Fall Sensory Bottles

Hello friends,

    Today I made sensory bottles for Saylor. He absolutely loves them! I have made many sensory bottles, but this container has to be my favorite! It’s a good size, easy lids, and durable! If you’ve ever been around a one year old you’ll know that ‘durable’ is very important, ha!

     I make sensory bottles so Saylor can observe items that I don’t want ending up in his mouth. I write on the sensory bottles to display each item as a word. Although Saylor obviously can’t read, he can observe words as separate beings with various letters. He is able to observe shapes of letters and patterns in each word. I make sure to communicate about the items in the jar on a daily basis. “What color is in the jar?” “What does this sound like?” “Big Leaves!” “Little leaves!” Etc. Repetition is so helpful- just a little bit every day will help with developmental connections! 


Sensory Bottles

You Will Need

•Empty peanut butter jars or Wowbutter jars for my no nuts friends

•Spray Paint (optional for fashion reasons)

•Items of your choice for the jars

•Tape

• Sharpie Marker

See! Easy Peasy! I will reuse my jars for different items in the future. Whatever is related to our lesson at the time. I recommend a little glue under the lid with liquid filled jars. Just in case!! 

Until next time, 

Adrihens 

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Infant Language Development

    Today I am blogging about a really awesome book that we found at the library! I take Saylor to the library pretty frequently so we can have a large variety of books to learn with. Germs right?! I always wipe the books down before giving them to Saylor, ha! If you have ever observed a baby with a book you will know my reasoning for that. Luckily Saylor has enjoyed looking at books since his very early days. I have been placing books around his blanket since he arrived from the hospital. As soon as those little eyes could see I noticed him observing the pictures ,letters, and words. Does he know what letters, words, and colors are yet?  Of course not! However, just observing them helps him form connections about shapes and appearances so that later in life when he is learning what they are it will all be more familiar.
     Some people see me talking about baby literature and roll their eyes. Babies are just vegetables that we have to keep our eye on for a couple years until they can actually do big people things right? Wrong! Infants benefit from their daily interactions every day. What daily interaction consists of depends on us as adults. If we are going to sit our kids on the couch to watch the latest on Donald Trumps tweets they probably aren’t going to learn much. I say that not because Donald Trumps literary vocabulary is equivalent to a fourth grade bully, but because it’s just not on their level of understanding to listen to “adult” twitter beef. However, it is beneficial for them to hear us communicating back and forth with each other as adults.
      Infants are born to communicate: crying, cooing, and gestures are all a form of communication in the infant world. Infants learn to use communication to connect with the world, to develop social relationships, and
to get things they want or need. 
Some of these developments occur naturally. Focused teaching, intentional interactions, and a highly responsive environment will all encourage and positively support an infant’s communication skills, and are required for optimal success. This is why I make a point to engage with my son daily. I am a stay at home mom so I am able to engage with art, literacy, math, motor development, social skills, etc., each day. At this age literary skills are pretty high on the list. When our kids learn our language it’s like a key that will open the door to all other learning areas. It will also allow us as parents to communicate more effectively while giving them the tools they need to evolve.
    We have to get down on an infant level of understanding to help them better grasp what they learn each day. I read to my 6 month old son every single night. Does he always want to sit down and look at a story? No. Absolutely not. However, I am beginning to show him the habit of bedtime stories. When he is able to better comprehend the stories we can skip the “I don’t want to read a story” crap because he will just know it as habit and not even an option unless he is miserably ill etc. Will he possibly still throw fits on a bad day about our bedtime routine? Most Likely! I believe that starting this routine early will minimize the bedtime story tantrums in our future days. Children feel safer in environments with a little structure and routine. I’m totally a fan of free play as well. There is a happy medium out there of us telling our kids what to do and letting them figure it out on their own. As a parent I think it’s important to find that happy medium.
    It makes it easier for us parents to read when we kinda like the books right? I mean I am not going to sit up and read these books by myself after Saylor is asleep or anything (sometimes I do, only to make sure they are good books) but I think it helps to have a fun book with beautiful pictures. I think the beautiful pictures part helps kiddos stay focused as well. After all, how else would I remember all of my childhood stories? I wanted to share this board book that I have never heard of until stumbling on it at the library. Is this not darling?! I think it’s darling. I also think it’s very simple for letter learning. Of course my six month old son is not learning letters yet. I know this. However, he is going to observe them when we read this tonight! 🙂
PS: We are in the process of moving a state away so please forgive me for not documenting our infant art lately. I know it’s probably more pleasing to your eyes. It’s still happening I just don’t have time to document and blog it all while packing and being a mom.

