Safe to Explore

Safe to Explore (6)

Well, Veronika is a crawler! Her big brother skipped this milestone (which, in fact, doctors don’t refer to as a milestone, since so many kids skip it), so a nine-month-old on the move is new to me! Here are a few baby-proofing tricks I’ve uncovered in just a few days to make sure Veronika can safely explore!

  • Cover all electrical outlets with safety covers. Yes, these might be annoying when I have to remove one to vacuum a room or plug in an appliance, but the alternative is far worse.Safe to Explore (7)
  • Make sure all rugs are slip-proof.
  • Keep medicines or cleaning supplies out of reach or in cabinets with safety locks. I quickly moved our paint bin into a cabinet, too, after Veronika decided it was her favorite thing to head towards in the playroom.
  • Keep all toys small enough to choke on out of reach. Since we don’t have a baby gate large enough to divide the playroom from the living room, big brother helped me create “pillowville.” Safe to Explore (2)Veronika stays on one side with baby-safe toys and all the big boy stuff (Legos, Playmobil) lives on the other side of the divide. Make sure to box up small toys at the end of each day to be safe.Safe to Explore (3)
  • Use wall anchors to stabilize furniture that can tip, like bookshelves or stand lamps.Safe to Explore (8)
  • Check for breakable objects that baby can tug down from shelves or windowsills. If need be, remove to an area the baby can’t reach.Safe to Explore (1)
  • Get down low and look at the room from your baby’s vantage point. I hadn’t realized how obvious my computer cord was until at her eye-level. You can use cord-wrapping devices for all the pesky cords that come with modern life, or move those objects to a different room. Safe to Explore (4)Looks like the computer will have to move to another spot!Safe to Explore (5)

As always, it’s a good idea to have standard first-aid items in one place, if not in a kit, and to know infant CPR. Keep emergency numbers like poison control stored in your phone so you’re never looking them up in a panic (that’s 800-222-1222 FYI).

Stay safe, and enjoy the crawling stage!



Ocean Bottle

Ocean Sensory (8)

After a recent bottle sailboat craft with Travis, I had a few small seashells left over – much to small to hand to a nine-month-old who puts everything in her mouth. I knew immediately that I could make her a baby-safe version of big brother’s boat by sealing her shells inside an ocean sensory bottle!

My original intention was to use a bottle for the craft, but the small toy fish I included were too large to fit through the opening. Small Tupperware containers worked in a pinch, and probably were easier for her to handle anyway.

Whatever container you use, fill it about 2/3 full with water. Add small seashells and plastic fish to make an “ocean.”

Ocean Sensory (1)

As Veronika watched, I tinted the water blue with food coloring. This is a magical change for a baby to watch, so make sure he or she doesn’t miss it!

Ocean Sensory (2)

Secure the lid on the bottle or container tightly, and hand over the “ocean”. Veronika loved shaking this and seeing the fish swim.

Ocean Sensory (4)

As well as tasting it of course.

Ocean Sensory (3)

Or turning it upside down.

Ocean Sensory (5)

The taller bottle (with just shells) was a fun way to show her “waves”; I tilted it back and forth and she could watch the shells move about and then settle.

Ocean Sensory (7)

In sum, a fun ocean sensory experience even on a summer day when we can’t get to the beach!

Update: I later added little pieces of tinfoil (twisted to look a bit like “fish”) to the bottle.

Ocean Bottle alt.JPG

She loved watching them swim around.

Ocean Sensory (9)

Paint-Popper Art

Paint Popper (2)

If the kids aren’t in camp and need to get out some crazy summer energy, then this project is for you!

To make the popper, cut an empty toilet paper tube in half. Tie a knot in two balloons, and cut off the tops. Slip one balloon over each half of the empty tube and secure with tape. Bright and colorful tape isn’t necessary, but does add an element of fun.

Paint Popper (1)

Because we knew we were going to make a mess, Travis and I headed outside for this one. I put an old sheet on the ground and covered it with thick craft paper. We filled each paint popper with a separate color and I showed Travis how to pull back on the knot of the balloon and splash the paint forward.

Paint Popper (3)

Now this was fun!

Paint Popper (4)

He loved selecting which color to use next, and sometimes just dripped the paint out of the popper for big thick blobs on his canvas.

Paint Popper (5)

The one drawback is that the poppers didn’t last long. After a few colors, the tape and balloon came lose and the cardboard roll lost its shape.

Paint Popper (6)

But it was more than enough time for him to produce fantastic splattery art.

Paint Popper (9)

And get some sunshine in the process!

Paint Popper (7)