Tips to get that baby bash on the roll

Baby Bash

Birthdays are one of the most important events in our lives. This day signifies our arrival in the world and the celebration of it is a commemmoration of that first time we’ve ever came into the world. Most especially for our precious baby.

Here are some tips to get that baby bash on the roll and be the talk of the baby land for a week or so. One, preparation of the baby bash is extremely important! Create a theme that you would like to follow. Would you like your baby bash to be a sci-fi adventure? Or would you want your baby bash to be a costume party? Or rent even an amusement park complete with the merry-go-round and a clown or two. Whatever you decide, the baby bash needs to be well-thought of to keep it organized as well as the safety of the guests can be assured.

The baby bash depends on the age of the baby. For one year olds, clowns would do so that he or she can facilitate the party since the most important guests would be the little children. Magic shows and puppetry would be sufficient to keep the children interested and satisfied. While for two years old and older, since by this time, they are already mobile and have learned to walk, a costume party or an amusement park theme would be the solution to keep the kids happy. Balloons to keep them preoccupied, cotton candy to keep them busy and lots and lots of kiddie food.

Second, sending out the invites. It seems that babies are conversational pieces. Thus, your network of friends increase since you meet other moms and dads who have babies near your baby’s age group. They can become your buddies, swapping babysitting time when you need to unwind and relax. Their kids are your guests in the baby bash and not the parents. Thus, the baby bash must be geared towards the kid’s enjoyment.

Third, preparation of the food. Since this is a kiddie party, finger foods should comprise most of your menu. Kids easily tire of food and so small portions must be served at them. If possible, separate the food of the parents with the kids, if the parents were invited.

Sometimes, a baby bash becomes an adult get-together when there are no other babies that could be invited.

Whatever you have decided what the baby bash must be like, keep in mind that the baby’s comfort is more important. Sometimes, there are babies who are afraid of clowns. You must have an alternative activity in mind in case this happens.

Fourth, post baby bash activities. After all the food, the favors and trimmings gone, it is time to clean up. The most convenient way to finish all the food left is to ask mothers to take home a portion of the food served. This not only minimizes food spoilage, it would also keep the kids occupied during the drive home, in case they start asking for food. Because there are kids who play all throughout the party and do not pay attention to the food. But once they have settled down, usually during the ride home, then they start to feel hunger pangs. Thus, you would be helping parents keep the kids behaved during the ride home.

Then baby bash need not be a strenuous and nerve-racking activity that moms would rather not plan for. It could also be enjoyable for the parents as well.

Imaginative and Creative Play Ideas

Imaginativeplay

Here are just a few ideas to help you get going with creative and imaginative play. There are many, many more ideas that you will likely come up with.

Remember that half the fun is setting things up or getting dressed up; the other half is playing out or acting out the various roles and creating the story itself. Stories can be continued from one play session to the next.

Doctor’s Office, Hospital or Veterinary Clinic

Use a play medical kit on dolls or stuffed animals as patients. Or a parent could be a patient. Find something to use as an ambulance. Send patients home with a prescription or a note to come back for a check up. Use a small box as an x-ray machine and draw the x-rays. Provide real bandaids, masking tape (for casts), popsicle sticks (for splints), cotton puffs and kleenex. Towels and facecloths can be beds; laundry baskets can be animal cages.

Medieval Times

Dress up as king, queen, prince, princess, knight, wizard, witch, fairy, elves, dragons, etc. Fun props include swords, shields, magic wands, crowns, hats, capes, and jewelry. Or use small toy figures as the characters. Set up different spots for castles, caves, hiding places or dens. Make up fantasy stories that include good and evil sides.

Outer Space

Dress up as astronauts and aliens. Or use small astronaut and alien figures. Find something to be a space ship. Set up different space stations on friendly and hostile planets. Set up various missions: to explore new worlds, to protect a vulnerable colony from dangerous aliens, etc.

Store

Set up items to sell. Use old wallets or purses. Use something for a cash register and make or buy play money. Write up bills and receipts on small paper. Customers can take items home and set them up at home.

Picnic, Dinner or Party

Invite stuffed animals, dolls, etc. Set up the place settings using plates, utensils, tablecloth, napkins, flowers. Use play food and empty food containers. Or, make food out of playdough, for example make cookies using cookie cutters, birthday cakes with decorations and candles. Find something to use as a stove or oven. Use old kitchen spoons and a pot. Have something unexpected happen such as: a storm comes during the picnic, someone spills the food on the floor, someone unexpected comes for dinner, someone has a surprise party, etc.

Restaurant

Use play food and empty food containers. Or, make food out of playdough. Find something to use as a stove or oven. Use old kitchen spoons and a pot. Set up the place settings using plates, utensils, tablecloth, napkins, flowers. Make up a menu. Use a small memo pad to take orders and to write bills for customers. Find something to use as a cash register and make or buy play money. Roles could be restaurant owner or chef, cashier, cranky customer, happy customer, clumsy waiter, clumsy or messy customer, etc.

Theatre Performance, Music Group or Orchestra

Set up a play or a show. Set up a small theatre or stage using fabric pieces for curtains. Puppets, stuffed animals, or kids can be actors. Create an orchestra with musical instruments. Use stuffed animals or dolls as the players. Someone can be the conductor. Have an audience of people, animals or dolls. Sell tickets to the concert.

