Sunday, December 13, 2009

Activities for the non-claustrophobic

When the weather is as cold as it gets in Beijing (and the air as polluted), I still try to bring Rosabelle on her walks though there aren't as many playmates around. I believe the outdoors is a nice change of scenery for her, not to mention it's good for her eyes as she does not keep looking at near-sighted objects, and provides her with more space to practise her walking.

However, on days when it's really too windy, and much too cold, we have no choice but to stay indoors. That's when I will bring out my list of 'Things we have not tried' for Rosabelle to play with (or a new toy, which I've gotten quite a few from Taobao these days, given that's it's cheaper - will be 'featuring' them on the blog as she starts playing with them). On the item the other day was to let Rosabelle play with a set of Crayola crayons to let her try scribbling (found out too late it's waaaay cheaper on Taobao than in the stores...). I stuck white paper to her high chair table and gave her the red and green colours (I've read that we just need to start them on one, or two colours at most as they get distracted easily).

See the scribbles on the paper in the picture below? I hope to say I have a genius daughter at hand who managed to weld the crayon properly and start her Picasso piece, but nope, those were my scribblings as I attempted to show her how to use her new toys properly. We only spent like 10 minutes on this, and she spent 9.5 minutes scrapping at the crayons with her nails, and showing me the goo that had stuck to her nails...haha! Oh well, free rein of play, so however she likes it, I guess. I'll try it again later, and hopefully she will start realising that the crayons work like her favourite pen and can be used for drawing...
Other activities I've tried lately come courtesy of Vanessa, who suggested I can tear magazine paper into confetti and let Rosabelle transfer them amongst boxes. The Ayi tore quite a bit of paper for me, and I left them in a tissue box - Rosabelle did not really transfer them, more like wading her whole hand through them and pulling them out and onto the playmat. She also took a few out and started dancing and flapping her arms like how a bird flies (she does alot of that action these days, so long as she is holding something 'flappable', like socks, or a bag, in her hands). I'm trying to teach her how to pack up after herself ('Neat freak!', I hear you say...), so that it won't come as a chore to her when she's older, and she does at times (depending on her mood...) help me put bottles/jigsaw pieces/books etc back to where they belong, though you can imagine it's in a random, throwing manner, and not done properly, heh!

Another activity from Vanessa was using a torchlight in a dark room to shine on walls and objects, and Rosabelle loves it! I teach her 'up, down', 'left, right', 'fast, slow' and name objects in the room - she was quite frustrated at not being able to hold or catch the light, but will quickly indicate 'no more' with her hands (coupled with a very cute 'huh?' sound) if I switch the torchlight off. It's good to keep her entertained for a few more nights, at least!

Of course, we have also set up playdates for bad weather days. It works best as the kids live in the same building as we do, so we don't even need to step outside our building. On Friday, when the winds were howling 'TYPHOON!' (well, almost...), and the nanny needed to use Walch when mopping the floor (the house will reek strongly of disinfectant), I set up an impromptu date with the Mummy of another kid on the third floor. Lala is two weeks younger than Rosabelle, but is taller and heavier -they were leaving for her Mum's hometown that afternoon as the latter is totally at her wit's end since Lala refuses to eat proper food, preferring to only nurse all the time. The girl just pretty much spits out all solid foods, refusing to chew, and so Lala's mum will probably get more help back home with her own parents.

Probably sensing her friend is leaving, Rosabelle is seen here planting kisses on Lala (the latter fell over shortly after I caught this picture as she lost her balance, haha!). Rosabelle likes to kiss people alot these days, indicating with a smacking/puckering of lips that she wants you to bend down so she can plant kisses on you. She has caused a few kids (both younger and older) to cry with her overwhelming smooches, haha!
They both played on Lala's playmat for awhile, looking at each other play and playing alongside, not with (not at this age, I read) each other.
It wasn't long before they each went to do their own thing, and Rosabelle also walked around and explored their home.
I even caught photos of our Little Santarina, haha!
That's our young hostess below, who can actually walk on her own quite well now. Their home has a water dispenser placed on the floor, and Lala's mum narrated the incident where she purposely put Lala's hand under the hot water tap and dripped a single drop of hot water onto it to teach her daughter never to touch the hot water faucet. My goodness! Even though she ran her daughter's hand under cold, running water for a few minutes after, I don't think I will try something so extreme to teach Rosabelle her OB markers...
What I'm teaching Rosabelle these days, something I tried for the first time last night, is since I noticed she responds pretty well to our 'ssssh, ssssh' sounds to get her to pee into the diaper before we change her, I placed her on the toilet bowl after removing all her clothes before her bath. I then 'ssssh, ssssh'-ed for her and she peed for the first time into the toilet bowl, haha! So cute...looks like I must start sourcing for a proper potty for our girl soon eh!

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