The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.
Mia is six months old. Can you believe it? At this age she is starting to become a bit more self aware, especially as it relates to cause and effect and her own power in this regard. This means rattles and shakers are a big hit right now.
One of my favorite things is the expression of happiness on Mia’s face when she realizes that she is the one creating the noise with the rattle, that she is causing it. That means rattles and shakers are some of this mama’s favorite toys right now, too.
Rattles and Shakers
We’ve made shakers for Mia out of items from around the house.
I made a simple shaker out of a small gift box. I filled it with dried beans and glued the lid on. This box is made of cardboard, so I do have to watch very carefully to make sure Mia doesn’t suck on the box and break down the cardboard and accidentally swallow any or choke, but she really seems to enjoy having a shaker of this size and shape.
I have also made shakers from an empty water bottle and from empty plastic spice bottles. I put dried beans and rice inside and secure the lids. Mia alternates between wildly shaking and slowly turning the bottles over to watch the beans move inside.
Note: If you do this, please use common sense and always keep the safety of your baby in mind. Be on the lookout for choking hazards and be sure lids are secure. I recommend always supervising baby during shaker/rattle play with homemade toys. Let’s be extra cautious and extra safe, okay?
For Valentine’s Day, I plan to needle felt a jingle ball for baby Mia. I think she’ll love the feel of this (I’ll let you know how it goes and make a video if you guys would like to see how I do it).
Over the years we have purchased rattles for our babies, too. One of our favorites, and our babies’ as well, is the Haba Kringle Ring. It is brightly colored and wooden and fits easily into baby’s hand.
For Floor Play
Some of our favorite rattles are for floor play. As Mia pushes and rolls them, they make a noise she enjoys and encourage forward motion as she follows them to push them again (and again) to hear the noise.
We have two rainsticks for this, but again, Mia’s favorite is the one that she can see inside of and watch the tiny pieces move around. I like the rainsticks because they are a toy that will grow with her: for now she can roll them around on the floor, later, when she is sitting and standing, she’ll be able to turn them over to make them “rain.”
Remember, too, that you don’t have to purchase or even make a rattle or a shaker to keep your baby happy. I bet you have items around your home right now that would delight a baby with their rattling and shaking. Mia is often entertained by our measuring cups and measuring spoons.
What are your baby’s favorite things to shake, rattle, and roll?