Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recital Day

Lights, camera, action....showtime!!!

Grace's ballet recital was on Friday evening.  It was a day we were all looking forward to for so long.  Grace was absolutely beautiful to watch on that great big stage.  I was one very proud mama!  Grace's danced to a piano version of Butterfly Kisses and it was so sweet.  Bravo, Grace.  


Cathy Sontum said...

Hi Rebecca,
I've been following your blog for ever so long now, ever since Grace was born! It's such fun to see all the wonderful activities you plan with your little ones.
I've recently become a grandmother and remembered your mentioning "sensory bins." I'm interested in putting together some of these for our little Alice; I'll be watching her one day a week when her mommy goes back to work.
I'm just wondering how you avoid having the really young ones (Alice is not yet 4 months old) put the items into their mouths! Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Cathy Sontum

Maddy, said...

I love this girl!
Those eyelashes!!

She is our Amazing Grace!

Love, Maddy

ps- Hi my friend Cathy, I am so happy that you have Baby Alice! Isn't being a Grandmother just the best!

Rebecca Leger said...

Dear Cathy,

Thank you so much for your message! Congratulations on becoming a grandmother to baby Alice. How very exciting! Here are some of my thoughts about sensory bins --

When Grace, Jack and Eve were babies, I started off by having them sit on my lap and just having their feet inside of the sensory bins. I did this frequently using bins filled with rice and/or beans. They all LOVED exploring the textures with their feet and it was a great introduction sensory experiences (sometimes starting with the hands can be overwhelming because their tiny hands are so sensitive). This also ensures that the items will not go into the mouth!

I usually add bright colored objects to my sensory bins (e.g., large colored pom poms, soft blocks) for some visual stimulation as well. As babies, I made sure that the objects could be mouthed safely and that they were big enough so as not to be a choking hazard.

Once my children were able to sit with some support I had them sit directly inside of the bin that way they could independently explore the textures with their hands as they felt comfortable to do so. I would recommend using a low bin so that you can sit directly next to Alice to make sure that she does not place any objects in her mouth. I would always encourage patting, squeezing, tapping, etc. to redirect attention away from the mouth! I also never left their side during sensory play until the mouthing phase had passed.

Other safe sensory ideas for babies in their first year that I have tried and have been successful with include the following:

*Filling a diaper wipe container with different textured cloths (e.g., silk, satin, corduroy, cotton). You could pull out the different fabrics and rub them on Alice's face, hands and body while you talk about how they feel with her. As Alice gets older she could do this independently. My children (especially Eve) LOVES pulling objects out of wipe containers so this has always been one of our favorite sensory activities. This also serves as a great language activity.

*You could try filling containers with different objects like bells, beans, rice, etc. and have Alice explore these by shaking them. It is fun to use clear containers if you have them so that Alice could see what is inside while she is exploring. I have also tried filling containers with various liquids like shampoo, hair gel and water colored with food coloring. You could also add glitter and small toys for some extra visual and tactile stimulation.

*Fill plastic bags with hair gel or shampoo. This is a fun texture to explore with the hands and/or feet and it eliminates the worry of putting small objects in the mouth! Again, you could add glitter, food coloring, small toys to these bags for some extra stimulation.

*You could fill socks with different textures like cotton, beans, rice, sand, etc.. Alice could safely explore these with her hands. I have also filled socks with cotton balls and added different scents to the cotton (e.g., different extracts like lemon, mint, vanilla, maple, banana, orange). All of my children have done this since they were a few days old and have really loved this. This is also a safe sensory activity and one where you do not have to worry about mouthing.

*If you sew it might be fun to make a sensory quilt by sewing together different fabrics and have Alice sit and eventually crawl across it.

I really hope this helps! If you have any more questions please feel free to leave me another message at any time. I think it is wonderful that you are starting sensory play with Alice. You two girls will have such fun together! :)


Cathy Sontum said...

Dear Rebecca,
Thank you SO much for all these suggestions. I've copied and printed them out. SO many fun ideas to try, I can't wait! I'm not much of a seamstress, but the sensory quilt idea is so intriguing, I'm tempted to try one.
I was really "stuck," trying to think my way through the mouthing issue, but you've definitely helped me get "unstuck." Many, many thanks! Cathy

Anonymous said...

Grace, a ballet butterfly, you look like you're on a stage in New York City. What a wonderful moment to shine.

Love you so much,

Anonymous said...

Grace, a ballet butterfly, you look like you're on a stage in New York City. What a wonderful moment to shine.

Love you so much,

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?