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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

♫ ♪ ♫ It's Raining, It's Pouring... Who Says Life has to be Boring?! ♫ ♪ ♫

I hope pictures of Ava and I playing outside will eventually come, but for now, pictures of indoor activities will be displayed and discussed. Hopefully the rain will go away soon and sunshine will follow, but since we are stuck inside, we might as well make the most of it, right?! What can Ava and I (and little Audrey) get into while it rains outside?! (Keep in mind that most of these activities have occurred over the last several days.... I'm just now getting my thoughts put together and having a chance to post about it).

How about we play with Play-Dough for a little while?! That's always fun. And while we're at it, how about grabbing a paintbrush and watercolors or some crayons and a coloring book for a bit of colorful fun?!

Although Ava isn't exactly sculpting like Michaelangelo or painting like Picasso, she has a blast and is actually learning in the process. Yes she's learning. Her little fingers are learning fine motor skills. Play-Dough, in fact, helps to strengthen fingers, hands, and wrists. Playing with Play-Dough also helps to foster the imagination.... the possibilities of what can be made out of this soft, squishy material are endless.

Just let your child explore through the art of creativity. Plus, let your child get that release of tension or excess energy by squeezing, punching, pulling, and poking.

Who knew having so much fun could actually be so beneficial to her development?!

Coloring and painting are equally as beneficial when it's comes to your child's development and learning... and just as fun. Fine motors skills are again taking shape as your little one grips the end of the crayon or paintbrush. You can let your little one play independently, figuring out the process of coloring on her own, which is sometimes needed, or as your child's instructor, you can also encourage your little one, through demonstration how to color in different ways, i.e. side-to-side, up and down, staying in the lines, and small or large circular motions.

(Another fine motor skill involves the ability to put the Play-Dough lids on the containers, and take them off. Boy, even us adults have a hard time with that!!)

Of course, another activity that takes place most days, rainy or not, and indoors is reading. There are numerous obvious benefits to reading to your child and letting her "read for herself"... literacy, exploring unknown worlds of the imagination, being able to associate pictures with words, etc. And it's fun! Ava also loves to put puzzles together. She currently has 4 different ones... two animal puzzles, a clock puzzle, and an alphabet puzzle. She has easily mastered them all, so I'm thinking another puzzle will soon be on the "To Get" list.

I suppose there's a big debate on whether or not, and how much time, a child should spend watching TV. I can't say that I let Ava watch a whole lot of TV, but yes, I do let her from time to time. She particularly loves to watch Go Diago Go and Word World, which is really great because both of these shows are full of learning. Ava has actually learned a couple Spanish words from Go Diago Go, and I'm pretty sure the 15+ letters Ava knows has something to do with her seeing several episodes of Word World. As a mother and as a speech pathologist I know that Ava's speech and language development are right on track, so I'm not worried about her watching a couple shows here and there... granted some days the TV is on a little more than others, but some days it isn't on at all. I'm not worried. I'm not a couch potato, so I've no worries about her becoming one. Plus, I notice that Ava actually interacts with what she is watching. She'll answer questions (yes/no, what color, etc.) and even predict certain parts (of something she's already seen). I'd say if the TV has to be on, she might as well be learning something from it... and apparently, she is!

So what does Audrey get into when it's raining outside? Well, let's take a look, shall we....

 She spends a little time in the bumbo chair, strengthening her back and neck muscles.

She relaxes in her vibrating lamb chair while listening to soothing songs.

She plays in her, what we call "the dangling jungle", to stretch out and kick those little legs while being visually stimulated by all the different colorful hanging toys.

Tummy time generally takes place here as well.

And when she's in the mood, Audrey spends a little time in her lamb swing. Who doesn't enjoy swinging?!

So, I'd say, even if it does have to rain outdoors, we'll find something fun to do. There sure are a lot of things inside for us to get into!!

P.S. - I'd just like to thank my sweet sister, Brooke, for the Play-Dough, coloring book, and watercolors that she gave Ava for Easter this year. Ava's having a great time playing with each of them!

1 comment:

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