Raising Thankful Children

Hello there,

It’s been a while! I had a very busy couple weeks getting ready to make our first road trip with a baby. It helped to have everything ready and organized. It was only a three hour drive from Ohio to Indiana but if you’ve ever been around a baby that doesn’t want to sit in a car seat before you’d be scared too! Luckily our little man slept pretty much the entire drive! That’s right! No fussing! It was a weekend full of family,friends, and spontaneous baby gifts!

Gift giving has always been a passion of mine. I have always put a lot of thought, care, and time into things that I give people. So while I try to give without expecting anything in return I do know how big of a bummer it can be to give someone a gift they don’t appreciate. The first gift I got my husband while we were dating was a one hundred dollar pair of shoes. I searched all over town for his special size (14) with the perfect color and fit. He was a marine at the time and seemed to constantly be walking or running around California. A couple months later when he came to visit me in Indiana, I noticed he did NOT have his new shoes on!! I casually asked him if he packed them. He told me that he lost them and they did not really fit anyways so he could not wear them. Ummm.. HELLO?! I searched the ends of the earth for these giant sized nike sneakers and that evidently did not even cross his mind! I could not believe someone could just toss out a pair of nike shoes like they were a juicy fruit wrapper! I wondered if he ever learned about the term EXCHANGE! I learned to appreciate my nike shoes because it was a miracle if I had any before having a job of my own! Can you imagine how angry? I was angry. I wondered how he was going to appreciate my gift giving if he didn’t even have my gift! I realized he probably didn’t appreciate it. He possibly got nikes for stocking stuffers as a child what do I know?! Fast forward to the future (now) and I have helped my husband a lot with gift giving. It was important for me to help him because us givers need to be given to occasionally! While I realized that not all gifts are personal my husband realized that giving with meaning will leave a longer lasting memory which is truly a gift in itself!

While I was pregnant I thought of everything I ever wanted to teach my kids. I thought about making a list of traditions,books,and songs to share. I thought about all things the future would hold! One thing that I continued to thing about was teaching them to be givers and also be thankful for gifts. I realize that my children might not find the same happiness that I find in giving and that’s totally fine. I just hope they remember to be thankful. How can I teach my kids to be thankful? Example. I remember being told to write all of my thank you notes after Christmas. It always felt forced and unfair because I never saw adults making thank you notes! Why did I have to be thankful because I am a kid and I should worship all ground that adults walk on? I always put thank you notes on the back burner and hoped my mom would forget she asked.

I wondered what it would be like to look forward to making thank you notes. How could I get my kid to enjoy it? I always enjoyed making art as a kid. I also enjoyed writing but something about the layout of a thank you note felt forced and easily predictable. Thank you for the socks…..they have been keeping my feet warm. Why not something a little more expressive and fun?! Why not something with a little thinking outside the box! Here is our attempt at fun thank you notes!

The notes are in response to first Halloween gifts for Saylor so they are a Halloween theme! I used non toxic washable paint for the footprints and then did the rest on my own. I realize that not all parents are going to have the time to get as crafty but lucky for me it’s always been something I love to do! You can obviously make your version as simple as you prefer. It’s an easy thank you with a little bit of effort from Saylor himself. It’s important to start right away and be CONSISTENT on any habits you want your kids to have. I want my kids to have the habit of making an effort to be thankful.