Playing Games with Babies and Kids – Live Chat Transcript

by Deb on September 7, 2010

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This is from the chat last night for the Cloth Nappy Hunt, which went very well. A huge thanks to Shane for making this available and doing all the colour coding to make it easier to read. There were nine or ten people dropping in over the night and we chatted for about an hour and a half.  It was a great way to interact with people, let me know if you would be interested in this sort of thing and I’ll investigate!

Chat – 6th September, 2010 – Playing Games with Babies and Kids – Deb, Science@Home

Science@Home There you go. While we give people a few minutes, what age kids are we talking about tonight?
Shane Girl- 4 Boy – 7
amandab Just turned 4 Princess 🙂
SewSpunky /I’ve got 2 boys 4.5 & 2 and a 3mth old girl
Science@Home For some reason I thought Princess was older than my big girl. This is good, lots of pre-schoolerish ages.
Obsidian I’m going to be rude and have to leave shortly…
Obsidian 🙁
Obsidian but I’ll be interested to read the transcript
Science@Home Thanks for dropping in Obsi, it’s nice to see people in here.
Obsidian (I have a 7 year old girl)
senectus joined.
Shane Hi Sen
Science@Home Is Tamara still here? Hi senectus
Obsidian hi
senectus heya
Science@Home OK we might get started, transcripts are there to help people catch up.
Science@Home We seem to have 3 months to 7 years with the rest in the middle.
Science@Home So I suppose my first question is does anyone have any questions?
senectus yeah, what is this about?
Science@Home Playing with babies and kids.
senectus I have a nine wk old
senectus and a 2.5 yr old
senectus ahh the fun stuff 🙂
Science@Home I started my blog to stop me getting in a rut with my kids at home, plus it’s my accountability – I have to do something fun at least once a week so I can write about it 🙂
Shane And it’s generally stuff that doesn’t cost a fortune?
senectus ahh good idea
Obsidian I have to get going – have a fun night all
Science@Home Absolutely. I don’t do a lot of toybased play at all. I think balloons are the ultimate children’s toy!
Science@Home Bye Obsi, have fun.
senectus and bubbles 🙂
Obsidian 🙂
amandab Shane, soo much stuff doesn’t cost a fortune. Trust me, my girl has been playing with toilet rolls for at least a month LOL
senectus last xmas my boy seemed to enjoy the cardboard boxes
senectus more than the toys
Science@Home Mine have never really got into boxes, I keep expecting them too!
Science@Home I thought I’d talk a bit about the 5 senses first, because that’s great play for little babies too.
senectus okies
amandab cardboard boxes are always the most fun, they can be anything, with some glue or sticky tape they can turn into anything … I have boxes of all different sizes for all different reasons
SewSpunky I’d love to know about playing/learning in creeks – safety, topics etc. We have a creek a few mins walk from us and after the rain it look so nice and clean – would be great to take the boys down to look for tadpoles and things which when I was a kid we would have just done – not sure if it’s something people do anymore though!
Science@Home Absolutely! We do all that when we can. Safety is just about common sense and keeping an eye out.
Science@Home So the 5 senses are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Obviously leave taste out for little ones, do you play games with the others?
amandab You know, I don’t think I have thought of our play in that way. We do a lot of music and craft in our house. Today we did bubble wrap dancing, which probably would work better for touch with shoes off
Shane I haven’t thought about it in that way. Daughter loves painting, and mixing the colours, which I guess is sight.
Science@Home Definitely. With little babies you can let them lie or crawl on the wrap. Painting is a good touch one as well if they get their fingers into the paints.
senectus sry if i fade away, my 9wk old is not settling tonight :-/
senectus i’ll just watch i think
Science@Home Fair enough. A good hearing game is obviously music, or syllable games with little ones.
amandab smell would I think be the one we think about the least. We do a lot of cooking, and have always have had lots of fun with foods.
Science@Home Smell games work well in the kitchen or outdoors – crushing leaves, especially if you have herbs, or after the rain.
Science@Home Trying to identify things using different senses just needs a bag or box of some sort. They can reach in to feel, listen, or sniff it.
amandab Princess sees her Nana’s herb garden and just puts everything in her mouth, still. She knows herbs are for eating, and she has had permission to do so before, so she heads straight there
Science@Home My girls screw their noses up! Maybe holding the rosemary under their noses when they were little wasn’t the best idea 🙂
Shane Hi Michelle
Science@Home Hi Michelle, we’re talking about playing with little ones.
michelle Hi All 🙂
Science@Home Just about eveything has a distinctive smell if you check for it.
michelle Any tips for keeping a 4 month old happy? Without letting him eat grass LOL!
michelle Oh smells… my 4 year old LOVES smelling things
Science@Home Lots. 4 months is when they start discovering the rest of the world, so things that let them explore are the way to go.
amandab My mum bought Princess her own lavender plant last year, and I have just bought her a blueberry bush. She will hopefully learn to take care of plants once in the ground, and get the other stimuli too
Science@Home Put him on the mat and put various things out of reach.
