Learn through Play with Baby Alia 9-12 months old

Another super late post by yours truly :p I just finished going through our online photo albums to look for pictures to use in this post, and wow… We sure were busy during this time of the year (thus a very long post)! A lot of outdoor activities and “jalan-jalan” aka sightseeing to new places, plenty of (very messy) sensory play, the beginning of self feeding, more #diytoys! 

IMG_20150630_095116

Baby-led weaning (by accident): Why by accident? Well, we didn’t start off with baby-led weaning (BLW) when Alia started solids at 6 months old. But for whatever reason, around 10 months old, she refused to eat puree and took more interest in self-feeding. I did my reading homework, online and using this book, and we said goodbye to all the purees. For those of you doing BLW, you’re familiar with the process – super messy hahah! At the beginning, she mainly used her hands (she still does now) and slowly we introduced utensils. When we went out, we brought disposable placemat like these ones, a bib, and her utensils (we use the ones from OXO till now).  

She only became an enthusiastic eater recently (since we stopped nursing) – YEAH!!! Before that? Continue reading

Toy Review #4: Knob Puzzles

This past weekend, I felt so accomplished for finding three large knob puzzles for Alia at a consignment sale, specifically these vintage ones from Melissa and Doug. Aren’t they beautiful? With real animal pictures as supposed to the animated, cartoonish images like the ones sold these days. 

My eyes twinkle when I see jigsaw puzzles, and I think I’ve become a puzzle hoarder. Hehehe… There are so many benefits of playing puzzles for children such as developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, attention, and concentration (more on the benefits, click here). Plus, isn’t fun when you’ve put all the pieces together? Well, I’ve seen that big smile on Alia’s face whenever she completes a set. 😀 

To accommodate those tiny hands of her, we buy large knob puzzles from Melissa and Doug. It’s also recommended that they play with puzzles that have one piece per separate hole. This was her first puzzle which we bought when she was 10 months old. 

knob puzzle -1

Continue reading

Learn through Play with Baby Alia 6-9 months old

Obviously this post is long overdue… I mean Alia is two weeks away from becoming 20 months old :p But hey, it’s better late than never right?

So things were slightly different between February and May of 2015 since I had to go back to New York during the weekdays to finish grad school. Yes, I was a loyal customer of the Chinatown bus every Friday evening and Sunday night. Alia was with her paternal grandparents for the first two months, and then we put her in a daycare center for the remaining time .It was definitely a long semester, very exhausting, physically and emotionally. But we all survived! All because of the support of Alia’s dad and her grandparents, and because of my resilient lil’ Alia! 😀

I got through my days being away from her because my dearest husband sent me this kind of picture in the morning. Boy, I miss those chubby cheeks! Hehehehe

IMG-20150224-WA0000

This was the story of my life every week – carrying a storage box full of gold liquid from NYC, followed by making a week worth of meal for Alia.

In between grading students’ papers, making lesson plans, and catching up on some sleep, we still did many explorations over the weekend.

Finger painting using yogurt for baby and food coloring (be sure that your child isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients)

Continue reading

Learning using a #diy Light Box

Have you ever seen or played with a light table? If you see one, try it. But wait, what is a light table anyway? It’s essentially a table illuminated with light. Many people use a light table or light box to do photography, drafting, and art work. But it’s also beneficial for children as it becomes a source of visual input and it offers a different means of discovery and learning. More info on what a light table is and its purpose, you can read here.

Light table is one of those things that I learned while browsing Instagram for ideas during night feedings :p After reading about the benefits and the different engaging activities to do on a light table, I wanted one. But they’re quite pricey $$$ like this one for example.  Thankfully, there are many parents who have shared their #diy light table or light box. I followed the directions from this website. It’s super easy…

light box

– 67 Qt. storage bin with a transparent lid (I think it was around $35 at Home Depot); you can easily store this underneath your couch/bed.

– LED string light ($8 from Amazon)

– aluminum foil

– tape

(pardon Alia’s light box manner then :p)

 

Continue reading

Water play goes indoor!

It’s been almost two months since my last post — I guess I’d blame the cold weather for this hiatus :p So it’s officially winter here in Massachusetts. We had a strangely warm December… We were out in sweatshirts on Christmas Day; many were in shorts and t-shirts! We’ve had a couple of super cold days since then and it leaves us with no options but to stay home. OK, I’ll be honest… Staying home all day with an active toddler can be challenging. It’s no longer about sipping a hot drink and watching Netflix all day hehehe…

One thing that we like to do is to do water play. No, I don’t have an indoor swimming pool (although if I did, you’re all invited to my pool party :p). I bought a water table from Amazon during one of their Black Friday deals, and it’s one of the best purchases ever!

All you need is basically (lukewarm) WATER!

Continue reading

Learn through Play with Baby Alia 0-6 months old

I was recently asked by a friend who’s expecting his first baby whether we got any sleep when Alia was a newborn. My quick answer was: We’re still not really sleeping :p And we miss sleeping in on weekends heheh… So when you have a newborn, feeding the baby and getting enough sleep are the main priorities of many parents. While I was on leave for the first 6 months of being Alia’s mom, I missed teaching my students. So in between nursing and taking some catnaps, I decided to be Alia’s very first teacher! 😀 

Here’s a glimpse of our lives then… Feel free to ask me any questions about the activities or materials that we used. 😀 

Water play: our very first messy play

Alia has always liked bath time so I thought she’d like to play with water in some other way. So I created a super mini and shallow pool for her.

Continue reading

Traveling with a toddler

Traveling with a baby/toddler means you no longer can only bring one backpack and leave. Is it just me or do you also feel that you have to bring a million things for a week trip? Seriously, I had to pack an entire carry on bag just for our beloved lil’ Alia! :p  

Whenever we travel, I always pack a few toys and books. But this time, I brought more than usual to keep her engaged in the car and at the restaurants/friend’s house. 

IMG_20151201_211119.jpg

 

papers and a clipboard, crayons, sticker book, blocks, and several #diytoys: pom pom drop, straw drop, and button bank

Continue reading