MySmartKid: Babies

05 March 2015

After SJ's MySmartKid box being such a great hit, I decided it was time for EN to be able to enjoy these cute and educational toys every two months too.

Her first box arrived last week, and once again, it didn't disappoint!

1. Meet Marvellous Max

This soft and cuddly plushy toy is the perfect huggable size and helps with:
  • Sensory stimulation - exposure to different textures.
  • Eye contact - the ability to look into your communicating partners eyes to make communication meaningful.

Introduce your baby to Max by showing them his bright colours and patterns and drawing their attention to the squeaky sound he makes when you squeeze his tummy.

Help your little sweetheart localise sound (move their head towards the direction of the sound) by making the toy squeak while you call their name simultaneously. They should respond to your voice. Repeat their name by saying it softer and softer until they eventually respond to the squeaky sound, not their name.

Let your little one hold Max. Say 'Ready, steady, go!' and squeeze the toy. Exaggerate your facial expressions as you dot his. This will build anticipation for your baby and they might burst out laughing at the sound the toy makes. You can respond by asking 'More?' and repeating the game.

As your sweetheart comes to expect the sound, they might move their arms and legs in anticipation and look at you to see what will happen next. 

Encourage your baby to explore the different tactile sensations this toy offers. Let them feel the different textures of the ears, body, sides and face while you name and describe each part. Show them they can chew on the tethers attached to Max's ears and encourages them to hug the toy.

Put your hand over your littles ones hand and pull Max's arm straight. Help them grasp and press the stripy leg to make a crinkly sound. Let Max give your sweetie pie 'kisses' while you name the body part being 'kissed'. Say: "Max wants to give you a kiss on your hand..." Then pause before letting Max plant a 'kiss' there.

2. Rolling Rattle

This pretty, sturdy rolling rattle stimulates:
  • Auditory perception - the ability to hear and interpret sounds.
  • Cause and effect awareness - the ability to understand that an action causes a response or another action.
Place the rattle in your babys hand if they show interest in it. The bell will tinkle with the smallest movement which makes your sweetheart aware that they have some control over their environment. Talk to them about what is happening by saying: "You are moving the rattle and that's why the bell is ringing".

Introduce the concept of noise and silence by drawing your child's attention to the sound of the rattle when you shake it. Say: "Listen, can you hear that sound?" Then show your baby you have stopped shaking the rattle and whisper: "Now it's quiet, there's no noise." Match the volume of your voice to the action you're demonstrating by speaking louder while shaking the rattle vigorously.

Once your baby is familiar with the rattle, shake it in front of them, to their left and then to the right. They will soon turn their head towards the sound. When they do, praise them by saying: "Yes, there's the noise. Good listening!"

Your little one won't yet be able to roll the rattle on their own so roll it towards them while saying: "Here it comes!" Once it reaches them, say "Your turn!" then help them to take the rattle to make a noise with it. Or roll the rattle away from your sweetie-pie and catch it yourself, saying "My turn!" then shake the rattle. Comment on your actions because it will help your baby to develop an understanding of the words you use.

Babies love kicking their legs. Put the rattle in front of your little one's foot so they (accidentally) hit it when they kick their legs. Get excited with them and say: "There you go, you kicked the rattle and it rolled!" Nudge it back towards them for another try which teaches them about taking turns.

Hold their cute little foot in your hands and kiss or tickle each of their toes as you say a nursery rhyme like "This little piggy went to market..."

3. Splashy Fun

This waterproof bath book develops:

  • Joint focus - the ability to concentrate on an object at the same time as another person.
  • Social skills - feeling comfortable and competent in social situations.
This durable plastic book with colourful farm animals is easy to clean so your baby can scrunch up the pages, wave or shake it or even put it in their mouth.

Let your little one sit on your lap while we look at the book together. Tell them what you see, but keep sentences short and simple while emphasising key words by saying them slowly and a little louder. Try "Look at the farm animals. I can see a cow. Moo!"

