Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In and Out

In this game babies lean about objects’ size and volume. Do you remember how the donkey Eeyore put the remainder of his balloon in the pot and told “It goes in and out”.

Select boxes, cans and toys of different size. Not all toys must have the size that is proper for each of the boxes.

Now let’s set a play task to the baby – find a home for each toy. Of course, the child will have to test each toy and see if it fits the box or not. While playing tell something like this: “The toy doesn’t fit this home because it’s big and the box is small, let’s find a bigger home for it.”

It often turns out that the kid doesn’t know how to play with toys. Show him/her different actions that can be done with these toys. The games like these develop fine motor skills and diligence.

Open - Shut

Lets learn shapes and forms. Small children like all possible cans, bottles, boxes that can be opened and shut. Use this with an educational view. Put several boxes of different shape and form in front of the baby. Now ask him/her to open these boxes, and shut them correctly selecting the covers. If a cover turns, let the kid turn it and but not pull it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Colored Heaps

In this game children learn to distinguish colors and systematize objects.

Let’s make heaps of different one-colored objects. For instance, “read heap” consists of ringlets, bricks, red pencils, etc. In the same way, we make a “blue heap” and several other heaps. Now give the baby an object (e.g. a blue ringlet) and ask him/her to drop it to the appropriate heap.

At first, it’s better to start with two heaps, e.g. a read and a blue one. You can also use some pots or truck. Presume we have a red heap in a box, and a blue heap in a big car. When you “create” heaps, comment on every your movement: “This ringlet is red and I put it to a red box, and this brick is blue and I put it to the truck, …” When the kid understands the principle of the game, give him/her a blue ringlet and tell: “This is a blue ringlet and we put it to …” and the blue ringlet will be put in the truck.

When the baby masters the game, you can go on without comments and just lend him/her a red brick and ask: “What heap do we put the red brick?”

If the kid knows many colors, you can make as many heaps and you like. If you know limited colors, you’d better make all the heaps from the known colors and one heap with the objects of unknown color.

Road, Road

In this game we learn the notionsnarrow and “broad”. Let’s build several garages with wooden bricks. Now make a couple of roads of different widths with bricks, laces, skittles or pencils. And now it’s time to see if a doll can pass the road or if a car can make its way to the garage. If the doll cannot pass through the narrow road, tell the baby that the road is too narrow and the doll need a broader way.

The same way you can try to reach the end of the road with the child. The road can be winding, of different width and with different obstacles. Show the baby how one must step over bricks and other obstacles. Just in case, if the baby is not very good in walking, make sure that it won’t hurt itself.

At about 18 months, kids can also pass such a road on their toes, heels, sidelong, backwards, and leaping like a frog or rabbit.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pour This, Pour That!

You’ll need several shatterproof cups, bowls, kettles or watering-pots for this game. First of all, put an oilcloth apron on the baby. Now, fill a cup with water from a bowl, then pour water into a kettle (or a watering-pot), and then pour it out to the cups. You can also pour water from a basin into small bowls with a spoon.

There’s another variant of the gameplay. Put two bowls in front of the kid; fill with water one of the bowls. Show the baby how you can pour water from one bowl to another with the help of an ordinary medical clyster or a sponge. Pay attention to the gurgling and sucking sound, and to dripping water and drops. The child’s delight is guaranteed!!!

If you do not grudge wasting some foodstuffs, you can pour different bulk material from one plate to another with a spoon or a small cup. You can pour semolina, rice, buckwheat, pea, etc.
Show the baby how he/she can pour peas from one plate to another with a spoon. Pay attention to the sound that makes the dropping pea or rice: “rattles”, “rustles”, “quiet”, “loud”.
Note: you must keep an eye on the young explorer so that he doesn’t put a pea into his nose or ear.

For children of about 1,5 – 2 years old you can play such a variant of the play:
Cut small pieces out of foam-rubber and give tweezers to the kid. It’s not an easy task to grasp rubber pieces with tweezers, but it’s very absorbing!
You can use other small objects for the game: corks, meccano details, etc.
This exercise develops movement coordination, special imagination and tactile sensations.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Floats or Sinks?

Fill a big bowl or a basin with water. Take several objects done from different materials: cork pieces, twigs, metal spoon, plastic cup and so on (take no more than 3-4 objects for one lesson). Now let the baby to guess which object will float and which one will sink. Then give the child the opportunity to throw all the objects into water and play with them. During the play, say some words about each of the objects, e.g. "This doll is made from plastic. Plastic is very light and this is why it doesn’t sink." or "This spoon is made from metal. Metal is heavy and this is why it sinks."
After the baby has played, let him/her take all the objects from water and wipe each of them with a napkin or towel.

After 2-3 exercises with objects in water, you can play such a game. Name some object (rubber ball, plastic cup, wooden brick, etc.) and let the baby guess if the object sinks or floats. Movements can be used as answers. For instance, if the object sinks – squat, if the toy floats – imitate swimmer’s movements.

100 Hot Baby Books