A few weeks ago, I came across an awesome new blog devoted to homeschooling children of all ages, including some ideas for “Tot School” with babies. Early learning is something that I strongly want to encourage in our household. I don’t think that I’ll choose to homeschool forever, but I always planned on doing some form of home pre-schooling before Corbin and Lynley head off to Kindergarten in 2018 (OMG that seems like forever away!). Now that they are 10 months old, it’s the perfect time to begin our first Tot School activity- discovery bottles.
I found the idea for discovery bottles from another blog that I follow, and you can find the original pin on Pinterest here. This activity can be used for babies as young as six months. Simply, collect a few empty Gatorade bottles and fill them with balls, water, confetti or anything else you can think of. We started out with four bottles containing the following: birthday confetti/sequins, pom pom balls, “pokey” bounce balls, and glitter in water. We ended up having to ditch the glitter water because it leaked after trying to hot glue the top on. It was my favorite of all too! I plan on remaking it without trying to glue the lid, and deeming it an outside only toy.
Lynley and Corbin both raced over to the bottles as soon as I set them down in their play room. Corbin loves toy balls of any type, so I knew that he would go for the bottle with poms or balls. I also knew that Lynley would favor the confetti because she loves rattles. They did exactly that, and I snapped a few precious photos. Here’s their story in pictures:
Overall, I’d say this activity was a success. The point was to create purposeful play where they are focusing on a skill instead of just playing mindlessly around the room. Of course, babies are always learning, but it was fun to have them focused on those toys for a few minutes and listening to me explain cause and effect, colors, sounds, and shapes.
Stay tuned for our next Tot School lesson- Hide and Seek.
What do you think about this activity? Any ideas for other games for babies under one? Don’t forget to “Pin It” if you like!