Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The artist at work

'Nothing which cannot be art is true'

The last thing we're afraid of at Brightly Living headquarters is a mess, so tonight we rolled up our sleeves and experimented with some non toxic, edible finger paint. You can try this, too! It's a phenomenal tactile experience which stimulates the senses and helps to develop coordination and fine motor skills! To make this wonderful squishy paint, you'll need the following: 

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cups of cold water
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water
  • Food coloring 

Mix your flour and cold water, you will get a sort of dough. Once the boiling water is nice and bubbling, slowly add that to your dough while mixing. It will begin to blend together and you'll be left with a fantastic squishy consistency. Separate into containers, add your food coloring, and that's that! Easy peasy. 

First, we have a spill - which was a great introduction between bee and our finger paint. 

Next, the fun begins! 

Deep in thought and hard at work! 

So proud of herself!

 Finally, we were left with this wonderful work of art!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

went down to the beach(to play one day)

The sweetest bee by the sea. Beach days are one of our favorite things, filled with so many opportunities for play! Bee has taken an especially active interest in heuristic play here at Brightly living headquarters lately, so I brought some items from the kitchen for her use in the sand and water: a bowl and a scoop. 

Filling something up and pouring it out is endlessly fascinating for babies, and bee is no exception! This sensory stimulating task is great for those developing fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. The beach is a particularly wonderful setting for this game, but you can have a great time introducing it at home, as well! Cups, bowls, pans, jars, boxes and vases all make great containers to fill, dump and pour. 

First, we see some gentle encouragement from dad in the form of demonstrating the task at hand - this is very exciting to bee! 

Bee catches on after a couple of tries and is absolutely thrilled that she can scoop the sand on her own! I love how deep in thought she is in this photo. Who knows what she's thinking, but we can see she is thinking!

Delightfully messy play!

Bee was so captivated by the water spilling in and out of her bowl.

Soon she abandoned her tools to dive straight in with her hands - what fun! I loved her expressions changing between the stark contrast of the hot, dry sand and the cool, wet sand. She definitely had a preference for the squishy, wet sand, so we played at the edge of the ocean while the waves reached her little hands and feet.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Six months of infant activities

Introducing the sweetest bee. Born on January 1st, 2012, at 40 weeks and 5 days, weighing 9lbs and 13oz, and measuring in at 21 inches of pure perfection. The inspiration for this blog, and since I am dreadfully late (now that she is almost 7 months old) I suppose an update of the last 6 months of infant activities is in order! Here is a compilation of some of our favorite activities:

Sensory Investigation:

In this photo, at a few weeks old, bee is exploring her very first textures! The pine needles were her favorite, she didn’t want to let go! She got to touch bark, leaves, sticks, pinecones, and pine needles. Every time she felt a different texture she looked up at me and I feel like she was quite fascinated with this new game. It was a fabulous sensory experience for her and lots of fun for me to see her facial expressions and the way she opened and closed her hand on each item as if she was trying to feel every part of it! *Note - she HATES the feel of pinecones.

Exploring new animals:

Bee and I were very lucky to participate in a tour of a local farm. Bee loved the sounds the chickens were making! She listened intently while several very assertive chickens came to greet us. These chickens were much different than bee's dog - it was a very interesting experience for her!

Bath play:

Bee loves dipping her hands in and out of the water running from the faucet. Running water, and any water, really, is a constant source of intrigue and wonder for her. 

Blanket tents: 

Playing under a blanket is a fabulous opportunity for sensory fun for your baby, and a great excuse to sneak in some cuddle time during play for you! I love the look of curiosity in her expression as she comes out from under the blanket to see the change in light and environment. 


Bee is so captivated by the illustrated pages in her books, and I love to read them to her while she sits on my lap looking at the pages. Aside from being such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, reading to your baby promotes listening skills, increases the vocabulary she is exposed to, promotes bonding, and best of all stimulates the imagination! 

Narrated Walkabouts: 

As an avid baby-wearing mama, a common theme that you'll see here is bee being kept close to me. When we go on walks, I wear her in a wrap facing my body so that she is able to turn into me any time she's feeling overwhelmed. She is kept close to me, and kept at my eye level, so she sees everything that I see and experiences the world the same way that an adult would. Try bending down to stroller level and see how vastly different and less interesting everything looks for yourself! When we go on a walk, I make sure to explain to bee exactly what she's seeing. If she shows interest in something we pass, I encourage her to investigate it. I pick up rocks for her, pull branches close, kneel down to touch things, etc. I love the intent look of wonder you can see in these pictures - she is ready to experience and interact with the world around her!

Water play: 

Water is a natural material, and appeals to children of all ages. As they change and grow, children learn new things about water, and new ways to play in it! Water play is a wonderful sensory experience for your baby. She can feel the wetness, hear the splashes, see the droplets and maybe even sneak in a taste!

Nap time:

""When babies sleep with or near their parents, especially mom, they are not being spoiled, they are being made to feel secure and accepted." - Dr. Lendon Smith, MD"

After a stimulating activity there is nothing better than watching this sweet bee relax in my arms. 

Finally, where it all started.