Thursday, June 25, 2009

The One and Under Crowd


It's been four and a half years since I became a mother. My memories of those early months of motherhood are really just a blur of breastfeeding and diapers and all my energy spent getting to know this strange new creature who was my daughter. The transition from full-time-working-woman to full-time-stay-at-home-mother was a challenge I was happy to undertake, but I found myself wondering "What do I do with this baby, all day long, for an entire day, day after day?" So here are some ideas for the one-year-old and under crowd that worked for me.

Sing, Sing, Sing
Sing to your child. It doesn't matter if you are a great singer or not, your baby will love to hear your voice. Sing in the car. Sing in the bathtub. Sing while you're preparing dinner. Sing while you're snuggling. Sing before sleep. Primary songs top the list at our house, but we've also accumulated quite a list of favorite traditional children's song: Down by the Station, If all of the Raindrops, You are my Sunshine, Puff the Magic Dragon, etc.

(If you are interested in seeing our complete song list, leave a note in the comments or email me at nurturemama2{at}gmail{dot}com and I'll send a copy your way).

Read, Read, Read
There are so many wonderful board books available. Make reading (with regular trips to the library) a part of your daily routine. Don't worry if you only get through a page or two in each sitting--it's still worthwhile!

I've posted before about our favorites by Sandra Boynton and Eric Carle, but here are a few more that are well-loved in our home.


Two great articles on early literacy:
Developing communication skills in your baby or toddler
Helping your child learn to talk

Explore the Outside World
Load up the stroller and head outside. There are so many fascinating things to see and hear--trees, birds, cars, flowers. Fresh air and exercise is good for both of you! And if you have another mom to walk with, even better.
I really miss my days of living at Wymount and being able to step out my door and take a walk around the Provo temple and up into Rock Canyon!

Other places to explore: grocery stores, pet stores, museums, parks...the list can go on and on! Be creative. Talk to your child as you go and show them what a fascinating world you live in.
Give your child the opportunity to "touch and feel". A pile of leaves, cold winter snow, a sandbox, soft grass. Just watch closely because at some point they will likely do a taste test!

Explore the Inside World
Make your kitchen safe for exploring. Moms spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and so will your child. Have a few places like this that are safe for your baby to explore.

Plastic dishes are really quite fascinating things! So are measuring cups, spoons of all shapes and sizes, pots and pans. There's no need to go shopping with a kitchen full of toys.

Stimulate the Senses
Try finger painting with colored yogurt. Let them sniff the spices you use when you bake. Listen to stimulating music. Sit on the front porch and watch and hear and smell a summer rainstorm.

Most importantly, just hold your child close and let them see your smile and feel your love. That's the best thing to do everyday!

2 comments on "The One and Under Crowd"

The Wessman Family on June 26, 2009 at 7:28 AM said...

I'd love to see your song list!

Jessica on June 28, 2009 at 2:14 PM said...

I would love a copy of the song list too!

 

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