Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sorting Game - A fun activity for my 16 month old

I am always interested in finding new activities to do with my 16 month old which will interest him. Many of  the toddler activities I try are a little advanced for him yet so he loses interest quite quickly. As we are in the middle of winter  indoor activities are a priority at the moment.
One very simple activity he has really enjoyed this week is sorting. I take 8 blocks, 8 balls and 8 play cups ( you can use any items you have on hand which would be suitable for sorting). I put them into a box, shake it about and then pour all the contents out onto the floor.  I show him how to sort them into 3 groups of  blocks, balls and cups. We then repeat the whole process again.
Overall he has really enjoyed this activity. It keeps him interested (he enjoys the shaking box, seeing what's inside and playing with the contents). He does a little bit of sorting but this is something which he will probably do more of as he gets older.
This is a fun activity to do together and easily passes 45 minutes.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cheese Scones

I find it difficult to know what to feed my son now that he is 11 months old. He is at the stage where he does not like being spoon fed anymore and can be quite fussy about the finger foods he will eat. If he does not like the initial taste or look of something he will throw it on the floor. This can be quite disheartening at times.

One thing he rarely refuses is bread so for a bit of variety I decided to make some cheese scones and thankfully he seems to like them.

I have taken the recipe from 'Feeding Your Baby' by Fiona Wilcock:

125g wholemeal flour
125g plain white flour (plus extra for dusting)
3 tsp baking powder
25g full fat butter or spread
50g cheddar cheese grated
150ml whole milk (plus extra for brushing)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
2, Sieve the flours and baking powder into a bowl, adding back any bran that remains.Rub the butter or spread into the flour and stir in the grated cheese.
3. Using a small palette or round edged knife, stir the milk into the dry ingredients until you have a soft, but not sticky, mixture. Press the mixture into a ball. Sprinkle a little flour on a clean board or work surface and roll out, or gently press the dough to around 1.5cm thick.
4. Place a baking sheet in the hot oven for a couple of minutes.
5. Using 4-5cm cutters, stamp out scones until the dough is used up, gently re-rolling unused dough.
6. Carefully place the scones on a hot baking tray and brush the tops with a little milk. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the scones are risen and golden. Cool and serve fresh.
*These are best eaten on the day they are made. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours or freeze when cool.

For his lunch today he had some pieces of chopped up scone with mashed avocado on top and some chopped apple.

These scones were very easy to make and I am happy as I feel they are quite a healthy option for my son. I will definitely make these again.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Favourite Books For My 9 Month Old

Today I thought I would do a review of my sons favourite books at 9 months old. I love reading books to him and put a lot of thought into selecting appropriate books for his age. Thankfully he seems to enjoy hearing stories too.

One of the first books we got for him was 'Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes' written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. This is a truly beautiful book and it is definitely my personal favourite. The illustrations are just gorgeous and there is actually a really nice sentiment. My son loves looking at the pictures of the little babies and he has cooed at them from a very young age. The rhyming languague makes it flow very well and it is a joy to read. This is a definite favourite at bedtime.

More of a stimulating day time story is 'Where is Baby's Belly Button' by Karen Katz. This is a lovely book. It is very bright and colourful and again has lots of images of babies which my son loves. There are little flaps on every page with various body parts (hands, feet etc.) hidden behind the flaps. My son loves to tear the flaps and unfortunately our copy is now missing most of the flaps!

A recent favourite is 'Peek-a-boo Penguins' by Matt Buckingham. This is a soft and sparkly pop up book which would also help with counting for older children. My son loves the story and illustrations. It is actually a surprise favourite as it is not something I would have picked myself (we received it as a gift) but he really enjoys it and I have grown to love it too.

Finally I could not finish this post without mentioning 'My Little Book of Nursery Rhymes' published by Brown Watson. This is a very nice book with lovely illustrations and features all of the popular nursery rhymes such as 'Humpty Dumpty' & 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. I love reading this to my son and he loves the rhymes and pictures too. However this is a paper book and I would prefer to have it as a board book for his age as he tends to tear any paper within sight.

Overall I think board books are great for children of this age, they enjoy repetitive rhymes and like looking at colourful simple pictures especially pictures of babies faces.

What books have you enjoyed reading with your baby?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Daily Routine For My 7 Month Old

I am not an expert in baby routines, I have read a couple of books and articles but our routine fell into place quite naturally rather than something I created based on a specific model. This is what seems to be working quite well for us at the moment.

08.00 Rise & Shine. Baby has bottle & nappy change
08.30 I have breakfast & baby plays on play mat
09.00 I prepare baby's breakfast & bottles for the day
09.15 Baby has his breakfast (usually porridge and pureed fruit)
09.45 We play & read together
10.30 Baby goes down for nap. I clean up
11.30 Baby wakes and has his bottle & nappy change
12.00 I get ready for the day/baby plays in cot or on bed
12.30 We go for walk/to the shops
13.30 Arrive home. Baby has his lunch (usually pureed veg)
14.00 I have my lunch. Baby plays on play mat/in bouncy chair
14.30 Baby has a nap. I clean up.
15.30 Baby wakes and has half a bottle & a nappy change
16.00 We play together (sing, do an art activity etc)
17.00 I prepares baby's dinner. Baby sits in high chair playing with toy.
17.30 Baby has dinner (usually meat/chicken/fish pureed with veg)
18.00 Baby has half a bottle and nappy change
18.30 I prepare adults dinner. Baby plays on play mat
19.00 Baby has wash, change of clothes. Daddy usually arrives home from work and plays with baby.
20.00 Baby has last bottle of the day, nappy change & off to bed.

This is a 'typical daily routine' but in saying that no day is completely like this. Sometimes baby will sleep a little longer/sometimes a little less, occasionally he will not take a nap at all. Sometimes he will not play alone whilst I prepare dinner or will be hungry at different times so this will impact upon the schedule. Also the days when we go to playgroup together or have other activities to do will not be exactly like this.Therefore it is not something I stick to religiously but rather something I keep in the back of my mind as a checklist for my day.
There are some amendments I would like to make to our current routine:
1. I would like to cut down the amount of milk he is talking (I have cut down from 5 bottles to 4 bottles a day but would like to further reduce this down to 3 bottles. He loves his milk so this may be difficult).
2. I would like to get myself ready earlier in the day, ideally when he is having his morning nap. However as he currently sleeps in our room I do not want to disturb him when he is sleeping. This will be easier when he moves to his own room next month.
3. I would like to have him in his cot and asleep by 8pm rather than 8.30/9pm as currently happens.

Thanks for taking the time to read, I would love to know about your routines with your babies and how you feel they work.