Dad diary - Baby development ideas
Sprog2 has turned 16 months old today, developing all the time, something happened just now, that made me wonder if I should change direction in her development.
We have a "pen" for her, other names include "baby prison" "baby play area" etc, you get the idea.
It is now the only place in the house where she can be left whilst something is done, wether it's the hoovering, washing up, or just for a well earned cuppa.
All attempts at opening the gate to the baby hexagon, have failed, from brute force and smashing it with a pan (I let her have it to pretend to cook her farm animals) to the more subtle attempts, such as swinging off it like a monkey.
It's the last real barrier to her being 100% free to roam the house.
Today she picked up my van keys, just one big key with a little key for the fuel cap attached to it.
In an instant, she walked over to her baby pen gate, inserting the small shiney key into the join of the gate fastening!
Wedging it in the join she attempted to turn the key to release the gate!
Combine this, with her ability to hold a pen properly and scribble only only on paper for the past month, her success at recognising most of the basic colours and open zips, clasps, bags and press studs.
Recognising the english flag then mimicking a barmy army song (from the cricket) is another favourite, as well as shouting "Goal!" whenever football scores are on the television, or watching a game is not bad for a baby of her age I think.
I am wondering if I should change direction as regards her development?
We practise words every week, she can say keys, tree, fish, etc and recognises them on the television and pictures. She knows where to find a starfish in her books and can place all the shapes in her shape ball, of varying colours and sizes from square to hexagon.
Customary greetings and saying goodbye have been mastered for a few months now, she can shout sprog1's name when he's upstairs. Recognising people isn't a problem either.
We don't have a "routine" as such, we eat when we are hungry, we sleep when we rub eyes, we play in between. We dance to music often and recognising songs from disney films is helping with general words, like doing the actions to "let's go fly a kite" from mary poppins.
I've introduced a couple of basic books so far, but using these whilst she's free to roam is proving hazardous, as the temptation to turn pages is far more attractive than listening to me droning on.
Still, that said, pictures are proving popular, thanks to pingu on BBC2 every morning and a picture of a penguin drawn for me by a good friend being blue tacked up on my desk, for example.
My dilemma is, where to go from here?
Do I continue with the hands on approach, or go towards books?
The problem is with books, these cannot be left with sprog2, turning pages in excitement means ripping. I am tempted to go with a bit of both, but any things you can suggest would be helpful.
Sounds like a very intelligent child but I disagree with calling the pen a prison. (bearing in mind that I would rather my child be in a so called prison as 6 foot under due to the result of her being unsafe). My daughter loved her pen because there was lots of exciting things to do in there. eg. ripping up old catalogues which would of otherwise gone in the bin and old newspapers to rustle and rip up. I half filled plastic bottles with coloured cereals and pulses. These looked colourful and made a quiet noise. But her favourite toy was an old biscuit tin with a wooden spoon. I usually let her play with the tin and spoon while I was busy then secretly removed the noisy items when I wanted to watch tv and of course a couple of her favourite dolls.The pen contains all the mess so any mess is quickly cleaned and tidied leaving you more free time to spend with your child. The best advice I ever got when bringing up my kids was to take them out and keep them out. There is so much to see and do in the outside world and new faces and places will keep your childs brain active. A child who has an active brain normally grows up to be intelligent and will use his/her brain at school and later The next phase in development is getting her to do things for herself. Try getting her to dress herself and brush her hair. she might not make a proper job of it yet but practise makes perfect. I often took my child out with her clothes on back to front and inside out but she soon learnt to do it properly. If you do everything for your child she will never learn to do anything for herself. I cant remember the exact age but definately before her second birthday she could stand on chair at kitchen sink and wash a few plastic dishes after I placed a dish of WARM soapy water in sink for her. and when I dried the cups I placed them on a chair so that she could put them away in a low cupboard. Only small jobs but she made progress with practise and as she got older she realised that if she helped me to do housework it gave me more time to take her out. The sooner she learns to do for herself the more time you will have for yourself. And one last piece of advice is for you to enjoy bring her up and as my mother always said “as you sow so shall you reap.
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