Tracking Toys

Tracking Toys (1)

Veronika and I haven’t played an eye-strengthening activity lately, so today I took some special time with her just to work on her eyesight.

Use any baby toys – particularly ones that rattle or shake or squeak – and move them slowly across the field of vision. See if your baby can follow with their eyes from one side to the other.

Tracking Toys (9)

Veronika seemed to love the game, eagerly following all the items.

Tracking Toys (10)

Once she had that under her belt, I tested out how her other toy skills are these days. Grabbing?

Tracking Toys (7)

Yup! She got the bird! Kicking? I was interested to see if she would kick at bright soft yarn I produced for her to see, but she didn’t do so.

Tracking Toys (8)

We also took advantage of holiday season and used decorations as props for the game. She loved dangling green ribbons. From here…

Tracking Toys (3)

…to there.

Tracking Toys (4)

And little present bows. From one side…

Tracking Toys (6)

…to the other.

Tracking Toys (5)

But no need for anything special. Any toy works, including classics like dangling baby “key rings”, rattles, and so much more. Happy tracking!


Yarn Christmas Trees

Yarn Tree (10).JPG

Be forewarned: This holiday decoration project is a messy one! In other words, perfect if your kids love getting their hands dirty and helping deck the halls around the house.

For materials, you’ll need Styrofoam cones (available at craft stores) with the plastic wrap still on. You’ll also need red and green yarn. I had pastel shades of each in my craft bin, which would look lovely if you’re taking a pastel approach to decorating this year! Ideally, I would have had darker red and green, but we were eager to do the project so made do.

Yarn Tree (1)

Cut the yarn into pieces about 20 feet long. Yes you read that right, 20 feet! Travis loved helping measure out the long lengths by standing at the opposite end of the apartment from me.

Yarn Tree (2)

Next we needed glue. You can use watered down store-bought glue, but we made a neat homemade version simply by mixing 1/2 cup flour with water until the consistency of a thick paste.

Yarn Tree (3)

I worried Travis might not get his hands in there, but to my surprise, he was eager to see how it felt. Goopy!

Yarn Tree (4)

Soak your stands of yarn in the “glue,” one strand at a time. Once it’s coated, wrap around one of the Styrofoam cones, wrapping and wrapping until completely covered – the more the better!

Yarn Tree (5)

The key is not to let the yarn get tangled, or you’ll wind up with a clump you can’t continue to wrap. After a few successful trees, we encountered a tangle. Whoops!

Yarn Tree (6)

Luckily the cone was just covered enough.

Let dry overnight. Travis had to come over and touch our flour glue occasionally, to see how the drying process was coming along.

Yarn Tree (7)

In the morning, snip the plastic wrap from the cone, and slide the yarn tree off – you’ll have to tug the cone out a bit forcefully. Remove the inner plastic, and the yarn tree now stands alone.

Yarn Tree (8)

We thought it might be fun to decorate one with little gems and beads, although it was hard to get them to stick on, as the beads were heavy.

Yarn Tree (9)

Pinecones made lovely tree toppers though!

Yarn Tree (11)