Science@Home I used lots of plastic jars like stock jars – you can put different things in like a single marble, some rice, or water. That way they can move them and get a different feel and different sound.
Science@Home Amanda how lucky – I’m terrible with plants, it would be nice to do that with my girls but I’d be too scared I’d kill them.
michelle That’s quite a good idea – I think I need to keep changing the mat itself though – he seems to get cranky with the same one all the time!
Science@Home Is it good weather to go outside Michelle? You can move around to different parts of the garden
michelle I’m hopeless with plants too – DD is always wanting to grow things and we do for a while but I always forget them.
amandab I am hopeless, most of my herbs are dead or dying due to planting at the wrong time and too much rain. Husband is a horticulturist by his first training, so he should advise better!
michelle Yes, outside is good actually – I discovered a couple of weeks ago that he is much happier outside. So if the weather is nice (sometimes at this time of year) I’ve been taking him out.
michelle He loves the feel of the grass.
Science@Home For mats, think about the feel of them. We had cotton and fleece, a crocheted one and even used terry flats. So they got lots of different textures even lying there.
amandab Princess always loved the outside when she was littler. Now, she has a fear of bugs and of getting “mucky”. She has become such a girl.
michelle I’ve finally just started reading Science@Home BTW – it took me a while to get there!
Science@Home One thing we do with cooking is play around with ingredients a lot. My toddlers and preschooler love cooking. So one day we did a tasting of all the herbs, then made pikelets. But instead of sugar we substituted the most popular herb.
Science@Home You can do the same thing with scones too.
Science@Home OK, another question – do you ask your kids questions to extend what they are doing?
Science@Home Hi Tamara, back again 🙂
Science@Home So even for little babies, you can ask them ‘What happened?’ Obviously they aren’t going to answer, but they will generally do it again.
tamara sorry was cooking apple oats and cinnamon for bub
Science@Home Don’t worry, mine have both hopped out of bed and are playing behind me!
tamara Mine can’t hop but I’m sure i will find limbs out of the cot on checking
michelle That’s a good idea – I do talk to my kids a lot, describing body parts etc to baby, and the chatter is endless with the 4 year old.
amandab It depends on what she is doing. With a lot of Princess’ crafting there is a lot of external monologues, so we tend to let her go with it, and try not to laugh at some of the things we hear LOL
michelle Your blog has inspired me to talk more about the science of things though!
tamara We have always spoken to Lumpy like she is able to comprehend!
Science@Home Thanks 🙂 I can’t help it – I’m a control freak. I have to make myself step back and let them play on their own.
michelle We get the monologues here too amanda – they can be hilarious at times!
Science@Home ‘What do you think would happen …” is a great question when they seem to be reaching the end of their activity
tamara I have talked her through loading the dish washer, washing amchine, cooking a cake from scratch.
Science@Home So if they’ve been painting, you could ask ‘what do you think would happen if you tried different paints? or ‘mixed those colours?’ or ‘used this brush instead?’
amandab Tamara, we have always done the same with Princess, which is why by 18 months her favourite word was “condensation” and I could come home to “Look, I have a hadrosaur!”
Science@Home Tamara getting them to do housework is brilliant!
SewSpunky My 4yr old’s favourite response to any questions starting with “what do you…” is “YOU know” lol!
amandab I think talking to the children as if they underatand helps build the understanding.
tlani ::sleep soo sleepy but must keep hunting
Science@Home My favourite answer is ‘I don’t know. Should we try it?”
tamara My lumpy in 7 months old, but she moves room to room with me and watch everything!
Science@Home Hi Tlani, we’re talking about playing.
Science@Home Tamara do you use a sling?
amandab Linda, I know what you mean with the “You know!” comment.
tamara Yep some times, other times i lay her on her tummy, or sit her nup now she sits
tlani how old are your bubbys all ?
tamara or if its involving the stove she is in her high chair at atleast 2m back
Science@Home We have a couple of little ones, a couple of 2 year olds, some 4 year olds and a 7 year old
tamara Tlani my dd is 7 months
SewSpunky I always answer with ‘maybe I do, but do you?’
