or less to make the game harder or easier.)
2. Cut 6 pairs of shapes that match in color and are small enough to fit on your squares. It is
easiest to cut one shape and use it as a guide to cut another one of the same size. Feel
free to create any shapes you like, I went with: hearts, triangles, circles, stars, squares, and
3. Glue the shapes to your squares.
4. For the board you have a few options. You can make your own by gluing a piece of felt to a
piece of cardboard. Or craft stores sell pre-made travel size felt boards. Or if you already
packed a hard surface for your road trip (like a clip board) you can simply use a sheet of felt
as the board.
This game isnt just fun to play, its fun to make! Be sure to create one before you hit the
If you are looking for more road trip activities check out this awesome list of creative road
trip activities.

DIY Gel Sensory Bag

DIY Gel Sensory Bag

Ive been wanting to make one of these for a while now I finally remembered to grab the
cheap hair gel last week this is what we made using it.
Materials needed

Large Zip-lock freezer bags (I use two for each Sensory Bag)
A range of small objects to go inside the bag like: Buttons, pom poms, beads or
basically anything without sharp edges.
Strong masking tape or Duct tape
Cheap Hair Gel I ended up using three cups in total.

The process-

Simply fill your bag with roughly one cup of small sensory objects (some hard, some soft
but none with shape edges. Add the Gell and carefully seal the zip lock bag, place that bag
inside a second bag and fold the inside zip part down so you can properly seal the outer
Tape the bag around all four edges to either a window, high chair table or even the floor
anywhere that the baby or child can safely play with it.
I made this with my 15month old in mind BUT my 5 year old decided she enjoyed playing
with it too!
We hope you enjoy this craft/activity as much as we did.

Louise x

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ROCK-a-bye: Exploring the Guitar with Baby

By Blayne Burke
Welcome to the "Music Fun for Your Little One" series brought to you by House of Burke and
And Next Comes L, where we will be featuring a variety of activities perfect for introducing
music to young children.

Kingston is a rocker baby for sure. He was born to have a mohawk! It just works. We were able to
start spiking his hair up around 4 months, but now at 8 months old he sports a full on serious
mohawk! It's adorable, and he rocks it. He has tons of clothing showcasing skulls, baby aviators,
motorcycle boots, a leather jacket .. he is the real deal people! When we started this music series, I
couldn't wait to introduce him to the guitar and watch him rock out. He has never seen or played
with a guitar, so I couldn't wait to see what his reaction was.

This morning, sporting his guitar pajamas (sticking with the theme of course!) and a tall red
mohawk, he was ready to see what was on the agenda for today. The day before while K was
napping, I ducked into a Barnes and Noble (which I don't frequent often .. I'm more of an Amazon
girl) and was overwhelmed with the awesome selection of fun board books. We've been over the
fact that I have a bit of a children's book obsession before, haven't we? One particular selection
caught my eye, and it couldn't have been more perfect.

Baby Loves to Rock! by Wednesday Kirwan is an adorable board book about a baby who loves to
rock out! He even sports a little bit of a mohawk. This is a great book for both parent and child. Not
only are the pages vibrant and showcase funny animals, but the animal puns such as "The weasel
likes pop." with a weasel in a Michael Jackson costume, are entertaining for the parent as well! I
snatched this right up and bought it home in anticipation for today.

Before I introduced Kingston to any of the guitars, we sat and read this book. He was drawn to the
bright colors. The book really kept his focus. He touched each picture as we read.
After we read, I set up a little "Invitation to Rock", an invitation to play with the three baby guitars
we have. I set them up largest to smallest (the smallest being a lucky find yesterday in the
clearance section of Hobby Lobby, with little strings and everything!) and allowed K to come over
and explore at his leisure.
His interest was peaked as soon as he saw me putting new toys out. He crawled right over to see
what was going on. (On a side not, MY BIG BOY IS CRAWLING!)

