Start Swimming

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Babies seem to love the water (I have a pet theory that they can still remember all that watery time in the womb, not so many months ago!). Whatever the reason, starting your children in the water young can have big benefits, helping them feel ready when the time comes to truly learn swimming and water safety.

Today, we got Veronika’s toes wet – literally!

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Start small if you think your baby will be nervous. However, you’ll probably be surprised at how calm a young baby is in the water – more so even than a toddler. A few recommendations: Make sure the pool you choose is clean. I do recommend chlorine rather than salt-water pools, because big brother Travis has fallen sick after swimming in the latter.

Go at off-peak hours, whether mid-week or at a non-crowded time on the weekends.

Finally, don’t forget the swim diapers! When Travis was little, I thought an overnight diaper and a swim diaper were the same thing – whoops. His little bum would inflate with tons of water instantly. Veronika, on the other hand, was swaddled in proper swim attire.

Now for the fun! I started out just dipping Veronika’s toes in.

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Pretty soon she loved kicking her legs and trailing her fingers through the water.

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This is great muscle work for a baby, and can also help tire him or her out if you’re hoping for a nap after. To wit, the very first thing she did after she was dry was fall asleep for her afternoon nap.

Balloon Rocket

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If you checked out our Fun with Flight Kiwi Crate adventure, then you saw Travis and I made an indoor balloon rocket. We wanted a chance for a repeat outside, and decided it merited its own blog!

This time we made a few significant changes. First, we stretched our string between two fence posts, allowing for a longer space for our “rockets” to fly.

The next innovation was a wide straw (look for “milkshake straws” at the grocery store). This flies much more smoothly come time to launch! Thread the straw onto one end of your string.

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Blow up a balloon – but do not knot – and tape it to the straw. Release the balloon and watch it fly.

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This was just so beautiful outside in morning sunlight, too!

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“3, 2, 1, Go!”

 

Play with a Pom-Pom

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I got crafty for Veronika today! This pom-pom was sort of a labor of love, but if that definition doesn’t fit our children, what does?

Trace a large circle (about 8 inches across) on paper. Add a smaller circle (about 2 to 4 inches across) in the middle. Cut out this template and trace onto two pieces of cardboard.

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A thin cardboard works best, like an empty cereal box or frozen pizza box.

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Place the two cardboard pieces together, and begin wrapping around with yarn.

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You can use only one color, but I liked a two-tone look, alternating layers of yellow and green. For a nice thick pom-pom, wrap in about four layers. Veronika couldn’t wait to get her hands on this thing!

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Insert scissors through the yarn to the gap between the two cardboard pieces, and begin snipping the yarn in half.

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Insert another piece of yarn right into the middle and pull tightly – you now have a ball! Tie that yarn securely.

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Before I talk about playtime, I want to mention how fun it was to make this next to Veronika. I worked for about an hour as she played with toys and cooed next to me.

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Especially if you are a first-time-parent, activities like this can help fill those hours or days with a baby that might otherwise seem endless. This one engages baby and caregvier both!

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Now it was playtime, and as you can see from Veronika’s face, the pom-pom is quite simply a delight!

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We tossed it in the air, or used it to hone her grasping skills.

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We tickled her toes with it.

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She played cheerleader as she watched big brother play.

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She basically just had a ball! Do supervise closely, since the homemade nature of this pom-pom means strands of yarn might come lose and pose a choking hazard.

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Swing Rhythm

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Today was Veronika’s first time in a baby swing!

As a veteran parent, I was ready with a few tricks to sure this first ride in a bucket swing went smoothly. 7 months old is still pretty tiny, so come prepared with a nice soft blanket. This can act as a wedge so your baby doesn’t slide around in the swing (and is also handy for drying off any rain from the night before, in a pinch!).

Well this little lady took to it right away! She looked about as at ease as if the swing were a hammock on a tropical island.

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For a few fun games, I tickled her toes whenever she swung toward me.

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You can also greet your child with a playful, “boo!” on each swing.

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She also loved when I pushed slightly harder and said, “higher higher higher!”

But in general, today was about gentle pushes, often letting momentum take over after only 1 or 2 pushes. She loved exploring the texture of the swing, too.

Does your baby like to swing? Please share in the comments!