Continuing with activities I’ve created for Pip, here is how I made our fun Pull String Toy. I found this idea on Pinterest, and it was quick and easy to recreate at home! This toy is great for cause and effect, pincher grasp, pulling, using two hands separately (one to hold the container, one to pull)… I started using this toy when he was around 9 months old and we still pull it out to play!
Single hole punch
3/4” ribbons of different materials
Thin, flexible, plastic container (found at the dollar store!)
- Punch holes into the sides of the container. I did a triangle pattern like this: ◦.◦ I matched the pattern on opposite sides, and reverse the pattern for the opposing opposite sides: .◦.
- Feed the ribbons through the holes and into the opposite side’s holes. I criss- crossed some to give Pip a different “feel” when pulling.
- Tie off the ends of the ribbon with knots big enough to cause them to stop at the hole. I left a longer “tail” at the end of each knot to practice “pinching” when pulling.
Then just put the lid back on and you are set! I found I had to demonstrate how to play with this a few times for Pip to understand. But he loves watching the ribbons going back and forth!
Continuing on my “scrunchy trend”, I made some toy cleaner from my essential oils! I got this idea over the weekend from my friend Anna who had made some for her diaper bag. Between our day trips around Colorado and flights back to California, this stuff will come in handy! And the best part? It’s the easiest recipe you’ll ever have to follow!
- 3 oz spray bottle (< $1 at Target)
- Thieves (Young Living) or OnGuard (doTerra)
Just fill the bottle up with water and drop in 3-6 drops of OnGuard or Thieves and give it a shake. Keep it in a Ziplock in your bag (in case of spills) with a cloth and you are ready for whatever hits the ground! And, because doTerra and Young Living are of the highest quality, you can feel confident in your little one putting that toy back in their mouth!
With a Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology and many years of experience in the special education system, I’m quite keen on exposing Pip to a multitude of activities. I work hard to vary the modalities he is using in the activities I am providing. We love to do a lot of fine motor activities together, despite how anxious it makes others. Everyone is sure he will choke on the tools I give him! But trust me, I keep him supervised until I know he can be safe. And once he know how to be safe with them, he gains so much confidence with the activities!
What are fine motor skills?
Fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. – Wikipedia
What are some important movements?
There are so many! Pinching, threading, pulling, scribbles… there are so many different fine motor movements. If you google it you can find a variety of lists. Some will make you feel like you’ve done something right, others may make you feel like you’re failing your child. Try to find a middle ground *smile*
This simple activity can provide fun and some fine motor exercise for your little one! We play this game everywhere now, as I can always have the supplies in my purse.
What You’ll Need:
- Rubber coated metal clips (I get them at the dollar store!)
How to Play
- Always start each “level” by barely attaching the clips to the edge of something. You aren’t trying to “stump” your toddler right out of the gate! First you want to establish that they know how to get the clip off at each level.
- Begin with something hard and sturdy where the pulling motion is towards themselves or down (not up). The edge of a toy crate can work, or a counter/table. Show your toddler how much FUN it can be to pull them off! (Find that inner child!) The rubber coating should protect your items, as well as make it easier to slip off. Increase the difficulty along with your toddler’s progress. You can even try clipping them so that they would need to pull “up” once they have the hang of it!
- Attach the clips to a stuffed toy or blanket. Show your toddler how to hold the item with one hand, and pull the clip off with the other! This is great for core strength, stability and lateral motion – along with that grasping motion!
- Attach the clips to your toddler’s clothes! We have a lot of fun with this one! I’ll put a clip on the feet of his PJs, up the legs, in his stomach region and even on the arm of his shirt. He has to coordinate all of his limbs to reach the clip and then pull against it! Be sure your little one is somewhere “soft” when you start this one. They often pull so hard they topple themselves backwards! When Pip has to wait somewhere in his car seat or stroller I’ll pull out this activity for a few minutes of cheap entertainment!
More dollar store activities to come! Stay tuned!
I’m surprised at how “crunchy” I have become since having Liam. I’m not TOTALLY “crunchy”, just somewhat. Hence the term “scrunchy”. I read all the labels and am very aware of everything that goes in or on his body. That’s why I delved into the world of essential oils. Even then, I really researched the companies and identified what made some better than others. Since stocking our house with oils, I’ve been replacing EVERYTHING. From my face care, to what we wipe down counters with to what touches Liam’s body! I won’t FILL this blog with everything essential oil, but I will be sharing things we love because it’s a part of being a mom – finding things that work for our kid and sharing it with others! That being said …
I often joke that Liam has “daddy’s hair in the front, mommy’s in the back”. His hair is nice and smooth in the front while frizzy and wild in the back! Even though I brush it every morning, it looks like I haven’t by the time we reach story time, church, etc. And “just brushing” doesn’t work – it needs wetted. Which sometimes makes him a tad “crunchy”. I knew I needed to get some detangler that could also smooth his hair in back without greasing the front. Reading the bottles in the store made my skin crawl, I just couldn’t put some of those things on his sensitive skin! Searching Pinterest didn’t give me a GREAT answer, but I mixed a few recipes and created this! The recipe is so simple…
- 2 TBS fractionated coconut oil
- 1 TBS grapeseed oil
- 2 drops peppermint (doTerra or Young Living)
- 2 drops lavender (doTerra or Young Living)
I diluted 1 part of this mix into 10 parts water. This means I put 2 teaspoons in a 3 oz spray bottle (I bought mine for $.97 at Target) and then filled the rest up with water. I filled to small spray bottles and still had some left over!
I’ll give you an update in the future to let you know if we still love it!
P.S. You can get your Young Living or doTerra oils through me – feel free to ask me more about oils or why I think these two companies are the CREAM of the crop! Link in the menu to your right!