He picked the largest one up first and started pressing all of the buttons. Now I know that two of
the three toys are not actual guitars, but my goal for today was to introduce Kingston to the basic
concept and shape of guitar, point out the different parts, and teach him how to strum. I let him
explore everything before I jumped in to model how to hold the guitar.
When he got to the smallest guitar, I let him check it out. Then, I pointed out the strings and
showed him how to strum. He was very intrigued by the noise, and was eager to try it out himself. I
was so proud of my little rockstar for being able to pick it up quickly. This was such a great exercise
for his fine motor skills. He used his thumb at first to pluck away, and then tried his other fingers.
Earlier, I had made a homemade guitar for him using a loaf pan and some rainbow elastics. (Please
use heavy supervision while baby is playing with elastic bands. They are a choking hazard. Kingston
was heavily supervised during use!) I really wanted to take the concept of the guitar and blow it up
to a larger size. This made it easier for Kingston to practice strumming and really get a good feel for
the guitar.
When he was done playing with the mini guitar, I set this one out. He crawled right over to it and
put it in his lap. It was so affirming for me, when he immediately began strumming. I was so
amazed at how quickly he had picked it up. These babies are like sponges! The sound the
homemade guitar made was so similar to a real one, that I couldn't resist playing it as well. We
played the guitar together and sang "Old Mcdonald" and a handful of other songs.
This is my favorite picture of the day. His serious concentration is precious! Not to mention those
little hands.
Later in the day, Glam*Ma and Grumpy stopped by and Kingston played some guitar for them.
Glammy even gave him a little show while he was eating his dinner. His favorite of all four guitars
was the homemade one. I love how easy it is to take a few simple household items and make
something fabulous for your baby to enjoy!
Don't forget to join us all week for more "Music Fun for Your Little One" activities! Or check
out the other posts in this series:

Music Themed Sensory Bin (And Next Comes L)

Creating a Musical Environment for Baby (House of Burke)

Piano Quiet Book Page (And Next Comes L)

Instrument Exploration with Baby: Piano (House of Burke)

Giant Chalk Keyboard (And Next Comes L)

Musical Hide and Seek (And Next Comes L)

Instrument Exploration with Baby: Drums (House of Burke)

Homemade Rainbow Xylophone (And Next Comes L)

Exploring Percussion with Baby and a Musical Sensory Shaker Bottle (House of Burke)

Four Music Games for Toddlers (And Next Comes L)

DIY Baby Activity Box
January 7, 2014 by Danya Banya

If youve been reading Danya Banya for a while now, youll be aware of my obsession love of
crafting with recycled materials. So when my friend Emma (of P is for Preschooler fame) suggested
a monthly challenge for 2014 called Project: Recycle and Create, I was all like hells yeah!
The idea is that each month a bunch of awesome bloggers (and me) will create something using a
different designated recycled material. And then well link them up together to give you inspiration
to create something too!

Want to know what Januarys material is?

.. (drum roll)

Cardboard boxes!
Which totally made me remember this cute little DIY Activity Box that I made for Bee in October
(when she was 13 months) but hadnt had a chance to share with you until now. I used a box out of
our recycling (I cant remember what was in it a picture frame perhaps?), some scrap wool and
ribbons, and some bottle tops from our collection. (Cause everyone has a bottle top collection,
right? Right? Right?)

For the first side, I roughly poked pairs of holes in five spots and threaded through the scrap
ribbons and wool. I knotted off the ends so that they couldnt be pulled back through the holes
again. (I had to do a few knots in the thinner material ribbons). I then tied the ends into bows.
The idea was that Bee could have fun undoing the bows (and I could go insane doing them back up
again). Alas, Ill be honest, she wasnt that interested in the bows. But that doesnt mean your
lovely child wont be (Ahems..)

BUT she was totally interested in the other side, which was apparently way cooler.

Cut a couple of holes in the box. Add some bottle tops. And done. Easy peasy! DIY posting toy.
Cause all babies love posting, and posting, and posting, and posting again.
(Because Bee is still known to put things in her mouth, I chose bottle tops that were on the bigger
side. But personally I would suggest you watch your child while they are playing with them anyway,
just in case.)
While this might not look the bees knees, this game actually develops cognitive and fine motor
skills. Bee needs to pick up a bottle top with her squidgy little fingers, rotate it in her hand, guess
which hole it will fit, and then try it out. If it goes in, she can remember that she put it in there
even though she cant see it. This is called object permanence and is so much fun for babies; thats
why they love peekaboo. When she hears my voice saying Youve chosen a blue bottle top. Where
are you going to put it? Does it fit? Oh it went in. Wheres it gone? she is developing her
vocabulary. And when she points to show me where it went, she is developing her non-verbal
communication skills.

