But one thing I noticed was that "all my reading" to her when she was just a newborn baby was not in vain! Even before her first birthday she would already point out to many objects she had learned from her books when asked where it was and eventually started telling me what sounds each animals made, and name of things I had consistently been reading to her during all of her first year of her life. It's amazing the potentials of a little one's mind, and even more fascinating is to see the unfolding of learning, growing and maturing before your eyes!
My little V has always been an eager learner, in fact, I would say she's just eager for life! From the moment she came out of my womb, this girl would not close her eyes. And OH did they stay open! She was just avid about life! As a newborn, she would nurse and be up looking at everything for literally two hours (mind you, mama HAD to be walking the entire time, or else, "looking" turned into something else completely :-o), she would then sleep for an hour and do it all over again! At 3 months she could pull herself up holding our fingers, and could walk holding our fingers across our bed-with stable legs and feet-in a "freaking me out" manner (LOL...sorry, inside joke here!). Started crawling at 6 months, walking at 10 and has just been "on the go" ever since.
Pasta and large Lima beans were the favorite choices for a more "controlled" mess, and later I implemented the "rug" idea from Montessori practice, but instead of a rug, I used a towel. A rug was just not big enough for a spirited child like mine!
But her absolute favorite thing to do was make it "rain", by throwing the pasta into the plastic container (I recycled a plastic salad container for this).
The great thing about intentional play, or playing with a purpose, is that you can basically turn anything and everything into an enriching learning experience for your child...after all, we're dealing with little ones that no nothing but their inborn instincts at this point! We can't go wrong with it ;)
Some fun activities we also enjoyed during these early stages were: