J has just turned 14 months. So what has he been up to in the last month? Obviously all babies develop at different rates and have different interests, but these activities are what J enjoyed doing at 13 months.
Sensory food play
We have been creating lots of food play activities to try to encourage J to eat. He doesn’t like new textures in his mouth so if the food actually gets into his mouth then it is usually spat back out again. Sometimes he doesn’t like touching the food with his hands, so then he uses brightly coloured plastic spoons (Ikea) to interact. Even if your baby doesn’t need sensory play, it is a fun activity if you don’t mind the mess. I am looking forward to playing with some of the messier food items (baked beans and custard) when it is warmer and we can go in the garden.
There’s an almost endless amount of food items that you can use to play with, but this month we have used pasta (never touched), a range of different cereals (which J loves to eat), oats (which was fun as we had dry oats and wet oats for different textures), melon, mixed jelly (bright and interesting for him to mix), cous cous, cake, chocolate mousse (very messy) and spaghetti.
We bought some cheap garden trays and put some toys that he enjoys playing with into the tray with the food and spoons.
We are not seeing any progress yet with his eating, but we will persevere as the dieticians assure us that it works…
J suddenly discovered posting at 13 months. This has been great fun as it is a skill that can be used in many scenarios. J’s favourite posting location is the laundry basket! We have found clean clothes, toys, books, teddy bears and food in our laundry baskets. We have had to be careful not to end up with anything that may clog up the washing machine. The ability to post has meant that he now understands how to use simple shape sorters, which has provided him with hours of fun. We bought the Fisher Price red and yellow shape sorter from a car boot sale for 50p last year and he loves it. J can recognise the circle and square straight away but the star shape really throws him and he always tries to put it in every whole but the star! Unfortunately, he has posted the orange crosses somewhere he shouldn’t have and we still can’t find them. A word of warning for when your little one discovers this skill – check your bins before emptying them!
J has learnt to identify the animals on a puzzle. If we ask him to find the lion, for example, then he is able to pick it up and give it to us. He is very proud of his new skill and loves to give himself a clap when he gets it right. So far he can find the lion, giraffe, elephant, zebra, parrot and monkey. He struggles with the hippo.
Our little man has also been learning to identify animals from their noises. We bought a farm animal sound book for him. We ask him to find the cow and he presses the cow picture which makes a mooing noise. He can identify the pig, duck, cow, sheep and chicken so far.
J also loves books and can find animals on the pages. He is very good at bird, cat and dog as well as the other animals listed above.
J went through a long stage of knocking things down, especially the stacking cups. Now he has learnt to stack objects to build towers. He can now build towers of 6 bricks although he still loves to knock them over afterwards! J doesn’t just like to use bricks though. He likes to build towers with stacking cups, objects from the shape sorter and toilet rolls. This can keep him amused for ages which is great if you have a small job to do. He loves the crashing noise that the blocks make on the kitchen floor as an added bonus.
I always have notebooks and pens around. J loves to pull a pen out of my pencil case and hold it. In the last month, he started to move them over the paper of my notebooks (luckily he hasn’t learnt how to take the lids off yet) so we decided to buy him some colours of his own. I bought the Crayola first crayons, which are nice and chunky for little hands, and an A3 sketchbook. He loves to have one crayon in each hand and scribbles with them all over the paper (and the table, chair and anything else he can find if we so much as turn away). We also bought some Crayola first playdough but he doesn’t like to touch this yet. It might be a great idea for other 13 month olds though.
Baby Home Gym
J is so full of energy and I am always looking for new ways to wear him out. Since January was so wet and cold we made our own baby gym at home. We used our ball pit, sofa cushions, blankets and our Ikea tunnel and den to wear out the little man. He loves to crawl through the tunnel, play hide and seek in the den, walk off the sofa onto big sofa cushions (with me to catch him) and jump in the ball pit. Thank fully, he also loves to tidy up the balls and puts them all back in again. Great fun but don’t try it to close to bedtime! I made this mistake and had a very hyped up child who didn’t go to bed until 2 hours later than expected.
Have fun exploring new skills with your little one and come back next month to see what J has enjoyed doing at 14 months. If you have any activity ideas for us we’d love to hear about them so we can try them out.