Off-Topic Tuesday: Make an Activity Calendar
I am a stay-at-home mom.
I have always had ambitions of doing a ton of sensory activities, never watching television anymore, never getting on my phone or other devices, making great food for my baby, and going to the park or for walks most days.
But I haven’t been very good at most of that.
The thing is, though, I’m really good at trying new things and trying new techniques. So I’ve made chore charts (to keep a tidy home). I’ve used timers on my phone that limited when I was on it. I’ve left off the TV for a week or two at a time (during the day, anyway). I’ve made games and activities to play with my baby, once he was about 5 months and older.
Most of the time, those things stick for a week. And then I get distracted, have a rough day, or just don’t feel like being “ideal” or “perfect” that day. [Obviously I’m not saying I was ever perfect. But when I have a list of To Do’s, and I get them all done, I pat myself on the back!]
So I find new strategies, new activities, new ways to engage and interact with my baby.
When he was able to sit up, I would put a bowl of water in front of him and let him splash around. Sometimes I would put something in the water, but he wasn’t able to grab things very well at that age. I would put rice in a bottle and shake it to make sound. As he got older, I made books with shapes cut out. I put water in a Ziploc bag and let him squeeze it. I took an empty water bottle, removed the cap, squeezed it just slightly, then sealed it back: it made a crinkly water bottle.
The past month has been a whirlwind. We were packing then moving then unpacking and now we are house hunting. My husband and I have been consumed with house projects and paperwork. And little Alexander has been left to play alone or just tag along for the ride we were on.
I decided that needed to change. (You know, sometimes it just takes a decision.)
I opened up Google Calendar. I decided to do at least two activities each day. Sometimes, I can come up with activities on my own, but most of the time, I find them online. (I’ll share some great resources in a minute.)
I added two activities to each day for one week. I figured, there will be some activities that go really well and others that won’t. Those that we enjoy, I’ll repeat the following week. And those that don’t go so well, I’ll modify or just eliminate altogether.
We have done these activities so far:
- pour a little flour on a baking sheet and let him play in it – SEE PICTURE ABOVE (this went very well)
- play trashcan basketball (he loved dropping things into the trashcan but didn’t throw anything)
- go bowling with plastic balls and toilet paper tubes (did not go well*)
- make a spider web with tape and let him throw things at the tape (did not go well*)
- make a pathway out of tape, on the ground (did not go well*)
- tape toilet paper tubes to the wall and drop objects through them (went very well)
- pour water into a shallow dish and drop coins in the water – SEE PICTURE BELOW (went very well)
*By “did not go well”, I just mean that he isn’t quite ready for that activity. He can throw a ball but not in any particular direction. He certainly can’t roll a ball yet. The pathway on the ground didn’t work because he just walked right over it. He didn’t actually follow the path!
Now, my little guy is 15 months. But sensory activities are great from a very early age. I am trying to shoot for 2 activities a day. (I also try to read at least 5 books a day and sing several times. In fact, we sing all the time around here.) (HERE are some of the songs I sing with Alexander.)
If you’re interested, HERE is a great resource for sensory activities for babies.
And HERE is a great resource for sensory activities for older babies and toddlers.
Is there something you would like to add (or you’d like to try)?