Archived Story

Give babies something fun to observe

Published 9:57am Thursday, September 27, 2012

Column: Apryl Gorton, Thrive Initiative

Babies are great observers. By the first two months they are eager to visually explore uncharted territory. According to “The Baby Book” by William Sears and Martha Sears, the following list is what babies like to look at:

• Your face

Apryl Gorton

• Contrasting colors

• Black and white photos

• Broad stripes, approximately two inches wide

• Black dots, one inch in diameter, on white background

• Checkerboards and bulls eyes

• Silhouettes

• Mobiles

• Ceiling fans and ceiling beams

• Fires in fire places

Now what do you do with that information? Talk with your baby while you show her old photos of the family, make him laminated cards with the patterns mentioned above, and hold her while you both watch the fire or ceiling fan after a long hard day.


A toddler’s special gift

I was cleaning out my keepsake box and found a rock doll I had made when I was about 5 years old.

The doll brought back memories but also reminded me how much fun rocks can be with toddlers. Gather up some snacks and drinks, and then drag the family down to the water for rocks that can be used for paper weights and door stops. Don’t forget to skip a few stones while you’re there.

After bringing those rocks home, you will need newspaper, acrylic paint, an old pie tin, paint brushes, small buttons or craft eyes, yarn and glue.  Spread out the newspaper to create a work space for your child. (Painting is messy business.)

Pour small amounts of different colors of paint into a pie tin so that your child has a makeshift pallet. Allow your child to paint the rock masterpiece and let completely dry. If you choose, you and your child may want to glue the buttons or craft eyes onto the rock to make creatures. Adding a yarn tail may turn your stone into a wild mouse.

Have fun and don’t forget to give some away to grandma and grandpa.


Treats to make together

Granola Crunch is a nutritious treat to have for breakfast or take on a hike. You will need three cups old fashioned oats, half cup toasted oat cereal, third cup creamy peanut butter, quarter cup honey, half cup raisins or mini chips, cooking spray, two large bowls, and jelly-roll pan. Heat oven to 300 degrees; and coat the jelly-roll pan with cooking spray.

Mix the oats and cereal in a large bowl. Then combine honey and peanut butter in a glass bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Combine the honey mixture with the cereal mixture and stir completely. Spread onto the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Stir once during baking time. After the granola is cool, add raisins or chips and put the granola in an airtight container for your on the go family.


Apryl Gorton is the director of New Direction Tutoring and a volunteer with the Freeborn County Thrive Initiative. Visit the website at