May 17, 2008,
S.B. asks from Minneapolis, MN on May 16, 2008
Ideas for Activities with an 8 Month Old
I am just looking for ideas to broaden the scope of activities that my 8 month old daughter and I can enjoy together. (She is crawling, coasting, and almost walking.) We go to our local park daily (weather-dependant), are part of an ECFE class that ends in a few weeks, get together for stroller walks/playdates with a couple other moms once or twice a week, and go for storytime at our local library once a week. At home, she likes anything musical (rattles, drums, the piano, etc), balls, and dismembering our bookshelves. What kind of things did/do you do with your child at this stage? What outdoor activities work well? Playgroup activities? What "toys" would you recommend?
N.S. answers from Minneapolis on May 16, 2008
Check out a book titled "Toddler Play (Gymboree) by Wendy Masi. It has all kinds of great games and ideas for playtime. Depending on where you live, you might also want to check out places like Gymboree, or The Little Gym etc.
My kids love puppets. Instead of just reading a book to them, I'd find a fitting puppet from our big collection of hand puppets and using made-up funny voices, would make the "puppet" narrate or act out parts from the stories. Our kids just howl and love it. The book they still make me read over and over again is "Martha Speaks" by Susan Meddaugh.
It's a story about a dog who speaks like a human after eating a bowl of alphabet soup. Sometimes I use a puppet with a very funny girl-dog voice. Other times I've done a little ventriliquist action and made our yellow lab Mike play the part of Martha. (Okay-Okay you probably think that's a little odd, but the kids can't get enough I tell you. That alone makes the wackiness worth it.) You can even use things like old socks, old men's ties, paper bags and more to make your own puppets if you don't want to spend alot of money on the trademark characters, or store-quality variety.
Buy a big roll of newsprint paper and let her scribble endless doodles. Introduce her to finger paints, crayons (jumbo ones and be sure to watch for broken pieces) playdough or clay, sand (like in a sanbox) water, different textures like pasta pieces in a big bowl (once again watch for small pieces--perhaps use cooked pasta if she's really curious), gritty sandpaper. Kids love being tactile at this age, and love textures. Just use alot of imagination. You can make just about any mundane thing around the house fun and exciting for kids of all ages.
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H.T. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
We rolled balls back & forth while I told her the colors of the balls &/or counted them. We also rolled cars back & forth also.
We'd also finger paint w/ whipped cream & food color (not toxic).
Also dump & fill with a bucket & small toys was fun too. She would fill the bucket & dump it (or I would).
Blocks were fun also.
J.B. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
No need to get wrapped up in lots of official programs and activities - just play! Cuddle, tickle, play with toys, look at books, go grocery shopping, take a walk. Kids need to be with their parents, doing whatever. On the farm kids chase around behind their folks, trying to "help" and the same is true for city folks. Playing with pots and pans while you cook, following you around the house, all of that is play to a kid when they have someone to share the time with. I put on classical music in the background, sometimes we dance and watch birds through the front window. Just live your life, always including your child, and she will grow up well adjusted.
Homeschooling SAHM of seven
K.S. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
Hi, Check out this site for music classes http://www.ensemblemusic.net/ . I have heard really great things about them, especially a teacher named Jessica. Good luck!
A.R. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
Creative Kids Stuff - has great puzzles for babies. Look for the colorful "peg board" with huge pegs that they can move around the soft board.
Wonderment - across from CKS in Linden Hills has other wonderful, mindful things for babies and toddlers.
If your daughter is smart and active, look for puzzles to keep her busy and to engage her mind.
Also, don't hesitate to read chapter books to her while she works on puzzles. It will give you something interesting to do and it will stimulate her mind even more than the puzzles themselves. Charlotte's Web, Little Bear, Francis and Winnie the Pooh are all great books for babies and toddlers - available at your local library :o)