from the outset, it seems mundane
We know babies love everyday objects.
No matter what kinds of toys you have in your home, it often seems that infants and toddlers gravitate to objects commonly found in places like the kitchen.
Have you ever caught your little one banging on the pots and pans as if they were drums? Playing with wooden spoons, pretending to stir? Putting a mixing bowl on his head and pretending it's a hat or playing peek-a-boo?
connect the mundane with the profound
Play with everyday objects is exactly what supports your baby
There are plenty of toy companies that claim their products support development. The fact of the matter is that the most effective learning materials are open-ended: objects that can be used flexibly, in lots of different ways, for problem-solving, exploring basic concepts, using vocabulary, experiencing with all our senses, and moving our big and small muscles.
Everyday objects give our children the opportunity to explore, and because infants & toddlers are just starting on their journey of making sense of the world, they don't make the grand assumptions or think about things linearly like their adult counterparts do.
Mother of an infant & toddler
I loved learning new games we could play using things around the house. I was actually getting ready to buy my 11-month old a bunch of new toys because he seemed so bored with his -- but now I have a better idea of how to engage him and challenge him. I also think when I do invest in a new toy, I'll know what to look for -- things that are 'flexible' and can be used for different games.
the unique play materials: gift tags story
Born out of the gifts I've given my own friends & family
When a baby in my life turns one, I have a "best-of" list of kitchen items from which to pull. This list was made from tried and true objects that my own babies have loved (and that I now use in my own kitchen!).
As a mother of young children and a pediatric speech-language pathologist specializing in work with infants and toddlers, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
I know it's not always easy to come up with creative ideas for play.
I know that sometimes just getting through the day can be exhausting.
I know the oppression of "mom guilt."
So, i started writing it all down
All the little ideas I could come up with, that I had already tried with my own infant and toddler and with my infant and toddler clients!
All the little secret tips to help adults re-learn the potential for each, simple little object, and to help parents and caregivers think flexibly, just as our little ones do.
All the delightful little games I regularly play, to set up holistic learning experiences for infants and toddlers.
Let me tell you a little secret...
These everyday kitchen items are often the gifts in which the child finds the most delight (not just on that day - but for many months to come!!)... but the REAL delight is with the parent, and it's the GIFT TAGS that are the most important, appreciated part of the gift.
As parents, we love having quick access to simple, creative ways to play with our children. We know that open-ended play is something we want to encourage... but it's not always easy to wrap our heads around the ways we can support that.
Imagine someone handing you the keys to unlock the potential to these simple objects,
Giving you all kinds of ideas
so that you can promote Your child's development
That is the kind of gift I'd want for my child
Ready to purchase a creative, environmentally sustainable, developmentally appropriate, unique gift idea?
What exactly are the gift tags?
When you purchase Unique Play Materials: Gift Cards For A First Birthday, you receive:
+ 1 Gift Tag for the recipient - a description of the intended purpose (to inspire and enliven your interactive play with your little one)
+ 8 Gift Tags describing various simple ways you can support your child's learning across developmental areas, using various kitchen objects I outline on my "best-of" list of kitchen items. Offer your family, friends & colleagues (or even yourself!) activities that support:
- Cognitive Development
- Communicative Development
- Fine Motor Development
- Gross Motor Development
- Sensory Development
All activities described are interactive, and therefore inherently address social/emotional development
+ Instructions for putting together your intended gift!
--> Decide which ones would be most appropriate for this particular family (and how much I want to spend)
--> Make my purchases
--> Print out the gift tags that apply to those items, and attach them to each one