Create Your Own Town, Farm, Fort, Space Outpost, Fantasy Land

Set things up on the floor. Use boxes, lego, or blocks for buildings or various structures. Find something to use for fences or barriers, mountains, caves or hiding places, water (such as rivers, lakes, or oceans), trees and flowers. Use cars, trucks, vehicles, airplanes, boats, etc. These can be the settings for unlimited imaginative play scenarios involving various roles such as vulnerable people, dangerous situations (natural disasters) or people (attackers, bad guys, monsters, etc.) coming in from outside, protective and rescue people, mastermind strategists and planners, teams or groups working together cooperatively, etc.

Create Your Own House or School

Use boxes for the buildings. Use a felt pen to draw the rooms on the inside of the box. Parents can cut out windows and doors. Use lego, smaller boxes, or blocks for furniture. Use fabric scraps for carpets, blankets, curtains. Put a family in the house and some children and a teacher in the school. Make an outdoor playground. Create various play scenarios such as a normal day at home or school, conflict and resolution in the schoolyard, moving to a new home, etc.

Make Up Your Own Games

Use items like foam (nerf) balls and a foam bat, indoor bowling set, ring toss, velcro darts, indoor basketball hoop for the back of the door, for example, and make up your own rules with these items. Be flexible and creative with the rules; rules can change and adapt as the play goes along. The idea is not to stick to one set of rules.

Drawing/Craft Activities

Determine where your art area will be and organize your art materials in this one place for easy access. Felt pens and crayons in one container. Glue, scissors, tape and miscellaneous other items in other containers. Have lots of sizes and colors of paper available. The easier it is to set up and clean up, the more useful this area will be.

 

Think #ToySafety

ToySafetyGuidelines

More than 120,000 children are taken to hospital emergency rooms each year for treatment of toy-related injuries. Evaluate toys for your children from the standpoint of safety. The following are some guidelines

• Choose toys appropriate to the child’s age. Some toys intended for children more than 3 years old may contain small parts, which could present a choking hazard for infants and toddlers. Toddlers should never play with any object that is smaller than a half dollar.

• Think BIG when selecting toys, especially for children under age three. Big toys without small parts can be enjoyed by youngsters of different ages. Keep toys intended for older children, such as games with small pieces, marbles, or small balls, away from younger children.

• Keep uninflated balloons out of reach for children under age 6, and discard pieces of broken balloons because of the choking hazard.

• Explain and show your child the proper use of safety equipment such as bicycle helmets. Studies show that helmets can reduce severe injuries from a fall.

• Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. Damaged toys can be dangerous and should be repaired or thrown away immediately.

• Store toys safely. Teach children to put toys away so they are not tripping hazards

Store toys safely Toy safety involves choosing the right toy, checking it regularly for damage, and storing it safely. One of the greatest dangers in toy storage is the toy chest with a free-falling lid. Children are injured when the lid falls on their head, neck, or arms. Upright lids in trunks and footlockers pose this kind of hazard.

Open chests or bins, chests with lightweight removable lids, or chests with sliding doors or panels do not present the hazard of a falling lid. Low, open shelves where toys can be reached easily and put away are a safer alternative and are often preferred by children. Small items such as building blocks or puzzle pieces can be stored in plastic tubs or boxes.

How #PretendPlay Develops

PretendPlay1

adapted from Learning Language and Loving It, Weitzman and Greenberg, 2002)

In typical development, pretend play progresses through predictable stages. Children with developmental delays may progress through these stages at a slower rate.

Self-pretend (12-18 months) During this stage, children perform one pretend action at a time on themselves, such as pretending to eat, drink, or sleep. Children tend to use toys that look quite realistic (e.g. a plastic toy spoon) or real-life objects (e.g. a real spoon).
Simple pretend (18-24 months) Children at this stage perform simple pretend actions on toys or people. Children continue to use realistic-looking toys at this stage. Examples of simple pretend play include feeding a doll with a toy fork or making a toy airplane “fly”. Children also imitate familiar adult actions at this stage, such as pretending to talk on a toy telephone.
Series of familiar actions (24-30 months) Just as children this age are learning to combine words together to make little sentences, they are also learning to combine pretend actions together. At this stage, children can act out a series of pretend actions related to a familiar routine, such as the steps involved in eating or going to bed. For example, the child may get out a toy bowl and spoon, pretend to pour cereal into the bowl, add some milk, and serve it to a doll. Children can use less realistic objects at this stage, as long as they are similar in shape to the real object. For example, a toy ball could be used as an apple to feed a doll.
Series of less familiar actions (30-36 months) Less familiar themes enter children’s play at this stage. They may pretend about going to the doctor or being a waiter at a restaurant. Children can pretend without an object (they can pretend their hand is a cup and drink out of it). Children can also substitute objects that do not resemble the “real thing”. For example, a child can pretend a block is a garbage truck on its way to the dump.
Role play with other children (3-5 years) Children pretend about imaginary themes now (things which do not really exist or that the child hasn’t experienced yet in real life), such as pirates, castles, and superheroes. Children start to pretend with other children at this stage, each taking on different roles during the play. Realistic objects and toys are not needed as children can now pretend using gestures, mime, or unrealistic objects. Language often drives the play at this stage. Children explain their roles and use language to act out their role. For example, a child pretending to be a doctor might say to another child “I’m the doctor, you be the patient, ok? Where does it hurt?”