Maelle is 9 months old (!!!) and she loves pulling toys out of baskets and bins. I got inspired recently after seeing a picture on #rieparenting on Instagram. It’s super simple and helps with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. All you need is a laundry basket, some string or twine, and baby’s toys.
RIE stands for ‘Resources for Infant Educarers,’ and is a parenting philosophy that embraces a more hands-off approaching while valuing connection between the infant and caregiver. Parents play more of an ‘observational’ role, while allowing infants/toddlers to initiate their own play.
Respect is a large part of how caregivers connect with the infants, something I don’t think we as adults/caregivers/parents usually think about when we deal with young children. For example, how easy is it to say something like “Don’t be silly,” to a child who is afraid of the dark, or “you’ll understand when you’re older,” to a child who is frustrated with their inability to do something. Instead of devaluing their feelings with a quick response, it’s better to validate their feelings. Something as simple as, “I understand you’re frustrated because you can’t tie your shoes. I get frustrated when I can’t do things the first or second time, too,” expresses respect for the emotions they’re experiencing and builds rapport between child and caregiver.
Back to the toy. It was super simple!
We didn’t have any laundry baskets to spare, but I grabbed this smaller basket from the basement, gave it a quick wash and got to work with some multi-colored string.
Maelle has used it a few times so far, and right now simply starts playing with the first toy she pulls out. She often goes for her frog rattle first.
In retrospect, I understand why a laundry basket is preferred; she often bumps her head into the top of the basket while reaching in, so a taller, wider basket would work better. Otherwise, it’s a quick DIY that I enjoyed making for my girl! Anyone else done any fun DIY projects for baby?