The other day, I was looking for a quick activity that would be fun for Buddy. He gets bored with his toys after awhile, so I’m constantly looking for new activities using materials in our home.
I grabbed an empty water bottle and a handful of straws. We only have the tall straws right now, so I cut them down to fit inside the bottle. When I set out the materials, Buddy was immediately interested in them. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, though, until I showed him how to put a straw in the bottle.
What do I do with these?
Since Buddy loves putting objects in containers, he was really excited about putting the straws in the bottle. It took a lot of concentration, but he could do it.
Wow! Look what I can do!
After putting a couple straws in the bottle, Buddy shook it to check if it makes noise. (He loves making noise even more than putting objects in containers!) The straws did make some noise, but they also quickly popped out of the bottle.
What do I do now, Mom?
Buddy happily continued that cycle for awhile. He put the straws in the bottle, shook them out, and then started over again. He was very entertained for about 15 minutes, and then came back to the activity on and off several times after that. It was a lot of fun for him, and so easy to put together. I know we’ll do it again soon.
Since today’s weather forecast showed afternoon thunderstorms, I planned to do our Water Wednesday activity inside and decided to use the theme of rain. (Of course, we ended up having a sunny day, but it was way too hot to play outside so the inside activity worked out.)
While Buddy was napping, I used a hammer and nail to poke holes in the bottom of two plastic cups. I also pulled out pans made of several different materials, and put water in one of them. I wanted Buddy to be able to hear the different sound that the “rain” made when it hit different surfaces. (He loves things that make sound, so I knew the sound factor would increase his enjoyment of the activity.) I put water in a glass pan, and then I also pulled out an aluminum foil pain, a metal baking pan, and a plastic tupperware. I put everything on a beach towel because I knew there would be spilled water, and I wanted to minimize the amount that would need to be mopped up at the end.
Buddy loved this activity. He loved the water, and he especially loved the sounds. The “rain” on the aluminum pan was his favorite! It was a huge mess, though. Buddy had trouble keeping the cup upright so the water would rain out the bottom instead of pouring out the top. He also had a tendency to pour it out the top of the cup onto himself (as shown in the photo below). He didn’t mind getting wet though!
After awhile, Buddy started to have fun stacking and unstacking the two cups. Some day, I’ll just have to pull out a bunch of these cups and let him play. (He has his own set of stacking cups that he loves, but I think this was fun because they were new cups and could stack in any order.)
Although Buddy struggled with using the cups to consistently make rain, I would still call this activity a huge success. He was laughing and smiling and having so much fun! I think this was his favorite activity of the summer so far! We will definitely be pulling these materials out again soon.
Buddy loves playing with new things, so I am constantly looking for new ways to play with things around our house. The longer I can keep Buddy entertained, the less time I have to spend chasing him around trying to keep him out of trouble. (Right now he really wants to go down the stairs, and he makes a beeline for the stairs whenever he is bored.)
Recently, I used up a couple rolls of wrapping paper. I noticed that one roll wasn’t a firm tube, but instead was a rolled piece of firm brown paper. Balls are one of Buddy’s favorite toys, and I realized that the leftover wrapping paper tube would work well as a ramp for the balls. The only thing I needed to do to get the tube ready for play was use masking tape to hold the tube at the right size for the balls.
Buddy really had to concentrate at first to get the ball into the tube while holding it.
The first time we did this activity, Buddy wasn’t sure what to think. He mostly watched me roll the balls down the tube and chased them around the room. Today was different. After I sent the first couple balls down the tube, Buddy wanted to control both the ball and the tube himself. We used the Bright Start balls for this activity, and they were perfect! (Affiliate link) He had a lot of fun putting balls into the tube and watching them roll around the room. The only problem was the tube was easily crushed when Buddy crawled over it. However, I was able to fix it quickly whenever that happened.
Buddy chasing after the balls.
Whoa! Look at the ball roll!
This was a great way to play with the balls in a different way. Buddy had a lot of fun, and I’m sure we’ll do it again soon. In the meantime, I’ll continue to look for ways to play with other things around our house.