Baby’s View

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If you’re at all like me, you’re probably in the habit of putting your baby in the same places, facing the same direction, and looking at the same spots. This is certainly true for Veronika, with her head always the same way for diaper changes, her high chair at the same angle near the dinner table, and a go-to spot for her blanket during playtime on the rug.

Today, the goal was to shake things up! Although routine is good for babies (it helps your little one record information), even little changes can help forge new pathways and memories in the brain.

First, instead of getting her dressed on her diaper table, we changed outfits down on the floor. Hello, new location!

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Next, I placed her high chair in a different corner of the kitchen while I cooked and cleaned. Goodbye old spot…

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Hello new!

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She loved that she could look out the patio door from here, and seemed delighted whenever I opened the cabinets just past her shoulder.

Then we slid her tummy time blanket over to a different section of the living room, and I faced her another way. A whole new wealth of furniture and sights to see!

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Obviously it’s not practical to move around big pieces of furniture like a crib, but if you have small, easy to move pieces, do a switch-e-roo today. I turned her baby swing, which normally faces one way…

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…and oriented it another. I’d say she liked the change!

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Finally, I always make a point of switching up which way Veronika sleeps in the crib. If she nurses on the right side just before bed, her head goes to the right, and vice versa for the left.

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So take the time to switch things up today, and see if your baby finds a new favorite point of view!

Coin Conundrums

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Here’s a neat brain teaser that helps your preschooler learn on multiple levels. You can use it to teach about coin denominations, counting, and shape recognition and formation, plus there’s a puzzle to solve! Travis was a bit frustrated at first, but so proud when he cracked the code for the final teaser.

For each of these three teasers, all you need is pennies (or any other coin). Travis counted out six pennies for the first one.

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I set the pennies up in a triangle, with the point away from Travis. Could we move only two pennies so the point was facing toward him instead?

At first he just randomly dragged two pennies.

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I prompted him to try moving the bottom two pennies up, and voila, our triangle was reversed. Now he was intrigued!

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Next we counted out four pennies and put them in a line. Could we make it so each penny was touching all the others? Squares didn’t work, or diamond shapes, or lines.

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Turns out you can’t think in one dimension for this one! The key is to build up, with one penny poised atop the other (touching) three.

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Finally, we counted out nine pennies, and I arranged them in a large triangle. Could Travis figure out how to turn this into a square, moving only two pennies?

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We identified that the shape toward the middle was nearly square already.

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Carefully, he tried moving one of the bottom pennies up. Now he could see the square forming, and complete the final move without any help.

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We got these ideas from Highlights; can you think of other penny brain teasers? Please share in the comments.

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