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The following activities involve very little set-up time, use resources readily available in our homes and cover areas such as speaking and listening, independence, fine and gross motor development, discovery about textures and materials, cause and effect and LOTS of fun! Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Activity 1:

You will need:

  • Plastic Cups
  • Plastic Ballscups.jpg3

(Written by E’s Mum)

A simple game to encourage E to use a cup.
Inspired by the pompom phobia, I thought the best way to teach E to use an open cup was through play. She has never got to grips with how to get the water in her mouth.
So I gave her some plastic cups that stacked together and some plastic balls that fit inside the cups, just as an activity to get her interacting and familiarising her with them in a non-food environment.
She started by fitting cups inside one another and then fitting and squashing the balls in and then removing the balls after they had got stuck.
She played with them this way for about 20 mins, really enjoying the cup stacking.

cups2
Then she began looking inside the cups and then talking into the cups as it made her voice sound different. She began focussing on one cup, walking around the room while talking into it.

cups
Then, hey presto, she fixed her mouth around the rim and lifted the cup as though drinking from it. She had never done this with an open cup independently before, she always relied on me to tip it up.
After a few minutes, I decided to introduce a small amount of liquid into this same cup and as if by magic she managed to take a sip…she may have got some dribbled down her top, but she was smiling and enjoyed it.

cups1Activity 2:

You will need:

  • Kitchen measuring cups
  • Bath

(Also written by E’s Mum)

When E was first starting to feed herself, I wanted to teach her how to scoop. Spoons were very small for her grasp at first. So, I found some measuring cups that were nice and bright and large enough for her to easily grasp and practise scooping.

Measuring Cups
I used the measuring cups in the bath as there are lots of opportunity for her to scoop and tip. I believe the rehearsal and repetition of this activity definitely developed her skill at scooping from a young age.
In the photo’s you can see her expertly scooping the water and then tipping it out.

Measuring Cups.jpg2
As she is now older, the game has developed (although she still loves to scoop and tip). She likes getting the soap suds on her hands and then scooping the water with the measuring cup and tipping it on her hands to clean the suds off.

Measuring Cups.jpg1
This keeps her busy and happy in the bath. In fact in tonight’s bath, after the cup game I introduced the other day, she began putting the scoop up to her mouth, thankfully not for a drink, but to talk into it – for the strange voice it gave her.  She also put the scoops inside one another – again replicating the cups game from earlier in the week.

Measuring Cups.jpg3

Activity 3:

You will need:

  • a plastic cereal tub
  • wooden utensils
  • metal utensils

    Shiny and Dull

When visiting E’s Mum today, I decided to make an activity to entertain E as she wasn’t showing much interest in her toys.  I rummaged through her Mum’s cupboards (aren’t you glad I don’t come to your house?!) and dug out a cereal tub, a couple of wooden utensils and metal utensils.  I laid them on the floor for E and watched!  She began by examining the utensils.  I sat with her and talked about it being shiny or dull.  E can’t talk yet but using relevant vocabulary around children is a must if we want them to eventually use it freely.

Shiny and Dull.jpg2

E then started posting the items into the cereal box and then taking them out again.  As she did this, I talked to her about what she was doing.  Again, modelling talk as she does things will help her understand the vocabulary and she will soak up the words, eventually using them.

Shiny and Dull.jpg4

One thing I did as we played was cover my eyes with the wooden spoon and then say boo! E watched and laughed as I did this.  Just as she will eventually mimic the words she hears, she mimicked this too by covering her eye with the spoon.  It was very cute!  All the toys around her and yet this was far more interesting! Just goes to show, children do not need expensive toys, just variation and open-ended play.

Shiny and Dull.jpg5

Activity 4:

You will need:

  • silicone cup cake cases

I put the colourful cup cases on Baby G’s high chair tray displaying them in a variety of positions.

silicone cup cakes

To say Baby G enjoyed this activity is an understatement! She was squealing with delight! It actually made me cry! I love seeing my children enjoy play and I’ve missed it over the last couple of days!  Baby G grabbed and explored…

silicone cup cakes.jpg2

… she shook them as quickly as she could (whilst screeching!)…

silicone cup cakes.jpg3

She giggled as she observed the cases fall off the tray…

silicone cup cakes.jpg4

…and she showed Mummy that she knew where those cases had gone by looking for them!

silicone cup cakes.jpg6

She was mightily impressed with the tower Mummy made for her and I have a feeling it won’t be long before she can stack them herself!

silicone cup cakes.jpg5Activity 5:

You will need:

  • water

It is difficult to see, but all I did here was fill G’s tray of her high chair with water! Yes it was messy on the kitchen floor but nothing a mop didn’t sort out and she enjoyed it so much, it was more than worth it!

Water Tray

She flapped her arms (gross motor skills)…

Water Tray.jpg2

She ‘chatted’ to Mummy as she played (early speech development)…

Water Tray.jpg3

… and she splashed and giggled and had the best time!

Water Tray.jpg4

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