Monday, 30 July 2012

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

A while back an acquaintance of mine was horrified that her daughter's first word was No.  She was sure it was from all of the No's that she and her husband had been doling out because their daughter was into EVERYTHING.  "What a horribly negative first word!" she lamented.  At the time, childless (and self-righteous) me thought, I'm going to make sure that I'm never that negative with my kids.*

Molly has learned to say "Jack", however we suspect the only reason she's learned to say her brother's name is because HE IS INTO EVERYTHING and we are sternly warning, "Jack, No!" what feels like hundreds of times a day. We are sure that she is just mere days away from yelling, "Jack, NO!" and redirecting him away from whatever mischief he's gotten himself into.

We have taken many baby proofing steps and given the minions access to lots of toys and a latch free kitchen cupboard that's full of plastic containers, mixing bowls and fun/safe stuff for them to play with.  That being said, we are still saying No! way too much and wanted a solution to make more positive exploration activities available to the minions.

Then, last week, I was catching up on my blog reading and I caught a great question and answer session on Offbeatmama to a reader's question about low-key things to do with an infant who can't leave the house.  One of the reader answers about creating a treasure basket was amazing and very applicable to creating Yes's for my kids in a very No world.

Basically the basket allows children to explore heuristic play (exploring their world via play with objects).** Take a minute and think about the toys that we provide for our infants, they are mostly plastic and feel/taste the same.  Boring!

The Treasure basket allows you to create a base basket full of 20-30 multi-textured, multifaceted, objects for your baby to explore daily for about half an hour to an hour.  Eventually the basket can contain up to 60-80 objects as you slowly build more items to keep the baby interested.***

Here's what I put in Molly & Jack's Treasure Basket so far:
-3 wooden spoons of various sizes
-leather cuff bracelet
-rubber dish gloves
-square of astroturf
-purple rubber textured dog bone
-fake fur miniature notebook
-cloth pencil case
-metal measuring spoons
-microfibre mop top
-miniature dust pan and broom
-dish scrubbing brush
-felt shoe insole
-foam duck shaped cut outs
-cork rounded hot pot stand
-metal whisk
-5 inch cloth fastener with velcro tie
-blue hard cardboard jewelry box
-pastry brush
-wooden ladybug shaped circular massager

What I'm still looking for:
-large pine cone (which I will wash with warm water and soap as per my germaphobic husband's instructions)
-unused feather duster
-sponges (I bought these and then realized that they were pre-treated for my car's benefit/ making them poisonous for Molly & Jack and unusable)
-shammy (I also bought one of these, unaware until I got home that it had been pre-treated with wax, also unusable)
-chalk brush
-wooden bristled hair brush
-large square of silk material

Here's what I'm not putting in and why:
-Seashells (Seashells smash, shards everywhere)
-Rocks (I couldn't figure what would be the appropriate sized rock - I needed something small enough that it couldn't be a weapon and large enough that it couldn't be swallowed or choked on).

For more information on creating a treasure basket here's the link that was provided that I used as a starting point/guideline:  My beginner basket cost me about $25 thanks to the dollar store and a little creativity around the house.  Stay tuned for reactions, successes and epic failures surrounding the basket.

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*Ha, 5 years ago Sara,  you are an ignorant idiot.
**For my kids this would be shoving said objects in their mouths, crushing them or smashing them.  All the same, it's comforting to know that the sword swallowing and Incredible Hulk routines are a normal part of development.
***Obviously you'll need to carefully supervise to avoid choking or in my case using the object to bludgeon a sibling. Disclaimer: I promise that I won't blame you for the stupid crap that my kids do, so please don't blame me for the stupid crap your kids do.  As alway with infants: EVERYTHING SHOULD BE DONE UNDER ADULT SUPERVISION, and should be checked regularly for wear and tear and choking hazards.

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