Nov 13, 2015

Sensory Play at the Beach

I've been wanting to write this blog post since this summer but life has gotten in the way and I'm just now sitting down to do it. I was shocked as I watched Baby D playing at the beach this past summer that I had never considered the beach itself as a sensory experience. He had so much fun exploring and kept us on our toes! Here are a few ways you can create fun sensory experiences for your little one on your next beach trip.

  1. Collect seashells. Let your little one feel the different textures (smooth, rough, etc) and compare sizes, shapes, and colors
  2. Play in the sand. Build sand castles (and allow them to demolish them!) Experiment with wet and dry sand. Teach them to build drip castles. Use a sifter and watch the smaller pieces sift out and the larger pieces remain.
  3. Splash! We bring a kiddie pool so Baby D can splash in and out of it without fear of getting knocked over by a wave. He enjoys the independence of getting in and out of the pool on his own.
  4. Play in tidal pools. Tidal pools are an incredible sensory experience! Look at the fish and other sea life that call the pool their home. Feel the water temperature change when a wave comes bringing in a splash of cooler water. Allow your toddler to run and splash in the pool.
  5. Catch (and release!) minnows. Our friend's teenage daughter caught some shiners in a casting net and put them in a bucket for Baby D. He delighted in watching the fish and trying to pet one. We then let him do the honors of releasing them back to the sea.
  6. Swim! He held onto Baby D and let him swim with us. He loved it!
  7. Go on a walk and explore! D loved walking on the beach and exploring the new environment. We let him feel the seaweed, chase seagulls, and find "treasures."
I have always loved the beach but watching D learn to love it made my heart swell bigger than the waves! It's incredible how much learning occurred on what was meant to be a recreational trip.

Safety Tips:
  • Never leave your child unattended near any water, especially at the beach!
  • Use sunscreen and protective clothing
  • If your child is still putting things in his/her mouth be mindful of choking hazards like small shells
Nov 9, 2015

Review: Greta the Fox Infant and Toddler Swing

As I've mentioned before I love wood toys for babies and toddlers. Many of the swings on the market are made of hard plastic so I was pretty excited to review the Greta the Fox Infant and Toddler Swing.

The swing is eco-friendly and varnished and colored only with non toxic paints which is important to me since Baby D chews on EVERYTHING! The swing is appropriate for children aged from 6 months until 3 years and can hold up to 37 lbs. I think you need to make sure baby has good torso control though because little ones have too much wiggle room if they don't. It can be used outdoor or indoor, hanged on tree branch, porch or ceiling - we hung ours from the jungle gym.

My one caveat is that the instructions are really hard to follow but it looks like they are responding to customer feedback and making a video to show how to install it which will be really nice.

Overall, it's a really nice eco-friendly swing at the same price point as the plastic competitors. I would definitely recommend it.

Nov 7, 2015

How to Build a Lego Table from an Ikea Lack Table

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I am not a handy person. I have no real craftsman skills in spite of my sincere desire to do-it-myself. Because of this I am ridiculously proud of the Lego Table I built for Baby D.  I know screwing the legs on a Lack table doesn't exactly make me a carpenter but it felt like a coup just the same. I love this table because not only does it look nice and match my furniture but I also designed it to store his bricks since we are short on storage space.

  • Lack Table from Ikea
  • Lego or Duplo Base Plates (Update 08/06/18- these ones peel and stick!)
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Trofast bin from Ikea
  • 2 Trofast rails- you can get these for $0.25 a piece at Ikea customer service
  • Screw legs onto Lack Table
  • Trace Lego base plates where you want them with a pencil
  • Apply Gorilla Glue to back of Lego base plates- be careful to avoid the very edge since the glue will expand. I gave myself about a quarter of an inch of leeway 
  • Carefully place base plates in the outline you drew and hold for 30 seconds. Add something heavy like canned veggies to hold plates down while the glue dries
  • Place Gorilla Glue on Trofast rails and hold in place on the underside of the table for 30 seconds.
  • Let glue dry over night and enjoy your new table with Lego storage!
Voila! You have a Lego Table that stores your bricks and looks a heck of a lot nicer in your living room than a primary colored plastic one (for a lot cheaper!) Right now Baby D loves to climb on top of it and destroy the Duplo buildings I build like he is King Kong. I look forward to him actually *building* on it someday soon!

Make sure to check out my Facebook Group "Daily Deal Detectives" to score deals on LEGOs and other awesome finds: