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Old 09-07-2008, 05:01 PM   #1
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I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

We need some mommy intervention! ASAP! She's my first and she's getting to be much more mobile and needs more stimulation now. Before I could just carry her around or talk to her. A lot of our day consisted of diaper changes and nursing with a bath and/or shower squeezed in there and then our free time was helping her go down for a nap... Now my darling girl is crawling and doing some walking. We have a ton of toys that I think I'm going to put away and only keep a few out and start rotating them. But we need something else. We live in the Southwest so it's still over 100 degrees outside, so going outside is out of the question. We are a 1 car family so we can't go anywhere during the day and we have few friends w/ babies her age and even less of them can/will come over. We try reading from time to time but she is so young and doesn't pay attention or sit still- she likes examining the book and moving the pages and then tossing it aside.

She's a kid now, if that makes sense! But still more of a baby so we can't do painting or side walk chalk etc. We tried baby yoga but the DVD was for little babies that didn't do much but lay and drool! We need ideas that will be good for both of us. I find myself getting so bored during the day and wanting to surf on my comp. but that's no good for her because she gets bored so the we're BOTH BORED! Bad cycle. We still have another month or two until we can go outside. We have done swimming more often lately. I don't know if I've gotten complacent but it feels like so much work for such a short amount of time spent actually swimming--- changing into swim wear/diaper, gathering towels, getting myself ready, hanging out at the pool for a few minutes and then drying off, sopping wet towels, getting the baby bathed and all the icky chlorine off of her and then bathing myself and then lotioning the both of us. KWIM?

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Old 09-07-2008, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

anyone? I've got some readers but no posters
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

i've started doing this with my 9 month old :
i take a baby pool and put it inside (on hardwood floors) and just line the bottom with flour. I put her in there, and i sit outside and she has a BLAST in there. i show her how to make circles, squares, etc by outlining, even though she can't do that, she mimics my behavior by putting her hand in there and getting dirty. she's put it to her mouth once or twice, but hasn't again You can add a drop or two of water and let her feel. Give her lots of different textures.

you can take some sticky paper, (like drawer lining contact paper) and put the sticky side up on the floor (tape it down so it doesn't move) and let her walk crawl on there, she gets stuck and its funny to see what they do.

roll balls to each other.

take some of your clothes, shoes, socks, and just explore. show her how to zip up and down, show her how to put on shoes, show her how to button buttons, roll socks, etc... its something new to her that even though she might not do it, she will try, and will try for a while. lol.

how about dancing? put on some music, take her by the hands and dance. even slow dance. My DH slowdances with our dd, by holding her up, and she just giggles away.

hope this helps momma!
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

I have set up 'stations' around our house - so she has areas where she can go to explore certain things and play with certain toys, and I give her free range. She has one play area in her room, three areas in the living room (one soft toys, one harder toys, one books), two areas in the kitchen (fridge magnets and Leap Frog alphabet player and a 'safe' cabinet), and then she can play in our room with anything she finds there (she likes the comforter and the handles on the bureau). She is not allowed in the bathroom.

Our house is very small, so I am never more than a few feet away - often she wants to explore alone, and will let me know when she wants to be engaged or interact. So I leave her to discover what she is interested in, with minimal interruption or direction unless I see she needs or wants help. She is fairly curious and fearless, so she goes tromping off to find adventure pretty willingly.

Some of each day I get down and really play hard with her - piling pillows, climbing on the couch or chairs, emptying her 'safe' kitchen cabinet, 'chasing' her and letting her 'chase' me. We also still play peekaboo around corners and furniture about 6,000 times a day!

Margo does really love books, so we keep a huge pile in the living room and her room and she spends a lot of time leafing through and 'reading' them. She wants me to read to her sometimes, and other times not.

