The last six months of mommyhood have been a great mixture of learning (for me), answering baby’s needs 24/7, stressful outings, way too much screen time, floor time and, yes, boredom. I love my daughter to pieces but going from working 50-60 hour weeks in a fast-paced marketing and communications career to spending a lot of time on my couch* with my newborn infant was quite drastic. I’ve been craving her coming to an age that meant I could really begin teaching her (beyond describing everything I was doing, clothing her in, feeding her, speaking to, and playing peekaboo and pointing out body parts).
A few weeks ago I discovered a great blog by Vancouver Mom Jennifer Kossowan called Mama. Papa. Bubba. which she uses as a keepsake for her rockstar of a daughter Gracen. I quickly fell in love with the projects and daily activities Jen provides for Gracen, each of them educational opportunities wrapped up in fun like sensory bins, magic potions, spray paint bubble baths and, one of my personal faves, the frog pond bath. (And yes, her design sensibility totally speaks to my creative side.)
I’m a big fan of games and activities that allow kids to discover and play on their own, giving them space to interpret how to play and come up with their own creative games. This is a big reason why I have a Mommy-crush on Jen; her approach to playtime by mixing art, science, nature, food and senses is refreshing.
With all of these really exciting activities for toddlers, I wondered if Jen had any ideas for educational games to play with a 6 month old to get ZZ’s neurons shooting off. And she responded quite quickly on her Facebook page with great ideas. So yesterday, ZZ Top, Grandma and I headed out to our local art supply store to grab some supplies and started our own exploration games with the first of Jen’s ideas: discovery bottles.
Once we rounded up our glitter, rice, gel food colouring, foam fishies and colourful pompoms, I started having fun making crazy colour combinations for ZZ Top to discover (and making sure the caps were on really tight). I totally admit I think I had as much fun putting together the bottles as ZZ did playing with them, which in my book, is a win win.
It may be because of Happy Feet 2, but her favourite bottle to play around with was the blue water with the floating pink fish. (And yes, you gotta love the sleep wrinkle on her face thanks to her now rolling over in her crib).
This morning we took them out again and ZZ proceeded to pushing them around on the floor making the glitter float all over, rubbing her nails on the bumpy sides of the bottles to make sounds, and… as all 6 month olds do, used the caps as teethers. An added bonus to the bottles is being a great toy to motivate mobility. Once the bottles rolled away from her, she started moving her arms and legs in attempts to get the bottles back; maybe these will help her discover crawling! Who knows. 🙂
If you think you might be falling for Jen, too, go show her some love on her Facebook Page and tell her you found her through WWST. 🙂
*Editor’s Note: Parental exaggeration. Playing music, piano, dancing, bath playtime, floor playtime, bouncy gym time, walks, park outings, mall outings, restaurants, day-trips by the water and even sledding in the winter have been just some of the activities we’ve done with ZZ. But during the long winter months, when she was too little to go out, yes, I had been bored.