When I am invited to speak at a PEPS group I look forward to it for many reasons. I’m very happy to be able to share the importance of PLAY, and its many benefits, of course, with new parents. I love to give them PLAY-based learning activities they can do with their babies. And, I like to take every opportunity to emphasize the importance of immersing babies in language right from the start. But the BEST thing about speaking at a PEPS group? In a word: BABIES! I am over-the-moon thrilled to see all the babies!! Babies have a way of making anyone’s day better!
Recently I made my way over to a PEPS meeting near Columbia City Park. It was for a group of newborns—from 10 weeks to 5 months—so really little babies. Oh! Yes there were a lot of oohs and ahhs coming from me! To make my heart swell even more, I was so happy to see every baby’s Daddy there.
After a short presentation on the benefits of PLAY and temperament, I shared some books and easy fingerplays/songs parents could do with their newborns. Again, highlighting the importance of talking, singing, and/or reading to babies right from the start! I also mentioned several activities the parents could do that would be engaging and developmentally appropriate for their little ones.
I shared homemade toys as well as store-bought toys that would be developmentally appropriate for young children. Another consideration parents would want take into account when selecting (or making) toys: Their child’s temperament; some toys would be better received than others!
Here’s an example of a homemade toy that babies of all temperamental types would enjoy:
Quiet Visual Rattle
(Empty) Water Bottle
Ribbons–in a variety of colors
Pom-poms–in a variety of colors and/or sizes
Pipe cleaners–in a variety of colors
• Cut ribbons to 16″
• Cut pipe cleaners into thirds
• Drill hole into water bottle lid
• Tape ribbon ends together and thread through hold in lid
• Secure ribbon ends to inside of lid with duct tape
• Fill bottle with pom-poms and pipe cleaner sections
• Place a thin lone of glue on inside of lid
• Secure lid onto bottle
Click for some additional activities here!
Large strides have been made in evening out child-rearing and child-care responsibilities; however, mothers still shoulder the bulk of the work. But know, without a doubt, fathers are very important to their child’s development. Involving fathers straightaway is a good thing! Dads can use Play & Grow™ to find activities to do with their children; deepening their relationship and making memories along the way. When Dads are involved from the beginning it a lot easier and natural to ask for grandpa to come out and help take care of a grandchild…and when it’s over the Father’s Day weekend, it makes it all the better!
Yours in Play!