14 activities at 14 months

After working so hard on the materials for Months 12 and 13, I noticed that for close to one week, nothing on the shelf was touched. It was time for material rotation. I have included quick Instagram videos of the materials in use this month. Let me know if it works… they are each less than 15 seconds long.

I almost completely overhauled the materials on the shelf for this month and also cleared out the two lower shelves of our book case to make space for more work.
I almost completely overhauled the materials on the shelf for this month and cleared out the two lower shelves of our book-case to make space for more work.

Our shelf at 14 Months

Can you spot any differences from the top picture?
Can you spot any differences from the top picture?

 

From Left to right and top to bottom

1. Coasters to stack and unstack: He has loved this coasters since he could pull up. He would bang them on the table and then throw them down to make them spin. I saw them as I was cleaning up my office and thought he might enjoy stacking them. He did not touch them for the first few days. I put them in a basket and he started choosing to work with them. I’m not sure if this was just a coincidence but I found it interesting.

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2. Nesting dolls

My set had 5 dolls but I took out the two smallest ones and only have 3 on the shelf.

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He still sometimes needs some help getting these open but he chooses them several times a day and is getting better at it. I love the built-in control of error.

Control of error.

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You can see it in the second video. If he does not nest them correctly, it doesn’t close.

3. Slot and chips from 12 months post

The wall can be turned so that the slot is vertical instead of horizontal. The slot also has some foam like material that makes it necessary for the chip to be pushed through. It doesn't just slide through. He struggled with this one but has recently figured it. I found him standing at the shelf and smiling at him self as he pushed each one through.
The wall can be turned so that the slot is vertical instead of horizontal. The slot also has some foam like material that makes it necessary for the chip to be pushed through.

This material has not been touched since I made the changes to the shelf. I wonder if it’s because it’s up there but I don’t think so because he selects the other two activities on that level. I’ll give it a couple more days and then switch it out.

4. Open and close with a few new additions

I took out a magnetic cufflink box because it frequently got stuck to the box which is metallic and caused some frustration. The compact has been a favorite
I took out a magnetic cufflinks box because it often got stuck to the box which is metallic and caused some frustration. The compact has been a favorite.

This continues to be a favorite. I added an old compact powder container and it has been a hit. I really love watching him use it. His hands, his face in the mirror, his exploration and focus. It is beautiful to watch. This definitely continues to hit his sweet spot.

5. Rings to stack on a dowel

Original set up
Original set up

I originally set up this activity with small hair bands to allow him use his hands differently. He had to stretch the bands to get them on. Well he did it a few times and went into my office one day and brought out the basket of wooden rings and decided he liked those better.

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This has been the most popular activity so far. He repeats it up to 10 times each time he pulls it off the shelf. They know what they need and I am happy the environment lets him make the changes he needs.

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I like his addition of the rubber band at the end.
6. One piece square puzzle
Puzzle in use
Puzzle in use

This has also been popular but it does not hold his attention for more than a minute. He likes to walk around with it and I find it in random places around the house.

7. Small wooden car

As mentioned in the 13 month activities post, I liked having an activity that provided some gross motor movement and allowed him to get away from work when he needed to so I added this car this month. He has moved it around on the shelf but has not taken it off the shelf.

8. Farm Animals with matching cards

I love his different attempts to put away the cards and animals. Another example of how I need to think about his sense of order and abilities more when setting up materials.
I love his different attempts to put away the cards and animals. Another example of how I need to think about his sense of order and abilities more when setting up materials.

He really enjoyed the farm animals from the previous months, so I decided to extend it by adding pictures to match. When I first put out this activity, I had a small work mat and it seemed to distract him whenever I would try to show him the activity so I just left it on the shelf. He did not touch it for over a week and then one day he took out the tray without the mat and by himself matched all the animals to the pictures. I was quite amazed and he looked quite pleased with himself. Recently he has been matching the animals to the wrong picture. I am still trying to figure out if this is intentional.

9. Beads to thread on a lace

Beads and lace in an interesting box with another opportunity to open and close
Beads and lace in an interesting box with another opportunity to open and close

I think I need beads with small holes. He is able to thread the beads but has not yet completely figured out the switching hands or pulling of the rope so that the bead can drop. He usually threads one bead and then decided this is more fun.

His favorite way to use this material
His favorite way to use this material

10. Ball drawer

I had this on his shelf when he was 10 months old. he enjoyed pulling out the drawer even though it was a bit of a challenge. I thought he might enjoy it now that he would understand the entire process better . he does

Use at 10 months

Was that a victory dance? I got the ball out. Guess what he did with the balls?

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Use at 14 months

I made more space on another shelf and added some practical life materials that he was already using to make them more available.
Practical life activities. I eventually added other materials on the top shelf
Practical life activities. I eventually added other materials on the top shelf

11. Some rags to wipe up (spills and accidents)

Watering the plant and wiping up a spill afterwards.
Watering the plant and wiping up a spill afterwards.

