I saw this idea on Pinterest when I was looking for activity ideas for Evie. I saw several ideas and used them in order to create my own! I basically just looked around the house for a day or so coming up with various textures for the board. I included the following: Pipe cleaners, ribbon, soft fabric, elastic, fabric flower, cupcake liners (aluminum and paper), random plastic from packaging, straws, and pre-wrap (I use it as headbands when I run/exercise). I cut the longer/bigger items (straws, pipe cleaners, elastic, fabric) into smaller pieces first and then laid everything out on the cardboard piece. I rearranged some so that the textures were mixed up and then I used a hot glue gun to glue them into place! I also had a balloon (un-inflated) originally, but the material didn't attach well to the glue and Evie was able to pull it right off.
I posted about these briefly back in this post, but I thought I would talk about them a little bit more. Evie loves these (and all things that make noise), so I am quite proud of them. I used mini water bottles (that Graham drinks at work) and filled them with various items. I started with rice because Evie had a blast playing with it one night while I was making dinner (see this post). I then looked around to see what random objects I had that could be useful for these bottles. I put colored buttons in one (that I had leftover from making refrigerator magnets a couple of years ago), and pink flowers in another (leftover from headbands made for Evie at a baby shower). After Evie pulled apart my necklace one day, leaving me with a million blue beads, I tossed them in another one. She loves shaking them and gets a big kick out of it. Currently I have these put away and other toys out for her to play with in the living room (I rotate a basket and have the other items/toys in a bin in her room), but I will probably be getting them back out soon.
Dining "floor mat"
People with kids that eat can relate with me on this one. After Evie became an adept eater, I felt like I was sweeping all day long. I thought that there had to be an easier way. So I created a nice little floor mat to go underneath her highchair. It's literally a plastic table cloth that I picked up for $2 and then cut into pieces. It was super long, so I cut it into four pieces. I put it under her highchair when she eats and then after the meal is done I pick it up and dump it in the trash/sink (for the garbage disposal). It has been so nice! Especially for after dinner because I clean up the kitchen and do the dishes while Graham gets Evie ready for bed. He often finishes before I do, so having the mat down allows me to be just a little bit faster and it's great!
Baby Led WeaningSo I'll only touch on this briefly (as I've done with the other items on my list today), but if anyone is curious about a more in-depth process/our experience with this, let me know and I can expand and do an entire post on it :)
We decided to take this approach with solid foods really without too much thought. I say "too much" because after hearing about it I obviously did some research, but I didn't stress over it. Thank you Pinterest for providing a wonderful search avenue! We love this method of introducing solids because it is so stinking easy. Messy? Yes, indeed. But did I have to let my food get cold while trying to force feed my child with a spoon? Nope. (And I'm not knocking anyone who feeds their baby with a spoon, just to clarify. I think you do what works best for you!) Once Evie was interested in food, we started putting her in her high chair during meal time and would give her whatever we were eating. She hit this point in the summer, so she had lots of watermelon experiences early on! After about a month of playing with her food and not really eating much at all, a flip switched overnight and she started eating like crazy!! She learned to chew all on her own during that time, and knows how to feed herself with a "loaded" spoon (food already on it, scooping it up on her own is still a challenge). I had always thought I would make my own baby food/purees, but this has turned out to be super easy and we definitely plan to use this approach again with future kids.
Thanks for tuning in, guys! As always, I appreciate your love and comments that you leave (both here and on Facebook). Let me know if there are any tips/tricks or daily life questions that you have and I can be sure to do a post on them. Feel free to message, comment, text, or email to get in contact with me. I love your feedback, and I love sharing about our daily happenings here on the blog.
From Marissa, with love.