Trickin' out the crib, yo

Already, I worry that I'm not doing enough for Kent's development. Those freakin' DVD and "educational toy" people have gotten to me already. In theory, I believe that parents figure out instinctively how to interact with their kids and that seeing their environment, hearing their parents and others talk, putting their hands on things to figure out how they work, etc., is enough, but I'm already starting to doubt that I actually know what to do to help Kent learn. Yeah, it's probably silly. But as a new parent, I feel that I need as many things as possible to be apprehensive about.

I'm kidding.

A little bit.

Anyway, I was reading in a book our pediatrician gave us about appropriate toys and such for different ages, and it said that newborns particularly enjoy looking at high-contrast designs like bulls-eyes and checkerboards. I started thinking that perhaps I could put a checkerboard design or something like that inside his playard, since he spends a lot of time in there trying as hard as he can not to fall asleep when we want him to. I figured I could at least give him something to look at. I started thinking about making something out of felt and hot glue, when it hit me: nautical signal flags.

Ever since I had the inspiration to make a nautical flag quilt for Ellis, thinking that the bright colors and simple patterns would be awesome for a baby to look at and that the alphabet implications would be great as he got older, I've been really into this idea of using the flags for kid decor. Armed with my new idea, I took Kent to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought felt, and then today, during his nap, I spelled out his name in nautical flags, and I just hung it in his playard. As you can sort of see in the picture, he was immediately mesmerized by the "N," the blue-and-white checkered one, and didn't take his eyes off it for about ten minutes. Way to go, baby development book.

I think it's pretty cool, myself. And hey, maybe he'll learn to spell his name in flags when he gets older.

Labels: ,



Hey Cool! I love it!!!
Don't worry about development. They develop. But it looks like we were on the same wavelength today. :-)

I don't remember reading much for the early baby years (esp since we had early intervention) but I like Dr. Sears books for everything else. Haven't read _The Baby Book_ but maybe there is some stuff.

Also check out this website. If you can get past the cheesy Christian content (not exactly how I would do it), there are excellent developmental ideas.
I love the resource lists all over that website.

Oh, and it's never too early to start Signing! (Note to self: send Erica DVD)
That looks wonderful! I think your animal mobile is great too, can he see/focus on that yet? I have absolutely no doubts that you & Jack are (and will continue to) foster Kent's development in rich ways. Your intuitions are backed up evidence & theories in my field - babies learn tons from the everyday world! Disclaimer: I have to admit, I have a lot to say on this topic since I can't take the developmental psychologist out of me, so please excuse this long comment. :-)

As for educational toy companies like Baby Einstein, I think it's largely a bunch of baloney preying on parents' fears. Seriously, their "evidence" consists of unscientific anecdotes, and whenever their claims are put to an empirical test, they crumble. There was a whole discussion recently on a teaching of developmental psychology listserv about making this into a class activity - I'm excited to try that out sometime! And in fact, there's a new study out in Pediatrics about this subject that just hit the press. Info from NPR here ('Baby Einstein' Videos Ineffective, Study Finds): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12560124 and from Time magazine here (Baby Einsteins: Not So Smart After All): http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1650352,00.html?cnn=yes

OK, end of this novel. :-)
just one comment - If the playard is a place where Kent is supposed to fall asleep, maybe that is not the place for stimulating visuals. As others said, save you anxiety for later things, learning will happen in the most natural ways.
See you all soon!

Way to go, La! I had just seen a report about the baby DVD's on NBC nightly news about how recent studies show that the DVD's are ineffective. It was really interesting.
I know that little Kent will be a smarty pants when he grows up. Better invest in those pocket protectors now. =P
Zack wants you to know that Kent would like his ships flags. Apparently, every ship has their own nautical code. His ship's is NBIT, so if Kent likes N, he'll naturally like it. :-)
Post a Comment

<< Home



what I read

where I go