Toddler toy recommendations for play with light? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 01-17-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there. Newbie here.

 

We are a Tv-free family and support natural material toys for our son. [We do allow a few plastic BPS-free toys in the bath, though.] We've noticed he loves to play with light and would like to encourage this with some toys that inspire that type of play. There are lots of hanging playsilks where strong morning light comes through. We also have a few small mirrors hanging that catch light well. 

 

Maybe a prism? We don't have one of those. I don't even know where we'd get one, actually. 

 

&

 

I'm asking this because he recently started wanting our cell phones. That is why I think more glowing/light play toys would help. We don't believe in having gadgets for children, especially this young. Since I work from home it isn't possible to avoid using my phone and computer while he is around, although I do minimize use during his wake times. He is currently napping. So, I guess my second question is how do you deal with these types of situations? I don't my the phone or computer to become some highly sought after forbidden prize, you know?

 

Thanks in advance.

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#2 of 15 Old 01-17-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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What about a kaleidoscope?


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#3 of 15 Old 01-17-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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You could probably find instructions to make your own kaleidoscope...?

 

Here are a few ideas off the top of my head:

Playing with water filled bottles in the sun, making shadows and colours with them on the walls

Or if you want to get fancy, water-filled hanging prisms, something like these: http://www.waterprisms.com/

make your own suncatchers with beads, crystals, etc

binoculars when older (I don't think you mentioned his age. To start with - two toilet paper rolls joined in the middle and decorated, easy to look through and train in binocular use, for observing nature far away.

Giant magnifying glass for closer inspection of bugs, flowers, rocks, etc. Shine a torch inside a geode and look at all the tiny crystals with a magnifying glass.

Crystals - beautiful in sunlight or by candle light

In a darkened room, cover a torch with celophane or silk and play spotlight.

Bubbles - especially big ones

For later... make light boxes - e.g. http://graham-and-parker.blogspot.com/2011/12/light-box-water-beads-waldorf-playstand.html (a simple cardboard box with a torch inside with a perspex lid could work). I like the idea of placing a container with water on top and then playing. Even just a container of water with toys in it outside in the sunlight.

Make see through decorations for the windows - press leaves in autumn, do snowflakes in winter, pressed flowers in spring and summer, iron with two sheets of wax paper and put a cardboard boarder around. Make cards with coloured wax (kite) paper windows and put a candle behind it for a lovely glow.

 

Geez, I'm on fire today! I must be procrastinating, that's when I get my best ideas.

 

I'm sure there are many more options out there, it's amazing how many when you think about it!

 

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#4 of 15 Old 01-17-2012, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, you're right! I forgot to mention he's just over 1 year old.

 

He's not quite ready for things like kaleidoscopes and binoculars. [Doesn't understand how to look through them.] But those are great ideas to save for when he is older. Thank you!

 

Those water prisms look amazing!!!! I'd love to figure out a way to do something like that!

 

Hmn.. maybe just a maglite would be neat for him. I think I'd feel comfortable with him playing with one. 

 

Thanks for all of the ideas! I'm pretty knowledgeable from my experience as a preschool teacher, but this baby / toddler stuff is so new to me! 

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#5 of 15 Old 01-17-2012, 11:59 PM
 
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We've got some wooden blocks which are hollow with perspex inserts of different colours, similar to these

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2430344 which the kids love

 

 

 

 

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#6 of 15 Old 01-18-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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maybe a small flashlight?  you can start to light a candle for meal times, his bath time, when you tell him a story. 

 

also, if you give him a slim, flat piece of wood to hold up to his ear, he can use it as 'his phone'. 


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#7 of 15 Old 01-18-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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i bought a shadowbox stage & puppet set from a thrift store once, but it would totally be easy to make.  i think i've seen quite a few diy tutorials out there for that, super fun.


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#8 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are all great ideas. Thanks!

 

Gunter - I don't know that he understands that the phone is for talking. [Especially since we mostly use them for texting, etc.] But the light is what he's after. The press a button and the light happens process.

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#9 of 15 Old 01-24-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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I really wish that we were more successful in keeping the phones and other electronic gadgets from my son.  Honestly, we did pretty well until he was about 14 months, when his walking and climbing really took off, and all sorts of things like calculators and metronomes became more accessible.  Some things that he will accept instead are other reflective surfaces, such as metal.  We have a few odds and ends from the housewares section of the thrift store that he will use as a phone.  The number one fix-it for an upset when we have to take away the cell phone is to go outside.  Day or night, rain or shine, a few minutes in the backyard or a walk to the park seems to help him get his equilibrium back.

 

I will have to look into some of those light play ideas for inside though! DS loves looking through all sorts of tubes, so the time might be ripe for a kaleidoscope.


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#10 of 15 Old 01-24-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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I have a lot of playing with light posts on my blog, feel free to browse and ask questions  ;)

http://graham-and-parker.blogspot.com/


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#11 of 15 Old 01-24-2012, 09:41 PM
 
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Oh awesome, lyrebird  I see you have seen my blog, too cool!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyrebird View Post

You could probably find instructions to make your own kaleidoscope...?

 

Here are a few ideas off the top of my head:

Playing with water filled bottles in the sun, making shadows and colours with them on the walls

Or if you want to get fancy, water-filled hanging prisms, something like these: http://www.waterprisms.com/

make your own suncatchers with beads, crystals, etc

binoculars when older (I don't think you mentioned his age. To start with - two toilet paper rolls joined in the middle and decorated, easy to look through and train in binocular use, for observing nature far away.

Giant magnifying glass for closer inspection of bugs, flowers, rocks, etc. Shine a torch inside a geode and look at all the tiny crystals with a magnifying glass.

Crystals - beautiful in sunlight or by candle light

In a darkened room, cover a torch with celophane or silk and play spotlight.

Bubbles - especially big ones

For later... make light boxes - e.g. http://graham-and-parker.blogspot.com/2011/12/light-box-water-beads-waldorf-playstand.html (a simple cardboard box with a torch inside with a perspex lid could work). I like the idea of placing a container with water on top and then playing. Even just a container of water with toys in it outside in the sunlight.

Make see through decorations for the windows - press leaves in autumn, do snowflakes in winter, pressed flowers in spring and summer, iron with two sheets of wax paper and put a cardboard boarder around. Make cards with coloured wax (kite) paper windows and put a candle behind it for a lovely glow.

 

Geez, I'm on fire today! I must be procrastinating, that's when I get my best ideas.

 

I'm sure there are many more options out there, it's amazing how many when you think about it!

 



 


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#12 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 12:15 AM
 
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I loved your set up GPTwins08! This question inspired me to do a little thinking and found your blog easily, I'm going to try it one day when the sun comes out (don't hold your breath, it's making rare appearances here!). I've never really thought of light in particular.

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#13 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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Thanks lyrebird!!

under the tag fun with light, I think a lot of my light posts should come up. We have discovered some pretty neat toys that reflect light!!
http://graham-and-parker.blogspot.com/search/label/fun%20with%20light

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#14 of 15 Old 01-26-2012, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, GPTwins08! 

 

Also, I just came to check the thread and add.. I forgot the most obvious simple "toy flashlight" ever.. A TAP LIGHT!! I now want to install a solid grid of maybe 25 or so on the wall. :D

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#15 of 15 Old 01-28-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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you are quite welcome!!

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