Thursday, August 20, 2015

Magnets for babies! Otherwise known as: How to keep babies busy while you cook.

We got to have our little niece quite a bit over the summer, so I loved reaching back into my "Baby's Bag of Tricks" and remembering some of my favorite tips that worked with my babies.

One of the hardest times with babies (and sadly, still my two bigger ones) is the hour or so before dinner, when trying to cook, set the table, pull together the house a bit and little ones are wrecking havoc!

One thing that worked well with my two were magnets.  I kept them up higher on the fridge, out of their reach until I needed them to keep a little person busy.  Then I put them down at Baby Level and let her explore.  I modeled for her how to slide them and how to take them off and put them on, and she quickly got the hang of it (she is 10 months).  The funnest game is to take them all off, of course!  And, like any activity, the first time yields an interest of approximately 2 seconds....but if you keep up the exposure and model repeatedly, they will build up their ability and interest in sitting and playing longer.

I have these old fruit magnets I got at a thrift store.  I also have used large letter magnets, some laminated photos I glued magnets onto, dominoes I modge-podged photos onto, etc.

HERE is the link page to all my magnet posts...the ones particularly about babies are the older ones, so scroll down!!  (there is also a link in my sidebar under "magnet work")

Besides keeping baby busy, working in this position builds cross-lateral connections in the brain (as their arms cross the midline as they grab at the magnets) and strengthens arm strength that will later be needed for fine motor skills such as using utensils, writing and cutting.  Whoo-hoo!!

Standing babies enjoy magnets just out of their reach that they have to s-t-r-e-t-c-h up to grab and pull down.  This makes them feel so accomplished!!