No more Cling On: Independent Play in a YES space

Note from yours truly: It’s a special post coz you get to watch clips of Alia play! 🙂 

Do you also have (or had) a Cling On at home? Wait, what’s a Cling On? It’s a term my husband and I came up with to describe Alia when she’s super duper clingy! We went through a phase where she wanted to do nothing but attached herself onto me, literally! I couldn’t leave her side without her crying. Forget about leaving the room to cook or go to the bathroom, she’d cry if we’re a few feet apart. And there were days when she’d play with her toys WHILE holding onto my shirt. I’m not kidding… On Cling On days, I was very exhausted by 11 a.m.! Forget about naptime, I was definitely ready for bedtime hehehe! 

This happened quite often when Alia was around 11-13 months old. I asked around (aka Google “Why is my child very clingy?”), and people said that it’s a phase. Honestly, for awhile I thought that this Cling On thing would never ended… 

Not only it was physically and emotionally draining, but this Cling On phase got me worried that she wouldn’t develop the ability to play independently. Independent play means that a child is able to  explore the objects and space in his environment without an adult assistance. In other words, the ability to entertain him/herself. Let’s be honest, we all need some downtime during the day, and it’s almost impossible to have one when you have a clingy child who decides to strap him/herself onto you all day. Sigh… 

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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

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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)

 

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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!

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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. 

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

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