I am so glad I set this up. He is quite independent with this. When he pees before making it to the toilet (usually when he is focused on something and when mummy is not watching for cues), he goes by himself to get the rag and wipes up.

12. Watering can

Caring for his plants
Caring for his plants

Our plants have been revived since he took over care and actually had new flowers this week. So I put down the watering can so that he can see it and remember he needs to water the plant at least every other day. He usually gets it and brings it to me. We walk to the toilet together and get some water and he goes and does the watering by himself. I have a water source that he can use independently but I haven’t set it up yet because he is a water love and is very interested in pouring so I’m not sure he is ready for independent access to a lot of water.  Maybe next month.

13. A caddy with some cleaning supplies- broom and dustpan, spray bottle and napkin

Wiping down the doors with his spray bottle and napkin
Wiping down the doors with his spray bottle and napkin

On the top shelf I have also added

14: Two bowls with balls and a wire mesh sieve to transfer the balls.

I initially meant for this to be a water activity which is why the towel is there but I quickly realized it would turn into a pouring activity and the first time he chose it, he went to work and I realized he did not need water to enjoy it.
I initially meant for this to be a water activity which is why the towel is there but I quickly realized it would turn into a pouring activity and the first time he chose it, he went to work and I realized he did not need water to enjoy it.

He chooses this very often and sets it up in different places. On his table, in the main living area, in the kitchen when I’m cooking etc.

15. I also have some paper and crayons for scribbling but I have decided to take them away.

Shelf as is. While he does enjoy scribbling, It does not hold his attention for long and he holds the crayon the wrong way. I'm not sure he's ready.
Shelf as it currently is. The black vinyl board by the wall is for scribbling. He puts the paper on it. While he does enjoy scribbling, It does not hold his attention for long and he holds the crayon the wrong way. I’m not sure he’s ready. I’ve done some reading about art and have decided to wait on these specific crayons. Maybe I’ll try block ones but I think I’ll wait a month or two.

So those are our activities on the shelf at 14 months. Of course this is just a small part of our daily activities. He does a LOT of practical life… cooking, cleaning, dressing up etc. We also try to spend time outdoors… in the park or just on the balcony. A lot of time is also spent with toilet awareness. While he does use these materials a lot, on some days he doesn’t touch them.

Ah! I almost forgot. After setting up the shelf, I noticed a lot of red and so I thought I would further highlight it by setting up a red area. While this are has really engaged him, he like using everything in an open-ended way, I am not sure he has made the color connection.

Red shelf
Red shelf

I also added a picture to his trike park (:D)

Picture of bicycles
Picture of bicycles

He loves this and points to the bicycles before getting on his trike.

I also made some changes to his bathroom to support our toilet learning. You can see our old set up here

 

Our bathrooms suck. I cant do anything about the cement stains so I have learned to live with them for now.
Our bathrooms suck. I can’t do anything about the cement stains so I have learned to live with them for now.

Anyways, I brought back the portable toilet. It is easier for him to use independently. He did not resist at all. I was pleasantly surprised. The red bin is for his wet pants. I moved the hand washing station closer to this side and switched the liquid soap to a bar soap. I wanted the flow to make sense. So he uses the portable toilet, empties it in the toilet and return it, washes his hands, walks over to the other side, picks a dry pant and sits down to put it on. It works very well so far.

During a recent visit, my mum showed him how to carry over his chair, climb  it and flush the toilet. It's quite cute
During a recent visit, my mum showed him how to carry over his chair, climb it and flush the toilet. It’s quite cute

That was a long post! I hope you found some inspiration. I would love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions.

Live a Good Life!

 

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3 thoughts on “14 activities at 14 months

  1. The wooden nesting dolls were also a favourite of Lotus’s for a long time. We have two sets so I tried alternating them to give her a little variety. one set has 4 dolls and one set has 9 dolls but I only gave her the 4 of them as the really big ones were way too difficult for her to open and the smallest ones were a choking hazard. I will add the bigger and smaller ones in as she becomes more able and trustworthy to not put small objects in her mouth.

    The transferring scoop and balls are also a favourite activity of Lotus and her friends when they come to visit. We also use the scoop to scoop out nuts or legumes that have been soaking in water e.g. cashews (for cashew dip) and chickpeas (for hummus) as well as small fruits that we wash in a bowl of water e.g. grapes, strawberries, blueberries.

    It makes me very happy to see Solu watering the plants!

  2. This is such a lovely post. So helpful, I remember Joshua at that age and I don’t think we were nearly as far along with some of the things like shelves and toileting. Solu is very blessed that you are so responsive to his needs.

  3. What a clever boy. I thought my 18 month old was too young to match animals to pictures yet. I might give it a try. I’m starting toilet training with my boy at the moment. I love the way your bathroom is set up. I look forward to following your blog.

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