Once your little reader is used to hearing you say the same phrases over and over, give them some more information and encourage them to interact. You can say: "Look at the cow's black spots. He looks happy. I wonder whether he is going to eat some grass or visit his friends." 

Talk to your sweetie about the book itself. You can say: "This book is so light. It feels smooth. It doesn't really smell like anything." Demonstrate the meaning of the words while saying it by lifting or smelling the book. Also relate the words to your baby by stroking their skin and telling them how soft it is or nuzzling them and telling them how good they smell. 

Play peek-a-boo with your munchkin. Put your hand over an animal and say: "I wonder who is hiding under my hand?" Look at your baby, widen your eyes and exaggerate your facial expression - this will build anticipation. Then say slowly: "Who is it?" Get excited when you lift your hand: "Wow! it's a sheep!"

This book is ideal for for bath time as it floats and won't be spoiled by water. Talk to your baby about floating and sinking and explain that some animals love water (like the duck) and others don't (like the cat).

Have you ordered yours yet?
What did you think?

Blogger ChitChat: Week One

04 March 2015

Wednesdays are now fun, Blogger Chit Chat days...
This exciting series was the fantastic idea by Claudz and Chantelle - and now I am the third C to join the chit chat!

Claudz blogs at Purple Lips and Perfect Smiles and we have become online friends through our blogs  - I joined Claudz Recipe a Week Challenge and we have kept in touch ever since. 

Chantelle blogs at Cocktails and Memories and we have only started getting to know each other through this series.

Week One

1. Describe your style in 3 words.

Chantelle: Contemporary, comfortable and feminine.

Claudz: Laidback, comfortable and neutral.

Caley: Casual, colourful and feminine.

2. What's your favourite way to spend a Saturday (based on your current life/income etc)?

Chantelle: Wake up with a cup of Nespresso and a cookie. Read through some Twitter and enter a competition or two. Decide on a movie to watch or find a nice spot outdoors for a picnic and some photo opportunities. Or: play Battle City and catch up on some series.

Claudz: Wake up early and go for a great run! Have a relaxed breakfast (which includes a huge cappuccino) and then start the day. I'd love to catch a movie or maybe take Max with us for a picnic somewhere. In the evening I want to have sundowners with friends before they come over to our place for a braai.

Caley: A lazy lie in with out girls and my hubs, whole family in the bed with tea. A good gym workout and breakfast, family time at the beach followed by an afternoon nap in the aircon. A cosy night in, takeaways and catching up on series with my hubs on the couch.

3. Your biggest achievement and biggest regret in life.

Chantelle: My biggest achievement is buying my first home. Standing outside my house with my parents - who worked so hard and made sacrifices to ensure I had the best education they could afford - this was a very proud moment for me. I didn't let them down.

My biggest regret in life is before breaking up with a boyfriend, I told him the truth about not loving him for a while and that I had kissed someone else while we were together. I wish I had kept this to myself, we were breaking up anyway so there was no need to hurt him anymore.

Claudz: My biggest achievement is keeping the cat, dog and husband alive... mostly. On a serious note, so many grown up things - owning our own home that we saved up to buy, living on my own in foreign countries and being the person someone wants to love and be with.

My biggest regret is not having spent more quality time with people who mattered to me. I wasn't close to my maternal grandparents and could have made more of an effort to understand them before they passed away.

Caley: My biggest achievement in life would be passing both my degrees and my two pregnancies and births. 

My biggest regret in life is not going 'away' to university - one that was not in my city, away from familiarity and involved living in a res or on my own. 

Stay tuned for Week Two next Wednesday

March Goals

03 March 2015

via Pinterest

My main goal for March is to be intentional and just keep trying, in everything that I do...