The Magnadoodle is a big hit. Sometimes I let her make a puddle of water in her high chair tray and splash. Or on the floor ... big mess, but it's just water! I've filled plastic bottles with beans or coins so she can shake them and roll them. We play ball a lot. We play with the dog a lot (our dog is a saint). We play on kiddiesgames.com and starfall.com - she loves both! And we always have music playing from pandora.com

I do spend a lot of time just watching her play - and sometimes it is mind-numbing, but I don't mind to sometimes be a little bored and able to jump on and off the computer or do some work writing while she plays. She is very happy - so I think I am doing something right!
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

You could put her on the kitchen floor with a bowl of water (on a towel) and let her pour.
Let her play with wooden spoons and plastic bowls.
nursery rhymes and hand games are fun.
art - get those rounded rounded markers and a big drawing pad.
You can put her on a sheet and pull her through the house.
play "horsey".
Good luck, mama. It gets easier when you have more than one - they entertain each other!
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

oh im struggling with this too.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosella View Post
I have set up 'stations' around our house - so she has areas where she can go to explore certain things and play with certain toys, and I give her free range. She has one play area in her room, three areas in the living room (one soft toys, one harder toys, one books), two areas in the kitchen (fridge magnets and Leap Frog alphabet player and a 'safe' cabinet), and then she can play in our room with anything she finds there (she likes the comforter and the handles on the bureau). She is not allowed in the bathroom.

Our house is very small, so I am never more than a few feet away - often she wants to explore alone, and will let me know when she wants to be engaged or interact. So I leave her to discover what she is interested in, with minimal interruption or direction unless I see she needs or wants help. She is fairly curious and fearless, so she goes tromping off to find adventure pretty willingly.

Some of each day I get down and really play hard with her - piling pillows, climbing on the couch or chairs, emptying her 'safe' kitchen cabinet, 'chasing' her and letting her 'chase' me. We also still play peekaboo around corners and furniture about 6,000 times a day!

Margo does really love books, so we keep a huge pile in the living room and her room and she spends a lot of time leafing through and 'reading' them. She wants me to read to her sometimes, and other times not.

The Magnadoodle is a big hit. Sometimes I let her make a puddle of water in her high chair tray and splash. Or on the floor ... big mess, but it's just water! I've filled plastic bottles with beans or coins so she can shake them and roll them. We play ball a lot. We play with the dog a lot (our dog is a saint). We play on kiddiesgames.com and starfall.com - she loves both! And we always have music playing from pandora.com

I do spend a lot of time just watching her play - and sometimes it is mind-numbing, but I don't mind to sometimes be a little bored and able to jump on and off the computer or do some work writing while she plays. She is very happy - so I think I am doing something right!
This sounds so much like us. My son seems to prefer to play & explore by himself for a lot of the day. So to help him, I've got a couple drawers in the kitchen he can dig around in, take everything out of them and (sometimes) put everything back in again - this is a HUGE hit, I must say. And there are a few other spots like that where he can do his thing. Our house isn't that big either, so he's never far from me.

We do swim sometimes, but it's been so hot we stay in the house most of the time. We "read" books, stack things (and of course, knock them down!), I sit with him and count things, and he loves to be chased. Pots, pans & wooden spoons are always a hit.

Hopefully it will cool off a bit soon so we can start exploring outside!
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Last edited by nini02; 09-08-2008 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:55 AM   #8
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Re: I need help entertaining & interacting with my 11 month old :-)

OP, you are right about thinking to rotate the toys. When i leave dd's toys out she gets bored of ALL of them, but when I rotate them and only let her see a couple toys for a few days and then switch she is much more entertained. Make sure that the toys are at her age level or slightly above, so that they are challenging enough for her. Dd is almost 13 months and she is getting the hang of walking, so we walk a lot holding to mommy's hands, also she loves music and bopping around to the beat. She has a few puzzles that she is just starting to figure out how to put the pieces back in the right spots (big, chunky, wooden first puzzles) and she loves the I Play Music drum that she got for her birthday. She will sit for at least an hour and push all the buttons, bang on the drum and dance around to the music. It's her favorite toy of all time. I've been teaching her pattycake, and she loves peekaboo and other silly monkey-see monkey-do games we make up, like I hold up my index finger and point at her, and she does the same, and when out fingers touch she laughs and we both clap and I say "good job". Another silly one is I take my index and thumb and lightly pinch her nose, and after a few times of me doing that I hold my fingers like I will do it again but I don't reach all the way to her nose. My silly girl gets a kick out of that, and she pushes her face the rest of the way until her nose touches my fingers. Another thing she loves is to sit in her high chair and throw rubber balls over the side and watches them bounce, and it teaches her cause/effect of what happens when she drops/throws something. And of course, whenever I do diaper laundry she LOVES "helping" me snap fitteds back together and sort through all the dipes.
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