In honor of Kingston's love of heuristic play, I am introducing a new series: Mystery Sensory Bags for Baby. I am focusing on certain rooms/places within the household to collect objects to be put in a brown paper bag for K to explore. For Kingston, the brown bag holds a sense of mystery in itself. He is so enticed by the concept of a bag of stuff. He NEEDS to know what is inside, and he loves to be the one to find out!
The first spot in the house that I decided to pull items from was our junk drawer. Yup, our junk drawer. Everyone has one. It is the household black hole where the most random things find a home. We have crazy items in ours, anything from bolts to playing cards.
I tried to find items that offered different sensory explorations. I settled on these items to put in Kingston's first mystery bag: a bag of scented wax melts, sticky notes, a bag of bottle caps, a lint roller, a flashlight, a takeout menu, business cards, and a magazine.
I cleared the area of all other toys and set the brown bag in the middle of the dining room. Kingston, who was in the kitchen trying to open all of the drawers (I need to install those safety latches ASAP!), came crawling over at lightning speed to see what it was. I was thrilled that he was excited enough to use his new speed crawl!
He spent quite sometime exploring the outside of the bag and contemplating how he was going to get inside. There was a bit of patting, some crinkling, and some pushing.
Finally, there was some tipping!
I asked Kingston questions like, "What's inside? and "What do you see?" But I wanted to let him investigate on his own as much as possible. I named each object as he discovered it. The first item he took out was the magazine. He waved it around a bit. Then, he put it on the floor and flipped through some of the pages. I pointed to the cars in the magazine.
What else is in here Mama?
The next batch of stuff he took out was stuck together. He examined the business cards and menu briefly, and then turned his attention to the sticky notes.
Why didn't I think of letting his play with sticky notes before? It was hilarious. If you want to laugh, give your baby some sticky notes. He kept pulling a note off and then waving his little fingers around with the note stuck to the ends. Then I put one on his forehead, which was just pure entertainment! In his attempt to get it off of his head, he was convinced he had to look at it and pull simultaneously. If it was quite adorable. He thought it was really funny too. He was making little shrieking baby chortles that melted my heart.
Next, Kingston took out the lint roller. I knew this was going to be a hit when I put it in the bag. (On a side note, Dada is completely obsessed with the lint roller. He is crazy about removing every single dog hair from his jackets and clothes before going out. Weirdo.) As K pulled the roller out, it stuck to his fingers. He was so puzzled by it. He furrowed his brow and began passing it from one hand to the other hand experiencing the sticky sensation. He flipped it around and around. Finally, he put it to his lips. He grimaced when it stuck to his mouth.
Kingston took out the scented wax melts and the flashlight next. I didn't get any pictures of him smelling the melts, but I held it up to his nose for him. He thought it was funny, but wasn't much interested in them. The flashlight was a different story though.
I loved watching him explore the concept of light for the first time. He was so interested in the bulb, tapping the plastic with his little finger. He held it up to his eyes and face. Then he put it up to his mouth. He looked like he was about to tell me a ghost story! He had such a look of fierce curiosity as he examined each part.
The last item in the bag was the bag of bottlecaps. These are my MyCokeRewards bottlecaps that I have in bags all over the house from awhile back. He pushed the caps around and shook the bag back and forth. He listened to the caps clack into each other. Then he put the bag on the floor and pushed them around.
This activity was so much fun. It held Kingston's interest for a good half hour, which was wonderful! I can't wait to offer him more bags to explore because this is so up his alley right now. I liked giving him freedom to explore, but also help guide him by pointing out names and characteristics of the objects.
Stay tuned for more mystery sensory bags from different areas of the house!