Ideas for parents and babies

Published 10:26 am Thursday, March 8, 2012

Column: Apryl Gorton, Thrive Initiative

Babies love to explore and touch.

Apryl Gorton

One idea for some rip-roaring fun with your baby is what I like to call “fun in a box.” I know, I know, Dr. Seuss likes fun in a box, too, but this is different.

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First, find a small, sturdy box with a cover, and decorate the box with pictures of the baby and the baby’s family. Next, take the baby with you to a fabric store or raid a family member’s closet. Find, by exploring and touching, 10 different items that your baby can touch. Remember to keep things large enough so that the baby will not swallow since you know that everything will go in the mouth sooner or later.

Your baby will love touching different textures, different shapes and items that squeeze. Put the items in the box and leave out in the open so everyone, including the baby, sees it for daily play. If your baby gets bored, change the items in the box to something new and exciting.


A toddler’s special gift

Windsocks are great gifts to create as March makes its entrance. For this project you will need a large piece of paper, streamer, stapler, scissors, string, hole punch and paint. Use a piece of paper that is approximately 21 inches long and 12 inches wide. Allow your artist to paint pictures and shapes on the paper and let dry.

Next, roll the paper into a tube that is 12 inches long and secure with stables. Cut the streamer and staple it to the end of the windsock. Lastly, punch holes in the wind sock approximately one inch from the top. Taping between the paper’s edge and the hole may keep the paper from ripping.

Hang where everyone can see your child’s beautiful windsock blowing freely in the wind.


Ideas for play

One of my favorite activities to do with adventurous children is the “flip and walk.”

Dress for a walk in your neighborhood and begin with your child holding a coin. At every corner, allow your child to flip the coin to see which way you both will turn. Heads, turn right. Tails, turn left.

Your child will enjoy this fun way to exercise, practice hand-eye coordination and learn left and right directions. If more than one child is walking, teach turn taking and let everyone have a chance to be the leader.


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