Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lots of Activity at the Activity Table

My new favorite toy for my 8 month old baby is his activity table! I wanted one to encourage standing and found it to help with so much more. Keep in mind that these little tables can be a bit costly when you purchase new...anywhere from $40-$75 dollars depending on the brand, so I headed to our local child consignment shop where I found a very gently used LeapFrog brand table for only $10! This girl LOVES a bargain so that price most definitely helped this table earn a "favorite" spot in my book.
First of all, Liam likes getting his chunky little legs up straight and tall to stand and play with the lights and buttons on the table! He's only 8 months old so he needs close physical supervision as he will tumble right over (or backwards) when he gets distracted or tired. He still leans into the table and it helps to have it pushed up against the couch so it doesn't get away from him. Within the next few weeks, his standing practice will lead to "cruising" practice as he learns to take some steps around the table while holding on.
It seems that most brands have removable legs on the activity tables so for little ones who aren't quite standing, you can use the table top on the floor. In this case, I actually boosted it up just a bit on a pillow so that he could reach the buttons better. I've found this to be a great way to practice dynamic sitting balance as he tries to reach across for all of the lights and sounds but still has to try to maintain his sitting. He's getting much better at this!
Instead of removing ALL of the table legs, I can also remove just 2 to make more of an inclined position. This is another option for sitting to encourage higher level reaching and eye-hand coordination. He can also be placed on his tummy which is ALWAYS an OT's favorite position for babies! In this picture, he is on his tummy over the pillow, mainly for comfort so he'll play here a little longer. He had started on his tummy without the pillow before I added some cushion. Ironically, once he was on the pillow, he was quickly enticed by the TAG on the pillow and of course had to check it out! Who needs all of those lights and sounds when you can chew on a tag, right?!
This was well worth my $10 investment! Liam is strengthening his motor skills and is quite entertained as well. Did I mention that words and songs can be played in English OR Spanish? Put it all together and it makes for a very happy baby (and mommy)!
Jen Dermody, OTR/L

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