Toys for 1 year olds – Water Bottle Shakers
Children are naturally inquisitive and learn best through play. As parents and child care practitioners, we can support children’s learning by understanding development and providing a stimulating environment. This blog series will explore educational toys for toddlers, and simple activities for children under six years old, and how these activities support early learning. Each activity will be focused around a particular skill and domain referenced in the Ontario document Early Learning for Every Child Today. Who doesn’t like cheap baby stuff that is educational and fun?
The first activity is creating water bottle shakers. The finished product is ideal for infants ages birth to 18 months because it supports Physical 5.3 The Senses Visual Pattern Perception. Babies will track small objects as they move in colored water within a bottle. Children three and up can help create the bottles with supervision.
You Will Need:
- Food coloring
- Recycled plastic water bottles
- Small, interesting-looking objects such as marbles, confetti, or feathers
- Super glue
- Strong tape that can withstand mouthing
First you will need to remove all packaging labels and clean out your water bottle. Ensure that all sticky residue has been removed from the outside. Next, fill the bottle with water up to the desired height. Less water will mean that more bubbles are visible as you move the bottle around. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water. Then you can add your collection of interesting objects to the bottle. Finally, seal the lid with super glue and wrap it with tape for extra security.
When you present the bottles to your infant, show lots of enthusiasm. Children respond to your excitement! Your little one will be more receptive to learning if you make it a positive experience. Create variation in the movements of the objects by turning the bottle upside-down, shaking it, spinning it, and shining a flashlight through the bottom. Infants will discover the rhythmic patterns of objects moving through water. Learning is reinforced when it targets multiple senses, so help your baby by talking about what he is seeing. He will get lots of educational entertainment through this simple toy created just for him.
Emma is a registered early childhood educator living in Toronto, Ontario. A graduate of George Brown College, Emma is particularly interested in curriculum theory, the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and music in early childhood.