Sunday, 25 November 2018

DIY Jigsaw Puzzle from an Existing Jigsaw Puzzle


If your Mini is as crazy as mine is about jigsaw puzzles, then this one is for you! 

I noticed my little one's fondness for puzzles right from a very early age. I introduced him to knob and chunky puzzles at around 16 months and he immediately took to them. He would ask for them everyday and keep himself busy solving them. And then slowly we moved onto 2-3 pieces jigsaw puzzles at around 22 months. By the age of 25 months he was loving solving 9-12 pieces puzzles. 

Apart from these little jigsaw puzzles, we also have a couple of floor puzzles which are 24-36 pieces and the Mini and I do them together every now and then. Very recently, at the age of 33 months, he has begun doing these bigger puzzles all by himself. It is such a joy to watch him get so engrossed in finding and fixing the pieces of the puzzle together and the delight in his eyes when he completes the puzzles! :)

We have a good collection of jigsaw puzzles to suit my little boy's interests. Vehicles being his primary interest, most of our puzzles are based around them. He loves doing them over and over again and is not yet bored of any of them! I however felt, a little bit of variety would help and so wanted to try adding in more range to our current set of puzzles.

I came across this idea of drawing a picture on plain puzzle pieces and actually making your own personalised jigsaw puzzles! I wanted to try that too only, I did not know where to find plain jigsaw pieces. One day, it just occurred to me that most of the puzzles that we have, are plain at the bottom! I could just flip over the puzzle and use the bottom side to create my own jigsaw puzzle there.... and so that what I did! :D 

I used the backside of two of our little 12 pieces wooden jigsaw puzzles to make new puzzles. I drew some basic shapes with different coloured markers on one and wrote numbers from 1-12 on the other. The little guy is happy with these new additions to his puzzles collection :)


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Bye Bye 'ABC' | Toddler Games

Our weekend was all about the white board and ABCs! We played a few different games and this one in particular was a huge hit with the Mini. Its amazing how just very minimal things sometimes, bring the most joy! All we had at hand for this game is our white board, marker pen and the white board eraser. The delight on the Mini's face was absolutely priceless! :)

I named this fun little game - 'Bye Bye ABC!'  

I just randomly wrote a few letters on the white board, handed over the eraser to the Mini, called out one letter at a time and got him to erase them off the white board one by one! That's it!

Oh I almost forgot to tell you the most fun part... we bid them 'Bye Bye' before we erased them !! :D

This super simple little, as silly as it may sound teaches the helps the little ones a few important little skills. It improves auditory skill when then listen intently to the letter being called out, sharpens their letter recognition skill, and finally aids in gross motor skill when they use their chubby little hands to erase off the letter.

Along with my little boy, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game with him. The best memories are created, then we enjoy being silly and happy while doing fun little things together :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Sticky Notes Memory Game (Shapes) | Toddler Games

A few weeks ago, we discovered that all we needed was our white board, some sticky notes and some markers to keep us entertained for a good deal of time! :) I have been coming up with quite a few variations of early learning activities with just these three items and this is one of them.

Most of our activities these days revolve around ABC, colours and shapes. Because the Mini is obsessed with these :) So for this particular activity, I chose to base it around some basic shapes. The concept is the same just like any other memory game - remembering, finding and pairing the similar items.

This was the first time I was playing a memory game with him, so was not sure if he would grasp the concept. But to my delight he did, and enjoyed it thoroughly too! :)

You can do this activity based around what interests your child. Numbers, Letters, Names etc. We based it around shapes for this one and eventually tried other variations too. Its a lovely little game to help little ones improve their memory power. Happy playing! :)

Monday, 12 November 2018

ABC Fishing Activity | Toddler Games

Now, which kid doesn't like water play!? Well, I know mine loves it! :) Splishing and splashing... he can be in water all day, if allowed! :D I have read, that water play has a good calming affect on children. I have actually noticed that with my little boy. All hid bad mood just vanishes the moment he is in his bath! Its such a delight to watch him enjoy in his little tub.

So the other day, I decided to put together his love for water and ABCs and made up this fun little game of ABC Fishing! Yes, there is a fair bit of cleanup required after such water play... but hey, what is childhood if not for such little fun memories!

It took me 5 minutes to set this up for him. I used up the little plastic ABCs from a peg board set, some foam ABCs from a puzzle and a little sieve from our beach play set for this game. So basically all things that were already available with us.

So, this is almost a zero prep game... OK let me say minimal prep game. Go on now... get your Mini playing! :)

Monday, 7 May 2018

Number Hunt and Match - Sensory Play | Toddler Games

I have come across a lot of 'sensory' activities that are set up for babies and toddlers to develop their motor skills and enhance their exploratory instinct. The sense of touch provides a beautiful and different perspective of learning to little ones that I understand helps their little minds develop well. I had personally not given it a try yet but have been wanting to. 

So a few days back I ordered a 5 kilo bag of toor dal by mistake instead of a 2 kilo bag! Just seeing so much of toor dal at home, made me realise it was time to set a sensory activity for the Mini! :D I did not dare to venture out using flour or rice or anything else that I felt will be a problem to clean after. Toor dal seemed doable to start with.

I was apprehensive of how my boy will take to this game and if he is not going to really understand the game and would instead just make a mess! Well, I took a chance and I am so so glad I did. He loved it and spent a good 1.5 hours!

This little game that I set up for him involved hunting the appropriate numbers hidden in a bin full of toor dal and matching them onto a sheet of paper. So by playing with this sensory game, his hand eye coordination, concentration and sense of touch is improving.