Lots of fun!
If youve got a child around this age, youll know that no matter how many fancy schmancy toys
they have, they get bored with them quickly. They always want to play with something else. So
spend five minutes making a free toy like this one and earn yourself half an hour (or more) of
whinge free time.

Have you made anything out of cardboard boxes lately? If so, please post a photo on the Danya
Banya Facebook fan page or on Instagram using #createrecycle. Id love to see what you get up to!

And if you are looking for inspiration, click on over to each of the Project: Recycle & Create cohosts
who have each done something different with the humble cardboard box.

P is for Preschooler

Powerful Mothering
Afterschool for Smarty Pants

Still Playing School

Lemon Lime Adventures

Creative World of Varya

Mama Miss

Theres Just One Mommy

Little Bins for Little Hands

Peakle Pie

Sugar Aunts

Teach Me Mommy

Well be pinning our posts plus some favourites to the Project: Recycle & Create Pinterest board, so
be sure to follow that as well. (While youre over there, you might also like to follow the Danya
Banya one too)

And there are loads of more boxy ideas linked up below!

Have a look around and get inspired to create. Im looking forward to seeing all your attempts
wonderful creations!

(And if you are super keen, you can start preparing for next months recycled material



(If you are a blogger, wed love you to link up your cardboard box creations that have been made
by, for or with children. By linking up, you agree to have your images featured / shared with credit.)

We're celebrating imagination and creativity! This month is cardboard boxes. Add your
link of things made with cardboard boxes - by, for or with children. Look around, be
inspired and have fun! - Also check out our Pinterst board. *By linking up, you agree to
have your images featured / shared with credit.

Take a look at our cute easter bunny and chick treat

To make you will need:
Cardboard tubes
White and yellow paint
Googly eyes
Foam to make the ears, nose / beak and feet. We have used white, pink and orange.
Feathers for the chicks wings
A large pom pom / cottom wool ball for the bunny tail
Black marker for bunny face

Paint the cardboard tubes in the color need for either bunny or chick. Leave to dry.

Once the tubes are dry use one of the white tubes to gauge an approximate size for the
bunny ears on paper. Draw a little extension for gluing on the inside of the cardboard tube.

Cut out this template and use for your bunny ears on the foam. I also traced around the base
of a tube to get the feet size for both chick and bunny. You will want the base closed if you
are adding treats to these tubes.
Construct your Easter bunny and chicks using glue so that they look like below. I used a
peg to hold the bunny ears in place until the glue dried.
Once they are dry you are able to add your Easter treats into the cardboard tubes.

Take a look at what my co-hosts have been up to:

Baby Play: Rolling Ramp Fun

Jun 25, 2012

327 327

Rolling Ramp Fun

Age: approx. 6 months to 2 years

Materials: Anything to make a ramp (ie- an open hard cover book on a box) & things that roll
(balls, cars)
Pushing the ball makes it roll down, so does lifting the edge of the book.

Time for a race. Which will get to the bottom first?

Baby is Learning:

- Fine motor skills

- Co-ordination
- Eye tracking (following an object with their eyes)
- Hand and eye coordination
- Manipulation
- Expectation
- Cause and effect (ie. pushing this object off the edge makes it roll down)
- How to move objects
- About things that roll
- How to grasp small objects
- Emotions. Fun, anticipation & excitement.
- How to grasp small objects
- About gravity
- What to do
- Sensory. Touch, rounded edges, smooth textures etc.

Handy Tips:

- Simplify this activity by putting the rolling items right at the edge for baby to knock down

- Extend this activity for older babies by providing objects that will roll with objects that won't roll.
Baby can test which ones will roll down the ramp and which won't.

