Develop the Gaze

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Here’s our final activity for the first month of Veronika’s life! As with many of the activities this early on, today’s was about taking a quiet moment – a must, for an infant in a busy home! We paused just to look at each other, and truly give her time to develop her eyesight.

Great moments for this include nursing – when an infant is an ideal 8 to 10 inches from your face – or when you hold your baby in your arms. Veronika loves being cradled in one elbow and just staring up at me – I swear she makes me feel like a pop star. This might be the closest I’ll ever come to the celebrity status of a Bruno Mars. In particular, she seems fascinated when I eat, eyes big and wide.

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So today, give your baby these moments, and take time to gaze back. Here’s another wide-eyed stare I caught on camera, although the flash made her blink.

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You can also let infants stare at their big siblings, from a slightly further distance away. This will be a great way to develop their eyesight. Travis loved helping out for today’s demonstration!

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What does your infant love to watch you do? Do they seem fascinated by a particular feature? Please share in the comments!

Pirate Telescope Spotting Game

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Travis and I can’t get enough of pirate games these days, and this fun activity engaged us on multiple levels – as an artistic craft to start, and then as a competitive game. If you have enough kids, it would be perfect to play at a pirate-themed birthday party!

First, we needed to set the scene. We originally intended to paint on a big piece of craft paper (a large piece of cardboard would work, too), but we were out of blue paint – you can’t have an ocean scene without blue!

Thinking quickly, we switched to markers and crayons. I drew Travis a basic scene: ocean, pirate ship, desert island. Big kids may want to take charge of this part themselves!

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Next we needed a couple of telescopes. Some decorative washi tape and an empty paper towel tube made one quite quickly.

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We tried to make a stacked telescope by layering cups together. This might have worked more easily with paper cups, since we had to tape two plastic ones together (and work carefully to snip out an eye hole), but the tape sort of ruined the look.

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This image is way more what we were going for.

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But there wasn’t time to be fussy! (We fit this game into baby sister’s nap), so now it was time to test our pirate spotting skills.

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Taking turns, one person added something to the ocean landscape, and the other pirate looked through the telescope to discover what was new.

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This was a great challenge for Travis’s budding art skills. He had fun drawing me a treasure chest, a starfish, and more.

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And he loved spotting the items that mommy pirate drew, like a whale and a parrot.

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As mentioned, you could have a whole group of kids play this at a party, and turn it into a competition for who spots the new item first!

Enjoy, landlubbers!