Science@Home You’re good, tamara. I used to swing her around to my back.
Science@Home That’s a good answer SewSpunky, I’ll have to use that.
SewSpunky The 4yr old is very independent though – he can’t be shown how to do anything. I’ve learnt to just plant the seed and then give him space and time to try things on his own.
Science@Home Yes. One trick I sometimes use is just to sit down and play with something without saying anything to them.
tlani oh 7 months is a lovely age 🙂
SewSpunky My 2yr old is the opposite and likes to be shown how to do things, and then is usually happy doing them himself.
michelle Sorry for the short stay – I’m gonna have to go. Thanks for the ideas!
Science@Home Hi MrsKiss, we’re talking about play. Bye Michelle, I hope it helped.
amandab My 4 year old is independent in the fact that she wants to do for herself, but she wants me to do it with her. If she is making pictures she wants me to do pictures with her
MrsKiss hello
Science@Home Yes Amanda – big girl wants me to play with her constantly.
Science@Home Does anyone use themed play?
amandab Some things I don’t mind, but I am trying to enforce me not working on her crafts with her, particularly if she is doin them for someone else. I tell her it is from her, so it’s her work to do
amandab and that I want to see what she can do, of course
Science@Home Hi Ben, we’re talking about play.
tlani mmmm harry rocky road *drooooollll
tamara What i sthemed play?
harrysrockyroad Hiya!
Science@Home Tamara you might choose something like insects, then you do different activities about them.
amandab I am too disorganized to get into themed play, and Princess often knocks back my ideas for play, so I follow where she leads
Science@Home SO we went for a nature walk, did a collage of a caterpillar
tamara Not yet, what age should i start?
Science@Home role played being butterflies
MrsKiss sounds just like school 😉
Science@Home It can start at any age, it’s more something I use to give me ideas
amandab I am hoping once we get our craft/office/learning space organized I can get myself sorted and we can start doing more themed stuff
SewSpunky We have a lot of Batman themes here lol!
Science@Home Lots of schools do use it,
amandab that said, if something takes her interest, such as dinosaurs, we will buy toys, borrow books and organize outings reflecting that
tlani your all much more creative than me lol mine go downstairs on the grass with paint and bits and bobs heaps of butchers paper and there you have it art with out the mess hehe
tamara we have ABC and !@# foam mats so we often do those, and A is for and so on
Science@Home I use it for me and to stop them getting bored.
Science@Home We currently have a forest on one wall, so instead of random paintings, she paints animals to go in the forest.
Science@Home Tamara my girls pulled them out today and made a pathway, I’ll have to use that.
amandab we have fruit ones in the foam mats, yesterday they became hats and neck decorations LOL
tamara she pulls the letters and numbers out of the block so as I put it back in i say that is 5, or that is M mum starts with M
Science@Home Actually tlani that sounds good to me – I’d love my kids to do things without me having to make suggestions!
tlani lol mine are 7 and 8 now so its kinda a given
Science@Home That sort of jigsaw is good for co-ordination 😉
tamara How much time should we encourage with playing by themselves?
Science@Home I take any I can get!
amandab tlani, at that age do they want you to still play with them at all? Princess, at 4, is still demanding, but I don’t remember ever playing with my mum as a child
Science@Home I’ve heard of the 1/3 rule – a 1/3 of the time you play with them, a 1/3 parallel to them, and a 1/3 away from them.
tamara Lumos wil lplay for ages by herself and let me know when she is bored… I will try and play with her and she will do her backward crawl and a 180 and ignore me
tlani and i think the random paintings are so pretty as wrapping paper for pressies and diy card ect..
amandab I need to get some of that butcher paper … and a yard to paint in instead of getting it all over my kitchen floor .. again
tlani i didnt really amandaab i just always put them down with craft sat away from them (with my eyes on them ) and let them go
tamara Amanda, I remember nagging my mum while she sewed and she would always send me out to play with my bother and sisters!
MrsKiss left.
tlani paint washes of and paper can be tossed its the watching that i enjoy
Science@Home We have a vinyl table cloth, it’s brilliant.
amandab I also wonder how much having a sibling changes the way kids play independently. Having an only child is a lot tougher than I remember being one of 5 being in terms of giving/geting attention
tlani every child has their own dreative spark and i like watching over the years how the catterpillar started and what it looks like now 🙂
Science@Home I actually found they became less independent as they got older. The 2 year old is happy by herself, the 4 year old wants someone else.
Science@Home I think definitely siblings make a huge difference.
amandab tamara, I don’t even remember ever asking my mum … I think we knew she wouldn’t and therefore didn’t go there. I think it’s whyshe won’t babysit for me .. too much work having to interact
Science@Home I can only remember once I was reading, I can’t wait until the big girl starts!
tlani i must be a bit old fansioned by the sounds of it lol
tamara My mum sent me away today and said “i’ll feed her and look afte rher go and relax”
tamara OH books are getting harder to do because they become a teething toy!
SewSpunky My mum is a lot more hands on with her grandkids in terms of play than she was with us as kids. I think because she is a teacher (Yr1) and when we were kids she was over it all by the time she got home and had to deal with us LOL! But now she has grandkids she gets very involved with playing games with them.
Science@Home Do you have some cloth books? I got different fabrics and overlocked for a ‘spine’.
amandab Princess is off books now. Each night before bed she makes up her own stories using teddies as props. I hate having to help make up a story at the end of the day, but it is her way to discuss the day
tamara I’m off to bed, lots of sleep to catch up on 🙂
tamara thanks for teh ideas
SewSpunky Tamara – I used to put all the books up because they’d get chewed and ripped. Now I just put up the ‘good’ books (like the gift ones they get) and the rest they can go for. Half the time they prefer getting out the ones with missing pieces and telling me what used to be there!
tamara night all
Science@Home Bye tamara, thanks for joining us.
tlani hmmm harrys rockyroad i seem to be dribbling on my keyboard everytime i look for the icon on your site lol
amandab each night the teddies re-enact the day’s events. It is so funny hearing my words and tone from a 4yo’s mouth as she moveds about a butterfly pillow
Science@Home Do people look at the types of play they do? That’s imaginative play, we’ve talked about craft too.
Science@Home The other big ones are construction like sandpits or water play and structured play with toys.
tlani mine are past the imaganitive they prefer putting bi carb and viniger in a empty bottle just to watch and thing like that
Science@Home We did that as a big production – built a volcano in the sandpit, set it off and pretended to be the villagers on the slpes.
tlani oh spelling games they love
Science@Home slopes that would be.
amandab I don’t set up the type of play we are going to do, as I said I follow her lead. It is all about craft, with some imaginative play thrown in. We sometimes play with blocks, but currentl no space
amandab for sand play, and water play is restricted to the bath
Science@Home Of course, word and maths games for the older ones, big girl likes opposites, rhyming and we’ve just started ‘starts with.’
Science@Home Amanda you can do sand play in a tub, or use rice instead.
tlani mine are crazy about acromyms 🙁
amandab I am looking forward to starting some sensory play soon. Sometyimes this week I am colouring rice for the first time. Initially for craft, later for sensory boxes
tlani mind you after an hour of hearing it in the backseat you start going loopy
amandab LOL .. just finished typing about the rice and saw your comment, Deb
Science@Home When you’re colouring it, put an essential oil in there too for smell.
Science@Home tlani if I never have to think of another word that rhymes with ‘set’ I’ll be happy!
amandab I will do that for the sensory box, but our initial use is for eye-spy bottles
Science@Home what are eye-spy bottles?
amandab Dadda got in trouble the other day when he started with words rhyming with “duck”
tlani ooops lol
jayjay left.
amandab coloured rice with various mini trinkets. Shake up the bottle and see what you can find.
Science@Home Oh dear.
Science@Home Ah, yes. digging for things in the sandpit is big here at the moment.
Science@Home I’m planning a whole heap of bottles at the moment, I’ll add that one.
amandab we’re making them at the birthday party .. better to send the kids home with these than a lolly bag I think 🙂
Science@Home What a good idea!
Science@Home I’m planning bottles with coloured water and oil, with sequins and with detergent.
amandab we are doing a craft party, all to do with rainbows. If I had a yard we might have been able to play with the hose outside. Might help if it was warm too
tlani another huge thing for my bigg kids is initials .. so hannah starts with h she will write a list of words begining with h
amandab Deb, like a snowglobe?
Science@Home Yes. I think I’ll do one with powder too.
Science@Home Tlani we’re just getting to that, Big girl is starting to look at initial sounds.
tlani magic tricks are good to 🙂
tlani it takes them awhile to master them so they keep nice and quiete consentrating lol
amandab If I have any bottles left over I might give it a try. Princess had a great time drinking 12 mini bottles of creamy soda ::blush
Science@Home Rice play is brilliant for little ones, I started it when the big girl was about 4 months, with her sitting on my lap at the table.
tlani i loved the golf ball paintings
Science@Home YOu mean putting them in a box? We’ve done that with marbles.
tlani miine learnt big and small by doing a range from marbles though to soccer balls
amandab I am going to do marble paintings some time this week 🙂 Today we did bubble wrap and wool. Or, I should say Princess did. I was outside, which was why the hands and lips were black ..
amandab Soccer balls would be fun! And messy! Outside, big paper, kicking the ball … 😀
Science@Home Good idea, I’ll have to try it with different sized balls.
