Wednesday, 19 October 2011

SHAKE IT BABY: A Rattle from a Bottle

DIY baby toys

Keeping babies busy is generally pretty easy as they are mesmerised with almost anything. However, one of the challenges with them I believe that they constantly need attention. I like it when I can negotiate a balance with Miss Junior these days: when up, some food and play time involving mum, and then some time alone even if it may mean only a few minutes. Not that this happens very often! Anyhow. I also like to offer her a variety of environment, textures, activities and senses to experience with. I am a believer of those scientists who claim that babies benefit from some various fun activities when developing their motor and sensory skills.

One of the most commonly used toys for babies is undoubtedly rattles. I have an alternative homemade rattle that is the easiest and cheapest way to keep a baby entertained for sometime. As you can see in the picture, you only need two types of materials: An empty bottle which has a cap and some chickpeas or beans, broadbeans or whatever that can fit in the bottle neck and can make sound that you have on hand (I personally prefer changing the stuffing at times to introduce different types of sound). (If you like, you can use some coloured chocolate beans to make it look more stimulating too but I don't really keep them at home so that Mr. Junior, and even more importantly Mr. Hubby, don't eat them.). You can even ask for some help from your older child if you have one when making this toy. It would be a great focus, hand and eye coordination and motor skill developing as well as fun activity for him/her. However, the usual rule applies here as well: Do not leave children unattended when doing this.

After the completion of the preparation of this toy, which takes less than a minute, all you need to do is to give it to your little shaker and let him/her go crazy playing with it. You may want to demonstrate it initially if that's what you prefer. Don't forget to put your earplugs on if your toddler wants to give it a go too!

CAUTION: Don't forget to be mindful of choking hazards when using this homemade toy. Make sure the cap is tightly closed, there is no hole to the bottle from which anything would come out, no stickers around the bottle that the baby may suckle and bite a piece of. If you have another child at home (your child or a visitor), be sure that they do not open the cap at any time. Monitor your baby when playing with it.

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