Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fill & Spill DIY

Baby Rex is all about the fill & spill activities. These are super simple to create and a GREAT learning activity for toddlers. Fill & spill activities can be made from anything or store bought. I refer to anything as fill & spill if they can fill it up and dump it out over and over again. 
This is a typical toddler behavior you are extending to maximize the learning potential. They are learning eye hand coordination, cause and effect, developing critical thinking and fine motor skills.  Build upon their language development by introducing or reinforcing color and shape words as well as new vocabulary. You can tailor the difficulty level for your child to meet them where they are.

One of our first home made fill & spills and still a favorite. I re-purposed a grapefruit container and saved various jar lids for a few weeks, including lots of baby food jar lids. He has recently learned how to make a metal lid pop which he is very proud of.

Baby spoons into a metal water bottle. Little Bear especially loves the little "ting" after each spoon is dropped in. As the opening was small this provided a great moment to introduce the concept of taking turns to these two young toddlers. 

One of our favorite quiet evening wind down activities is playing with glow sticks. Tonight we dropped glow bracelets into a gallon size water jug that Baby Rex has been obsessed with the past few days. He is really into HUGE toys and items lately. By using the jug I am taking something that he is currently interested in and turning it into a learning activity. He was very focused and then excited to see the whole jug glowing.

I am a big time thrift store shopper. After scouting about on several trips I finally found a good amount of these shapes from a CandyLand game. They are the perfect size for Baby Rex's little hands. I cut a wide slit in the top of an old yogurt container and voila. Shape drop fill & spill is now a favorite. This activity takes the fill & spill concept up another notch for Baby Rex as he must turn the shapes to fit through the slot. He was a little frustrated at first, but has quickly gotten the hang of it. I plan on re-purposing these same shapes for multiple learning tray and activities as Rex grows and learns. 

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