I Spy

This week, my son handed me his I Spy book and said, “ay py”. An argument could easily be made that the I Spy little books are among his favorite books right now. Appropriately, our Baby Book Club read the I Spy little books this month. We decided that any of the little books fit our theme, so we each read whichever little book we could get our hands on.

The little books are usually in board book form and are simpler than the traditional I Spy books. My son loves finding the pictures on both pages and identifying objects that he knows. Recently, he loves to help me “read” the book. He says, “py” for “spy” whenever the word appears (every page).

To reinforce the I Spy theme, we made I Spy jars at our book club playgroup meeting. To make the jars, we each brought a used clear plastic jar (ex: a peanut butter jar), and filled it with trinkets purchased from the Dollar Tree. I found most of the trinkets in the party and toy aisles of the Dollar Tree, but also found a few in the office supply aisle. We included a variety of items (much like in the I Spy books), including, toy dinosaurs, toy frogs, bouncy balls, puzzle pieces, crayons, erasers in the shape of butterflies, plastic shiny heart pendants, and a plastic toy rocking horse. There were many other items that could have easily been used. We then filled the jars with a scoop of dried rice leaving plenty of room for the items to move around when the jars are rolled or turned. For those who may try to replicate this project at home, I recommend taping the top of the jar shut if you have a little one who will try to open the jar since there are small items (choking hazards) in the jar. There are lots of sources of I Spy jar ideas on the web (and Pinterest), but this is one source for idea inspiration: http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/02/homemade-i-spy-bottles-tutorial.html.

This was the second week in a row that we used rice, so of course, we pulled out the big tub of rice for the little ones to enjoy! The rice play was such a success last month, we had to use it again! I would argue that it was equally enjoyed this month.

Also enjoyed: the I Spy snack mix. This snack was so easy, that I highly recommend it for playgroups. Each mom bought a (different) box of crackers that we dumped into a big bowl, mixed together, and served up to the hungry kiddos. Our original list of snacks included:

Earth’s Best Sesame Street Crunchin’ Chedder Crackers
Earth’s Best Smiley Snacks
Earth’s Best Letter of the Day Cookies
Annie’s Whole Wheat Bunnies
Cheerios
Chedder Goldfish made with Whole Grain
Healthy Times Teddy Bear Puffs
Happy Baby Puffs

We ended up making a few substitutes based on availability of these snacks, but this list should provide a general idea of what we included. We had enough left over that most people took some snack mix home. I had fun with my son today, when it was a bit quieter, playing I Spy with all of the shapes in the mix. For example, I would say, I spy a fish, and he would find the fish to eat. He’s also still interested in his I Spy jar today so as far as I’m concerned it was a win, win. Photos of the book club meeting are below.

I love the simplicity of these activities, not only because they are easy for us as moms, but also because we never know exactly what will hold the babies/toddlers, attention so spending lots of time on projects or snacks might be counter-productive. The babies spend plenty of time just running around and interacting with one another while the moms supervise and socialize and that is perfectly fine!

The first two Baby Book Club meetings were a success and I am particularly excited about next month’s book, Apples Here! Apple season is nearly upon us and it’s one of my favorite times of year. Check back again soon to see what fun we’ll have with apples!

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