Boom!

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Cause-and-effect is big at ten months, and this simple game is sure to delight!

I sat down with Veronika in front of an empty plastic bin. Making sure she was watching, I tossed in a bean bag and said, “Boom!”

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Well she sure thought that was funny!

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I repeated with a ball, “Boom!” She immediately began mimicking the word. “Boo boo boo!”

Now it was her turn; I handed her a ball which she placed in rather than dropped into the bucket, but she had the idea!

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For some extra fun, I sprinkled flour in the bottom of the bin.

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The bean bags and balls made just enough of an impact for a light dusting to fly up when items landed, further enhancing the notions of cause and effect.

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And it was so fun that big brother wanted in on the action!

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Baby Oil Sensory Bag

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If you’re looking for a safe way to incorporate messy materials into play with the under-one-year-old set, then gallon-sized plastic bags are your perfect solution. To wit, Veronika has “painted” in a plastic bag, and today we used baby oil for a fun sensory experience.

Pour some baby oil into the bag. Add a few blobs of food coloring.

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I went with a blue theme simply because that was what I had on hand, and added blue buttons and blue pony beads as well.

Now all she had to do was squish! The food coloring is fun, because your baby can chase the blobs around in the baby oil, much like blobs in a lava lamp.

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If your baby is as hands-on as Veronika, you’re going to want to duct tape along the sealed closure for extra security.

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It was also helpful to duct tape the bag to the floor, because this focused her play on squishing items around within the bag, instead of picking up the whole bag and smooshing it in her hands.

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What hands-on fun for a weekend morning!

Dragonfly Fishing

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When I spotted this craft in Travis’s latest issue of Highlights, I knew it was going to be more of a mommy project. Since Highlights appeals to kids up to age 12, some of the activities inside are a bit complicated for my kindergartner. But I knew he’d love the water-powered dragonfly, which relies on hydraulics to scoop up little homemade “flies”.

To start, tint a bowl of water with blue food coloring. Use a medical oral syringe to inject water into 3 feet of air-line tubing, and then fill the syringe.

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Remove the air from a second oral syringe, and insert these into the ends of the piping. I found it useful to duct tape around the connections for added security.

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Use hot glue to attach two jumbo craft sticks so they overlap slightly. Glue the water-filled syringe onto one end of the craft sticks.

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Next, glue the bottom half of a paper cup to the other end of the craft sticks. Although not necessary, we painted our cups green. Glue a second bottom half of a paper cup to the end of the syringe’s plunger; your two cup tops should touch.

Use washi tape or thin duct tape to secure the tubing to the end of the craft sticks, below the filled syringe. Tape a 1-foot dowel to the empty syringe and tubing, as shown.

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For the finishing touch, we made a dragonfly out of cardstock, adding eyes and wings outlined in marker. Glue this onto the craft sticks above the cups.

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For our “flies,” we decorated yellow pom poms with cardstock wings (cut a heart shape from white cardstock) and wiggle eyes.

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Now it was time to test the hydraulics! Release the water from the first syringe. Ideally, it will power the second syringe, which powers the cup “mouth” to open.

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See if you can scoop up your flies!

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