March Goals

  • Be the best wife I can be to MC
  • Wear my mommy badge with pride
  • Focus on my daily me time
  • Establish a healthy eating plan
  • Ditch the sugar, fast foods and soda drinks
  • Establish a consistent exercise routine that works for me
  • Finally purchase my new eye glasses
  • Enjoy a day or two on my own
  • See our little EN get better and stronger
  • Celebrate our special Gogo's birthday
  • Celebrate a special Bachelorettes
  • Attend precious 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthday parties
  • Enjoy another awesome Moms dinner
  • Enjoy a movie date with SJ
  • See Madame Zingara
  • Clean out all clothing cupboards
  • Host our first Class Moms Dinner
  • Enjoy two date nights with MC
  • Attend SJ's school Boogy Bug Picnic
  • Celebrate a very special wedding
  • Enjoy a weekend getaway with my hubs
  • Be present with those that are important in life

What are your goals in March?

February Goals: TICK

02 March 2015

via Pinterest

Another month gone? How is that even possible?

  • Show MC love every day this month, not just the 14th - I tried my best but I wasn't the best wife this month!
  • Kiss my baby girls every day
  • Lose 1kg - FAIL!!
  • Exercise 3-4 times a week - Only the first two weeks and then I got sick and EN got sick!
  • Start cycling I started in the gym but not on the road
  • Save R1000 FAIL! Thanks to a nasty Municipality bill!
  • Attend SJ's Parents Information Evening
  • Start my role as Class Mum 
  • Celebrate my besties 30th birthday
  • Celebrate three special mommy friends birthdays
  • Attend an engagement party
  • Attend two 1st birthdays and a 2nd birthday
  • Celebrate Valentine's Day
  • Enjoy a Valentine's picnic - Cancelled because of rain!
  • Celebrate MC's birthday
  • Make Valentine's crafts with SJ
  • Host book club at my house
  • Read one book
  • Watch Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Enjoy a high tea
  • Enjoy a girls weekend away in Mozam - Missed out because I was so sick - so sad!
Not a great month with my goals - my poor excuses are having a sick baba and being sick myself!
Looking forward to a new month and new start again...

Five on Friday

27 February 2015

Yay for Friday! And a fabulous girls weekend away!
Link ups today: Five on Friday with Christina and friends, and Oh Hey Friday! with Karli and Amy.

Favourite Style Items

I would call myself a loyal shopper - I like certain stores and I normally only shop at these same stores - why change a good thing? My style varies from casual and comfortable to a little more dressed up when out at night. The fabrics have to be cool and easy to wear in our hot climate and comfortable as a Mom of two littlies. I am known for not liking black, grey, brown or any dark, Winter colours and my wardrobe is packed with bright colours and fun prints. 
These are a few of my current favourites...

1. Kendra Scott. This jewellery is truly amazing. Such beautiful quality and so many different colours and styles - to suit every outfit. I could honestly have one of everything - holding thumbs that MC comes home with a small KS package after his next Houston business trip.

2. Triangl. Yes, they are the in thing but have you ever worn a neoprene bikini? The fabric is amazing and the colours are so cute! I have always had a bikini fetish and these are perfect for our hot, Summer days. Unfortunately, my order had to be exchanged for a different size so I'm still waiting but I love!

3. Country Road. It is no secret that this is my favourite place to shop - for my clothes, MC's clothes and the kiddies clothes, and the shoes and the accessories and the homeware. I love it all. A range of items that are casual and comfortable as well as elegant and stylish - can be dressed up or done. Quality clothing at a more premium price but so worth it.

4. Lilly Pulitzer. Can someone please bring this bright and colourful label with fun prints to South Africa? Another wish list item for MC's next business trip. These dresses are so gorgeous for day or night, perfect for someone like me who doesn't like to wear black, grey or brown colours. 

5. Superga. I love a good sneaker for the casual jeans and tee look and Superga are my favourite brand. So many different colours and styles to choose from - I could buy so many pairs! 

Do you like any of the above stores too?
What is your favourite style?

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