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A Year of Play: August

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Shared from Zero to Three (zerotothree.org)

The theme for August is Bubbles. Try these fun activities to help your child learn more about bubbles, sounds, and cleaning:

Talk Together

  • For your baby: As you and your baby play with bubbles, focus on repeating the words “bubble” and “pop.” Point at the bubbles floating away: “Look at the bubbles go!” Cue your baby to “Pop the bubbles.” See if your baby tries to imitate you. Listen for “buh” or “pa” sounds.
  • For your toddler: Talk to your toddler about the “ingredients” for making bubbles. First you open the soap suds and dip the bubble wand inside. Then you gently blow and then the bubbles fly away. You can do all sorts of things with bubbles: catch them, pop them with your finger, clap them between your hands, pile them up on your palm. You’ll be amazed at all the different words you can use to talk about bubbles!

Read Together

  • Read books that include some bubbles in the story. For babies, try: Clifford Counts Bubbles by Norman Bridwell, Squeaky Clean by Simon Puttock, and Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom. For older toddlers, good choices include Bubble Bubble by Mercer Mayer, Bubbles Bubbles by Kathi Appelt, and The Scrubbly-Bubbly Car Wash by Irene O’Garden.

Play Together

  • For your baby: Sit outside with your baby and start blowing bubbles. What does your baby do? Does he reach out to touch them? Follow them with his eyes? Catch a bubble on the bubble wand. Ask him if he wants to pop it and then let him “grab” it with his fingers. Let your baby play with oodles of bubbles. Seat him in his high chair. Meanwhile, squirt some dish detergent in the bowl and then run water into the bowl, making lots of bubbles. Scoop a handful of bubbles out and put them on your baby’s high chair tray. Watch him touch and explore these funny bubbles. Just be careful he doesn’t eat them!
  • For your toddler: Play “Pop the Bubble” outside. Tell your child that her job will be to try and “catch” as many bubbles as she can and pop them. Start blowing bubbles and watch her dash to catch them. As you play, you can sing (to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel): Round and round the grassy yard my baby chases bubbles, Pop goes the bubbles! Make bubble art. Mix about a cup of bubble solution with about 1–2 tablespoons of washable tempera paint. Hang a piece of paper outside (use binder clips to hang on a fence) and have your child blow bubbles at the paper. An alternative is for a grown-up to put a plastic straw into the bubble-paint solution and blow, forming lots of bubbles (careful, don’t swallow). Children can then press the paper into the bubbles that are overflowing out of the bowl.