We has a quick explore with some pasta this afternoon. August can't bear me cooking without him so he's forever on my hip helping out with all his meals. He likes to turn the kettle on and today he seemed to really enjoy the noise as he dropped pasta into the pan.
That was the lightbulb moment - 💡💡💡- it was time to play with some pasta.
Whilst August's pasta cooked - I grabbed the adult pasta and a couple of noisy containers; a metal cup and a glass bottle I'd recycled. The wide rim of the cup made for an easy post and a 'pull/tip to empty' option and the thin neck of the bottle made for a trickier post and a great object to shake and roll to hear the pasta clinking. I modelled putting pasta into the bottle and into the cup then just watched to see what August wanted to do. He put some bits in, tipped some out, shook the bottle around a lot and briefly did some rolling. He always did a quick bite of the pasta to test it first!
How to add language and a Communication Temptation:
The trick with any activity with multiple, hold-able parts (think coloured pens, cars, balls, blocks) is to WITHHOLD some of them. Here I gave august 2 pasta pieces but I kept the rest and made sure August knew I had a handful more. That meant that when he wanted more - he had to do something. It wasn't just all there for him to play with without interacting with me - I was part of the puzzle. He was tempted to communicate. A communication temptation tempts a child to interact with you at their level. So a small baby might just make eye contact and an older child might say 'can i have more pasta?'. Think of what your child is capable of and expect that. I expected August to look over to me and reach in the direction of the pasta in my hand and make eye contact. I modelled the sign for 'more' and said 'more pasta please' as I handed it over.
Small pasta can be a choking hazard so choose appropriately for your baby and, as always, keep a close eye.