Play You Long Time

The concept of babies getting bored is something that both myself and most RIE® practitioners don't really believe in. It's usually not boredom that you see when babies are seemingly "bored." Many people think it must be boredom if your baby becomes happy again with a new toy or new setting, but is that really boredom? Or is it that we just provided a distraction from whatever it was that they were struggling with in the first place and, therefore, the adult thinks its boredom? Either way, play objects, when chosen thoughtfully, don't leave room for this supposed boredom baby phenomenon. The "right" play objects, at least in my opinion, based on RIE® philosophy, allow the baby to be engaged and busy rather than the other way around. Not only that, but toys and objects that are chosen intentionally (rather than "oh, wow, this person had this, I should get it and ill just put it in my baby's hands and see how long it entertains them" toy),  really last well into toddlerhood. The way you know a toy has longevity is by asking yourself "what are the possibilities that this object has?" if its just an "on" and "off" button, it probably doesn't have as many possibilities (although, put it in the hands of a baby without even turning it on and you never know, they surprise us ALL the time), but you get the gist. Usually, the simpler the object, the more a child can do with it. What can start out as a silicone condiment cup can become a teether in infancy, a baby doll hat in toddlerhood, and a pretend cup during imaginative play for a preschooler. The same objects can last a baby a lifetime when chosen this way.  

I've listed below some examples and what I've seen them become in my career working in early childhood centers. However, don't teach your child what to do, see where these toys take them, whatever your child chooses to do with them is perfectly purposeful!

Rubber Blocks (but these specifically because they're just SO good): chew toys in infancy that don't harbor mold because they have shapes cut out of them, sorting objects for a toddler to line up and put into categories by shape, building blocks for a preschooler. 

 

 

 

Silicone Pot Holders: something to chew on and textured touch in infancy, a road way piece for a toy car for a toddler, and a "sitting spot" for a preschooler.

Pinch cups (I've posted these before but they're so good!): squishy chew toy in infancy, sorting vessel for toddler and a pretend cup for a preschooler.

Teether Ball: chew toy in infancy (put a bandanna through it so it doesn't roll away and frustrate them), object to throw for a toddler, object to throw inside of a bucket or play catch with for a preschooler.

Other good silicone finds!

If I had these toys as a baby, I'd probably still be playing with them today :)