As a Family Childcare educator I work with children of all ages, and I am filled with gratitude because of this. Our babies at Studio One have been actively participating in their own development. They love observing the older children, and doing similar activities to copy cat what they are seeing.
We made available to the babies similar activities that are available to the older children that would be safe, their size, interesting and relatable. Placing the activities in the baskets makes it easier for the baby to explore, clean up a breeze (by the way they put the objects back in the basket), and easier for us to put away after use for sanitation.
When they see the other children getting books they crawl over to grab books too. We have read these books many times and they still enjoy the repetition. We have a set of twins, ages 10 months and their favorite book like their older friends is, "We're going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen. No doubt that reading aloud helps greatly with language development as we see with the twins as they play with their voices while independently holding a book.
2. Pots and Pans
Music! These pot and pans have been happily banged on by our infants during music with movement. This set is sold by Melissa and Doug. One half of the set is in the basket above, the other half is housed in our dramatic play area.
3. Pull Back Vehicles
Vroom , Vroom! Toy cars are treasured in the block area and that is no different for our babies. Pull back on this Melissa and Doug set and the vehicles go forward. The vehicles are soft to touch, and has motivated a lot of crawling. Can you tell we love Melissa & Doug?!
Reflection! Looking in the mirror always seems to get a smile from them. I love it! We also have used these mirrors for silly things, like shaking our heads, looking at how we can manipulate our lips, eyes, and noses.
5. Kitchen Utensils
Cooking anyone? No doubt everyone's play time favorite is cooking whether at the play kitchen, or while actually preparing a meal or a snack. Exploring real objects is our babies favorite thing to do!
We have much fun growing and learning alongside our littlest of humans. They keep us on our toes, and always remind of us what family childcare is all about .... growing together, side by side.