Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Emptying wallets

In my household, we have entered the phase of food being thrown from the high chair which of course drives me insane! The good news is that it is all part of my daughter's learning. I might be driven crazy but her brain is hard at work. Repetition is key at her age and the following activity is one which she enjoys repeating over and over again.

Activity: Emptying wallets (and other containers)

Development: cognitive
and learning through repetition, fine motor skills 
Materials needed: A wallet with cards inside
Age: 6-12 months 

This has to be my daughter's favourite activity at the moment and it keeps her entertained for ages. She is drawn to wallets, regardless of who they belong to! If she spies my bag (or any bag belonging to an unsuspecting victim), it's not long before she finds her way over to it and with a quick search uncovers my wallet. Then she sits absorbed as she pulls out one card after another, turning each one over for a quick look before it is discarded and the process repeated again until the wallet is empty. Once her mission is complete she is off to her next activity unless she spots me replacing all the cards again, then she's straight over to have another go. 

This activity is great for her cognitive development. The repetition of this and any other activity, is a baby's way of experimenting and learning about their physical and social environment. With emptying a wallet, she is learning about full and empty. When throwing things from her high chair, she's learning about gravity. She is also learning about different weights, different textures and the different sounds an object can make. She watches my response (which generally is frustration when food is thrown from the highchair but is followed by me picking up whatever she has thrown) and is learning about responses. This is all reasoning. The repetition, as annoying as it can be at times, is necessary as it helps strengthen the connections in her brain. 

This activity is also excellent for her motor skills, particularly her fine motor skills. The smaller the object, the more it requires the use of her fine motor skills. Pulling cards out of a wallet is great for strengthening her pincer grasp. Handling different objects as she pulls them from whatever container they are helps her gain more dexterity in her fingers. 

Alternatives: There are so many alternatives for this activity. Essentially any container with different objects inside can be used - a washing basket filled with washing, a cardboard box filled with random items (that are safe for baby) from around the house, a plastic bowl from the kitchen with a collection of plastic and wooden kitchen utensils, the list is almost endless...

So there's my first activity. I'd love to know what containers and items your baby enjoys emptying, the more ideas the better!

Until next time,

Thanks to these sites for much of the information in this post.  

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