- Mix it up by providing a range of items to roll down the ramp and be making
ramps of various sizes and on different angles.
- Provide something flat at the bottom of the ramp to extend the rolling if you
wish (we used a duplo board)

- Repeat this activity as often as you like as babies (and children) need repetition in order to
consolidate their learning and understanding

- Talk to your baby about what they are doing. This will help them begin to
understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well
as helping develop their vocabulary.

- Give your baby your time. It's the best gift you could ever give them.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

by sensory bottle
I've been hearing many people comment that they don't really know what to do with or how
to play with their babies. I guess I was 'forced' to play with my baby everyday because Nat
was always wanting my attention as an infant. So I had to desperately read up and research
to keep him and myself meaningfully occupied. Now Noe is more of a self-exploratory
baby and I tend to just leave her with playing her brother's toy cars, which I feel has been
quite unfair to her. I am trying to be fair, even though it's more difficult now compared to
when Nat was the only child.

I decided to make this Sensory Bottle for her when she was 6 months old as I had many
empty mineral water bottles waiting to be recycled. And Nat was my little helper in pouring
the water, the baby oil and putting in all the little scrap bits, glitter. In the end, he kept
pestering me for one for himself even though he already has a similar timeout blue glitter
bottle. Noe loves to see the glitter move, the little bits bounce and float but most of all, she
just like to do her favourite thing with it - munch on the it as though there is no tomorrow.
Babies have a short attention span so probably just 5 to 10 minutes and they're done with it.
But no worries, tomorrow will be another day for them to play with it :) Do check the pins
below on how to make the bottle and other cool ideas. I've still have a huge bottle of baby
oil left, so I will probably ask Nat to make one for himself or as a gift for another baby.
DIY: Baby Play Bottle
Baby Play Ideas: Sea in a Bottle for Crawling and Sitting Bubs

Diaper Box Play Alternative

Forget the bumbo, exersaucer, or jumparoo when all you need is a diaper box!
In my opinion it is the best option for contained play for a baby. As a mom to a new baby I
know that as well meaning as I am there are times when I just need my baby in something
contained to play especially now that he is rolling all over the place. There are tons of
options out there on the market including jumpy things you can hang from doorways,
exersaucers, bumbo chairs etc. I have many of these pieces of equipment mostly handed
down to me from very generous friends. I am finding that I dont use any of these things
mainly because C doesnt like them because he cant really move in them or because I dont
like them because I am too busy trying to position him correctly in them. On top of that
many of these contained play options have the baby kind of hanging out in space. When I
say that what I mean is a lot of the devices have the baby sitting without a lot of trunk
support so they are kind of hanging out in space not getting the opportunity to know where
their body is in space and too much time in contained spaces is never good for
development. I should note that I do NOT utilize this as a place to play at all times. I
still prefer floor play over contained play to continue to work on independent
movement. My first choice of play for him at this point is on the floor. The less
equipment the better. This is just a solution for when you need those few minutes to
get something done! I also did not put him in here until he was an independent sitter.
So here is the solution that I came up with that I love and C seems to enjoy.

So why a diaper box? Well the diaper box provides support at all sides so he is getting
input to where he is in space at his back, sides bottom and even along the backs of his legs.
He also has the opportunity to move his legs turn his trunk and he can access his toys. We
started with him just playing in the box, but then we decided to glam it up some.
Hole Poking
I added some toys coming off the side of the box. I just took a scissors and poked some holes into
the box. Im sure there is a more professional/fancy way to do this but it worked perfect for me. I
then used either toys we already had that were on a ring or made my own ring with yarn to attach
a toy or two too.

Then we went really big and added string to the front of the box so we could pull him along in the
box and oh my gosh did he think that was the best!
I also trimmed down the front of the box so he could better see out the front since the box is
still a little high. This has been probably our most successful toy to this point for short
periods of time. He sits in the kitchen with me when I am cooking and outside the
bathroom door if Im scrubbing in their. It works wonderful, provides appropriate support
and input that a baby needs!

Now you can really make these boxes fashionable if you so choose. I found some great
tutorials on how to do this:
I thought about it for a second but decided Im satisfied with it the way it is. If I were using
it as a decorative piece then yes of course but for my purposes it can look like a diaper box
for me.

So there you have it. A solution to many problems of putting them in poor fitting
equipment that decreases babies awareness in space!