Milestones: My Daughter's Early Learning, Part 2

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Milestones: My Daughter's Early Learning, Part 2

For the next few months, I will be repeating my 'Milestones' series from 2013.  I will begin with Part 2 to, once again, give new parents ideas about how to play with your 1 year old as well as the toys that I introduced.  For Part 1 of this series, here is the link:

Shapes and Blocks

Once my daughter was 11 months old and ready to start crawling, I knew, with that, would come the need for more intense exploration.  I knew she would want to explore new types of toys and objects.  So, I decided that it would be best for her to start playing with different shapes, so that she could spend some time learning about what those shapes are; and what they looked like up close.

I began by purchasing the Natural Animal Wooden Blocks set by Hape Toys.  She spent almost her entire 11th month playing with her new blocks and enjoying her older toys as well.  She seemed to really like the triangle shape the most and the brightly colored blocks (neon green and yellow mostly). They now have a new version called Maple Blocks sold at Hape Toys here:

Once she turned 1 year old (12 months), I decided that she needed to explore other shapes.  She was excited to play with some of her birthday gifts which included the Edushape Sensory Balance Toy and the Melissa & Doug Chunky Puzzle of Safari Animals. So, we opened these gifts together and had fun playing with these new toys.

"Yay, my new shape toys - I can't wait!"

My daughter really liked the circular shapes the most. They came in blue, hot pink and yellow. She really loved the feel of these shapes since they were soft and easy to handle. I brought them with us wherever we went.  She was always entertained and happy with this toy.

I also decided to arrange the blocks in sets of three where one block was in a different color. In the picture below is a typical arrangement that I put together for her. I noticed that she would study the blocks when she saw them in this arrangement.

Next on the list was the Melissa & Doug Chunky Puzzle of Safari Animals. She loved the animal shapes and would hold on to her favorite ones the most.  She was not ready to place the animals back in the puzzle, but I figured, that this would come with time.  In the meantime, she could have fun enjoying the safari animal puzzle pieces!

Sorting Shoes

After about 2 weeks with her new toys, I decided that I would need to play with her differently, because just having her sit and play with her toys was not going to be enough to entertain her.

After my daughter's 1st birthday, I noticed that she liked playing with my summer sandals. I decided to let her play with two pairs while I watched. She really enjoyed playing with the sandals, and eventually, as you can see in this video below, she sorts the sandals by type.  I am in the background saying the word "shoe" or "shoes" depending on whether she was holding one shoe in one hand or if she was holding a shoe in each hand. In this way, we made a little game out of matching the sandals together.

If you have a chance, and want to understand this activity, watch the 04:09 video below. My daughter is 12 months and 12 days old in this video. I love this early video because she very happily sorts the sandals and is into her play time.  Also, it gave me a chance to observe her learning process and enjoy the fact that she was having fun with my old sandals!

                                                   Sorting Shoes 9-8-12 .MOV

I hope the video was helpful to those trying to help their babies explore the big world around them, while having fun with their baby (without stressing them out before they have had a chance to become who they are supposed to be in life).

This series will continue over the next few months and I hope that new moms (and dads!) will have fun enjoying the videos, pictures, ideas and activities that I created for my daughter. In some cases, I created activities by accident while playing another type of game with her. By creating these activities, my time spent with my 11 - 18 month old daughter was enjoyable, happy and exciting for her.

I love the fact that, at 18 months old, she was a very happy, smart and pleasant person. I hope these ideas benefit new moms and my buddies. Feel free to contact me any time, if you need to, at

Happy play time everyone!

Joy E.
Posted September 13, 2015
* is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.

**Please do not use my articles, photos or videos without permission from me.

Family Outing: Artesani Pool!

With Daddy at the Artesani spray pool.
With Daddy playing with water spout.

Melissa and her family joined us at the pool!
Sliding in the park with my play date.

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