She loves to explore and tries her hardest to be sneaky in order to crawl under the computer desk and play with the wires and cables. I mention the sneakiness because she will seriously wait until I am doing dishes or something and then she makes a mad dash for the desk. It's incredibly hilarious.
Along with her inquisitive nature comes the "I've already played with my toys so I'm going to come crawl on you but only when you're in the middle of doing something else"-ness. Which means that I have to be at the top of my game coming up with ways to keep her entertained and interested in various activities. Maybe if you're a new mom then you'll find some inspiration from my ideas, or better yet, chime in and tell me what else you do to keep your little one entertained all day every day.
As with anything else, when in need of inspiration (organization, style, meal ideas, etc.) I first turn to Pinterest. Doesn't everyone?? I found some great ideas that you can check out on my board here. That very same day I put some of those ideas to use! Namely, putting rice in a container and handing it over to her. She was thrilled. I was able to make dinner that night with minimal interruption. I was thrilled. But seriously, putting rice into any container and allowing your baby to play with it is incredibly simple for you and satisfying for baby!
The following are a few things I have done so far in order to keep the little one entertained, and I am mostly wanting to document this for future reference for myself. ;) Maybe some of you other (and future) moms can gather some ideas--Pin away!
1. Sensory Bottles
Graham brings water bottles home from time to time and they are the perfect size for filling. We currently have four that are filled with various things: brightly colored buttons, rice, pink fabric roses, and blue beads (from a necklace that was broken). They range from quiet to loud, and I'll talk with Evie about the differences between them when she plays with them.
2. Fill and Dump
Evie's current developmental stage includes what is called "fill and dump." It's where the baby will repeatedly remove objects from a container and then put them back in. To be more accurate, I'd say that Evie is currently in the dump stage. Because this is so entertaining for her, I try to cater to it as much as possible. She has a bookshelf in her room and I leave the bottom two shelves (the ones she can reach) filled with items that she can play with: board books, baby toys, stuffed animals, wooden puzzles, etc.. She can seriously spend 20-30 minutes pulling everything from the shelves and crawling around in the wreckage.
I'll recreate this in the living room during the day by placing items (books, toys, most recently pumpkins) on a small stool that we have. She loves the stool because she can stand up with it and get back down easily, so I help make it more interesting to her :) Even when she is upset/sad this activity is a big hit.
3. Themed Basket
Although Evie is a little young to fully appreciate how great of a mother I am by having themed items for her to play with (heh), this is a big hit as well. Originally I put several plastic Easter eggs inside of a container for her to play with (which she loved!). One day I was watching her play with them, thinking how perfect they would be for Spring/Easter. Then I thought that I could create some great Fall items for her to play with. And by create, of course, I mean buy at Hobby Lobby. I could seriously spend all of my money there. It wouldn't even be that difficult.
Right now her "Fall Basket" contains the following: pumpkins (3 designs, can be used for sorting when she is older), Halloween jewels bottle, container with feathers, books (she didn't have any board books about Fall, so I grabbed any that were orange), and a stuffed animal. These items provide variety in sound and texture which I love!
4. Go Places
I know some moms will go to Target (or another store, but it always seems to be Target that I hear/read about) to get out of the house/kill time/keep baby happy, but I only like to go to the store when I am in need of something/have a specific purpose in mind. With that being said, I still love to get out and do things! When Graham is at work, I try to get out of the apartment with Evie at least once. Sometimes, it's in the form of an errand like grocery shopping or visiting the library.
|Scout is a therapy dog that visits the children's library twice each month.|
Children are able to practice reading books to him (and are able to pet him!).
Other times it is going to the park or simply taking a walk or swinging outside of our apartment (our apartment is right next to a little pavilion/gazebo that has a picnic table and metal porch swing).
Evie loves being outside. She gets so excited. I love it! We've had some nice weather, so we have been venturing outside to do things other than just going swimming (but swimming is great when it's hot!).
By getting out of the apartment we both experience a change of pace that is beneficial. On days when she is fussy or cranky at home, we can go to the library and she'll have a blast playing with the puzzles, blocks, and toys that are there. Going places is great because everything is new and exciting (and when you get back home her toys seem new again). I often to get the opportunity to interact with others while we are out and about, so it is a plus for me too :)
I hope that you enjoyed the pictures of little E in this post, if nothing else ;) ALSO. If you are a fantasy lover and haven't read the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson...you need to put it at the top of your list. I can't believe it has taken me so long to get to these books! (Although a major plus was that the first three, which are their own trilogy, are all out so I didn't have to do any waiting with cliffhangers.) Now I'm off to continue reading. Only 100 or so pages left in book 3 (The Hero of Ages) of the series!!
From Marissa, with love.