Science@Home You can use ramps too, like for toy trains.
tlani what else oh .. they love coin and button shadding
Science@Home Rubbing is a good one to do outside, you can get so many different textures then use them as a collage.
tlani smae effect like leaf rubbing
Science@Home You can arrange the leaves as a picture first.
Science@Home Petals are very popular here too – they get glued on to things directly, or we’ve used them for dying.
Science@Home Hi MissCinders, we’re talking about play.
tlani mine are heaps bigger now with the exception of bubby 8 weeks but i tend to give them a big canvas for an upcoming b/day or chrissy and .. say go paint ar draw grandma a pretty wall haning
tlani beautifull pressies then wrap them up in painted butchers paper bobs your uncle hand made gifts
MissCinders Hi Deb and everyone else 🙂
amandab brb … needing refreshement … oh, hang on … I just saw an article at rhythm of the home on petal pummelling … you put imprint leaves/flowers with a hammer. If anyone wants the link I can get it
Science@Home We made salt dough mobiles when the big girl was only one – she helped make the dough, cut it out like playdough, painted it. I took photos and used that to make the card.
amandab ok .. refreshment
tlani night all im off to bed ::sleep
Science@Home Goodnight, thanks for chatting 😀
MissCinders salt dough mobile sound like fun!
Science@Home It was good because we did it over several days, she did a bit then we could do other things.
MissCinders that’s something b5 would like. he loves having things that continue on over afew days.
MissCinders the kid has more patience than me! lol
Science@Home He’d probably like themed play. We did butterflies for a week once, with role play, craft, even cooked a butterfly cake!
Science@Home I get bored a bit with just craft, so I make them do lots of different things.
MissCinders hmmm now there’s an idea! dinosaurs are back on the agenda atm, we made playdough dino’s today, and then he found some dino jelly lollies at the supermarket…. maybe you onto something with the theme
Science@Home I did a list a little while ago of all the dinosaur type things we’ve done. It wasn’t on purpose, but the big girl announced she wanted to be an alienpologist so I realised we’d actually done a lot http://science-at-home.org/alienpologist/
MissCinders one thing he has REALLY been wanting to do is more water play. it’s been so cold and with the weather finally warming up i was thining of getting back into it…. but how to keep it more entertaining?
Science@Home ‘Broad and balanced’ is one of my favourite guidelines – lots of different activities, and the same ideas in different ways. You can see the control freak teacher in me
amandab there are plenty of good dinosaur story books too at the library, Miss Cinders, “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight” by Jan (?) Yolen is a favourite here
MissCinders checking out the link….
Science@Home While you’re there, I’ve recently done ’13 things to do with water’ and linked to an older list. Water play is huge here!
Science@Home Jan Yolen has written some lovely dragon books for older kids too.
amandab I love the word “alienpologist”! 🙂 We have a good one coming up in our next Teach/Learn post … “obstagon” LOL
SewSpunky I better head off. Great chatting and thanks for all the great ideas 🙂
Science@Home Obstagon is gorgeous.
Science@Home Bye SewSpunky, thanks for joining us.
Science@Home Alienpologist is now my favourite, I’ll be using it for a long time.
amandab I will have to check thos other Yolen books out … excuse me whilst I open a library window 🙂 Oh, and we did get a short dvd of an animation of the above book read by Yolen through the library
Science@Home *Blush* I avoid the CDs from the library because we lose them.
amandab we have just started with book/cd packs. I like seeing her follow the instruction to turn the page and follow the story on her own. We have 2 Alison Lester ones at the moment
amandab okay, it’s Jane, not Jan Yolen
Science@Home I’m going to have to go soon, I have two little girls way past their bedtime here ::happy Are there any questions anyone has?
MissCinders no… but i have to say WOW your site has grown so much since you first started making it!!! i’m going to be stuck there all night now!! haha!
amandab no questions, but there is a new book, “How do Dinosaurs love their cats” *Squee*!
MissCinders thanks Deb for hosting a chat 🙂
amandab yes, thanks Deb 🙂
Science@Home Thankyou, it’s been fun to actually have interaction. I’m going to have to look at this.
Science@Home Enjoy the rest of the night!
MissCinders night!
amandab will look forward to future chats then 🙂
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