Now that I've been at home with Charlotte full time, I've become much more aware and concerned of how she spends her free time. While driving cross country and sitting in the back seat, Charlotte did spend a bit of time watching Signing Time or Curious George on the portable DVD player. We pulled it during meltdown moments and it provided us with a little bit of sanity. However, now that we are finally starting to settle down in Rhode Island, the DVD has gone "missing" and I am trying to make sure Charlotte gets a lot of stimulating and fun play time.
While roaming through some mommy/ educational/ crafting blogs the other day (my new obsession), I stumbled onto this post about Sensory Boxes by Pink and Green Mama. They are essentially indoor sand/ play boxes that encourages hand eye coordination, fine motor development, and provides a fantastic sensory processing integration experience. Plus, being the wanna-be crafter that I am, I theme the boxes as needed.
For Charlotte's first box, I thought that a fall/ autumn theme would be appropriate. Most of the items for the box I found around the house. But I did pick up a few things at Wal-Mart.
I found a plastic tub and filled it with yellow split peas and black beans. The yellow split peas look pretty orange and, combined with the black, remind me of Halloween.
Then, I just filled the box up with various goodies.
I put in some orange play doh (which is quickly turning out to be Charlotte's favorite), measuring cups, orange and black pom poms, Fischer Price Little People toys (the cow and farmer), fake pumpkins and gourds, pine cones, silk leaves, and a toy train. Here's a close up.
I introduced it to Charlotte after her nap and she spent about 15 minutes digging around.
I placed the box in the kitchen where Charlotte can see it. Over the past few days, she has actually asked to play with it and discovers something new each time. It really is fun to watch and play too! And it goes without saying, definitely supervise your kids with these boxes in case they want to taste a bean or two. Thankfully, Charlotte has past that stage (or at least I think she has)...
Now I just need to get a mini dust pan and broom to teach her how to clean up. Those little beans do wander outside of the box more often than not. :)
And some other food for thought, the American Academy of Pediatrics on Tuesday again urged parents to limit the amount of television for children under two. Here is a link to the New York Times article.
As always, thanks for stopping by. And if you leave a comment, know that I do love reading them!