First he did the hunting and matching game about 4-5 times on repeat! And then he went onto doing some transfer activity using a spoon and another bowl. It was such a treat watching him pick little bits of dal and dunking them back into the tub! Nope, he did not create any mess, he was very very careful about it. So proud! :)

Oh, the next day he introduced his little dump truck to the bin of toor dal! :D 

Read on to know how to set up this game and how else you can make use of this little sensory bin set up.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Jumping Ropes Obstacles Course | Toddler Games

My little fellow loves to crawl through and jump over things. Under the sofa, over the sofa, under the bed, under the dining table, scramble through our legs! A little cheeky monkey we have! :)

Puzzles and ABCs are his other obsessions. He can keep himself busy with these all day. So combining all these little interests of his, I set up this mini obstacles game. It took me just about 10 minutes to set this up! 

This has been his favourite game so far. We did this two times together and I was done for the day! But the Mini asked for it again in the evening and did the full course twice more! Well not complaining, but this time I just chose to be a cheerleader! Phew!

The little obstacles that I set up for this course seem super simple but for tiny little being who are still mastering their balancing skills, this is huge! I loved to see this little fellow make his way through the rope hurdles and gleefully smile when he made it form one end to the other.

Amidst all the fun, the workout those little legs get by playing this game is significant. A whole lot of coordination comes into play through the entire game. And overall, the joy of jumping around with your mini is a joy you have to experience to understand! :) 

So get up and get jumping with those little monkeys of yours!

Read on to know how we played this game...

Balancing Book on Head | Toddler Games

It's so awesome how easy it is to laugh when you have a child for company. Some of the best moments with my boy are moments like these. The ones filled with giggles! Memories are sweetest when they are sprinkled with fun silly moments and I want to create loads of such memories with my  little boy. 

I attempted to play the balancing game with board books with the cheeky little Mini, ended up just having lots of fun in the process! The little fellow was super amused to see his Mumma walking around with a book on her head. 

Kids love to imitate and so he tried his best to imitate my balancing act, but so adorably failed! :D 

The actual act of balancing an item on the head betters your posture and thereby improves your overall body balance, but with a toddler, the whole point was to just have fun and not really focus on getting the balancing right. And as you can see, a whole lot of fun was had! :)

Watch our goofiness here!

Toy Cars Colours Sort | Toddler Games

If your mini is as crazy about vehicles as mine is, here is a simple fun colour sorting game you can get them to play! They get to do what they love doing... playing with their little trucks and cars while also learning the different colours!

Just to perk up the fun factor, I added in a 'road' using some foam puzzle pieces. The Mini (a miniature version of a me, with regards to orderliness!) obsessed over the 'road' each time it came apart during the process of play! It was super cute watching him set it right and resume the play only after it was as per his satisfaction.

Here he is zooming away his miniatures onto their respective colour coded parking lots!

Read on to know how we played the game...

Sticky Notes Letters Hunt | Toddler Games

My little man is so fond of ABCs these days that he finds letters in everyday objects - The 3 blades of the fan is a 'Y', the handle of my coffee mug is a 'C'! Oh, at a shop yesterday he even sat down at a salesperson's feet to read what was written on his shoes!

So when I set up this little game for him, he was thrilled to bits and we were at it for an hour! So easy to put together and perfect for days when I am exhausted but have a hyperactive toddler to entertain! All I used was the white board and some sticky notes! It is sometimes the simplest of things that brings in the most entertainment.

Read on to know how we played this game...

Playdough Play Ideas to Develop Gross Motor Skills

Play-dough is a wonderful play option to provide to a child for open ended free play. The creativity that can come off such a play is endless and just the process of kneading and playing with the dough can be very therapeutic for little hands and minds. If you are yet to introduce it to your child, I would recommend you give homemade play-dough a try as the contents are completely non-toxic and baby safe. 

The first time I made play-dough at home, my little one was hardly 15 months old. He did not really take to it instantly. He was hesitant to touch it too much. I guess the feel of the play-dough was very new to him and he did not quite enjoy touching it or playing with it too much. I had given him the play dough along with a few cutters. I let him explore it his way and did not push him into it.

Since the play-dough stays good for about 6 months, if stored well, I gave it a break and reintroduced it after about 2-3 months. This time around, my little boy seemed to enjoy it better. I did away with the cutters and added a few more props to the play dough such as tiny little baskets for him to put them into, a little ladle to pretend play and bowl to mix it all up in. Since there was not much of touching the dough this time, I guess he enjoyed this play better than the earlier attempt. 

He just turned two a couple of months back and so I decided to make a fresh batch of play dough and see how he took to it this time. I planned a lot more activities around it and to my happiness he loved it. He shows a lot more concentration these days and loves quite time activities. In this post, I am listing down a few little props that pair well with play dough and also help in motor skills development.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

DIY Memory Board Game | Toddler Games

Since the Mini has begun showing interest in identifying letters and has always loved puzzles, I thought I will the two together and make a little game for him. Using two cardboard sheets, bottle caps and some basic craft supply, I made this Memory Board game. 

The goal of this game is to find two matching letters hidden away under the little windows. To start with, you have to open one window and read the letter written inside and then open another window to look for its matching letter. If the two letters do not match, you shut the second window and then open another one to again check if it matches the letter from the first window. The key is to remember the letters that are behind each window as you play along and thereby get the matching right as you play further.

The outer panel is like an envelope letting me use multiple worksheets to keep the interest alive and matching options endless! Currently I have made worksheet only related to letters, but I do plan on making more options as his interest widens and once he has mastered these sheets.

This game helps those little minds improve concentration, focus and attention. Identifying letters and numbers becomes fun through this game. And most importantly, it keeps the little ones busy in a fun productive way!