4 Tips for When Your Baby HATES Tummy Time

4 tips for when your baby hates tummy time


All three of my babies have HATED tummy time for the first few months of their lives.  They scream almost the instant I place them on the blanket for the ever-important time on their bellies.  We all know how important tummy time is for the development of the neck muscles, but it is nearly unbearable to watch your child scream and cry for the recommended 30 minutes of tummy time each day (even if you only do it 5 minutes at a time).

Over the years, I’ve gotten creative when it comes to tummy time.  Here are four tips for when your baby hates tummy time.  Hopefully these suggestions will make the time much more enjoyable for your baby (and for you):


1.  Tummy-to-Tummy Time


Put a pillow underneath your neck and lay flat on your back on the ground.  Put your baby on top of your tummy, making sure that you have both hands free to catch her in case she wobbles to either side.  Talk to her, sing to her, make funny faces and noises.  At first, she might not be able to hold her head up high enough to see your face, but it will be comforting to her just being near you.



2.  Knee Rock-a-Bye



Sit in a chair and place your baby on your lap, laying over your knees.  Be sure that her head is supported and not dangling over the edge of your knees.  Slowly and ever-so-gently rock your knees from side-to-side.  Sing a song or talk to your baby.



3.  Shoulder-Holder


This typically comes natural when holding a baby, but holding your baby on your shoulder allows the baby to practice holding his/her head up.  Just be sure you have your hand free to support his/her head as necessary (especially with younger babies).  She will enjoy seeing the world around her from an upright perspective.  :)





4.  Mirror, Mirror on the Floor:



shatterproof mirror is a wonderful tummy time tool.  Place the mirror 6-12 inches in front of your baby and encourage her to hold her head up and look into the mirror.  Once she catches a glimpse of her reflection, she might even smile at her “new friend”.




Does your baby love tummy time or hate it???


Pom Pom Push

Preschool Busy Bag: Pom Pom Push

Guest Post by Malia of Playdough to Plato


I’m sometimes surprised by what my boys find entertaining – cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, duct tape… This Pom Pom Push definitely fits in that category too. It’s not fancy but kids find it seriously fun to play. And, as a big bonus, it’s a great way to build the fine motor skills they’ll use for writing later.

To prep, I grabbed a pile of pom poms, a pair of scissors, and a small Gladware container. Using the pointy end of my scissors, I poked a hole in the middle of the blue lid and then cut out a circle.

Pom Pom Push.

Note: If you’re making this project for two year olds, you’ll want to cut out a large circle like the one pictured above and give them large pom poms to stuff inside. For three and four year olds, cut out a smaller circle and give them smaller pom poms. Using a tinier size makes the activity more challenging.

I placed the supplies on our table and invited my four year old to join me. I showed him how to push a pom pom through the top. He quickly jumped in and stuffed the rest of the pom poms into the container. That’s it!! Pretty easy, right?! Although this busy bag isn’t complicated, it truly is a favorite in our house. My younger son {age 2.5} will sit, stuff and restuff his pom poms for ten minutes before losing interest. That’s record breaking for a boy his age.


Looking for more fine motor activities for your kids? Try squeeze bottle salt writing and check out my fine motor Pinterest board.



Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mama to three young kids {4, 2.5 and 5 months}. She shares fun learning activities over at Playdough to Plato. Stop by her site and follow along with her newest activities by email.


“I Love You to Pieces” Valentines

I Love You to Pieces Valentines


This simple “I Love You to Pieces” Valentine Craft is the perfect personalized gift for parents, grandparents, and friends!  It is also great for fine motor development because it requires your child to tear small pieces of paper, which is excellent for developing the small muscles in the hands.  :)


Here’s what you’ll need:  construction paper, clear contact paper, scissors, markers, and a glue stick.  



1.  Lay out a small piece of clear contact paper with the backing removed.  Give your child some pieces of construction paper.



2.  Have your child tear the construction paper in the tiniest pieces possible.  This is GREAT fine motor practice and helps to develop those small muscles in the fingers!

IMG_5756 3.  Once your child is finished tearing paper and placing it on the sticky part of the contact paper, cut out another piece of contact paper the same size and sandwich the tiny pieces in between the two sheets of contact paper.



4.  Fold another piece of construction paper in half.  Use a template to trace a heart in the center of the folded paper.



5.  Carefully cut the heart shape out of both layers of your folded piece of construction paper.






6.  Lay your contact paper inside the construction paper with the heart cut out.  Use a glue stick on the inside, fold, and press.



Looking good!



7.  If your child is able, have him/her write “I love you to pieces!” on their creation.  If they aren’t able to write the entire thing, at least encourage your child to write his/her name.




















Check out more fun Valentines Day ideas here and on our Valentines Day Pinterest board!  

Suncatcher Heart Garland

Suncatcher Heart Garland


Guest Post by Meredith of Homegrown Friends


I am delighted to be guest posting on I Can Teach My Child!  My name is Meredith Magee Donnelly.  I am an Early Childhood Educator, mother of three and the creator of the blog, Homegrown Friends, a site dedicated to children’s activities, recipes and literature recommendations.  After creating our original Salt Dough Suncatchers my children are loving brainstorming new ways to use our salt dough and melted pony bead technique.  Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to create our Suncatcher Heart Garland.  Fun to make and absolutely gorgeous hanging in a window!


Suncatcher Heart Garland



ingredients for salt dough (1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup water)

transparent pony beads (we used a mixture of pink, red and purple)

parchment paper

cookie tray

string or twine

2 heart cookie cutter (1 large, 1 small)

glue gun



mathematics (measurement, counting, fractions)

literacy (listening and following directions, exposure to written instructions, discussing the art process)

gross motor development (rolling dough)

fine motor development (placing pony beads inside the hearts, practicing pincher grasp)

scientific exploration (observing changes in beads and salt dough when baked in oven)

creativity and artistic expression (choosing bead colors, enjoying finished garland)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Begin by mixing together the flour, salt and water to make the salt dough.  Roll out dough and make shapes using larger heart cookie cutter.  Use the smaller heart cookie cutter in the center of the cut out shapes.  Remove the dough from the middle.


Stamping the Salt Dough


Using a spatula carefully lift each heart onto a cookie tray covered with parchment paper.  Set up a table with transparent pony beads (we used an assortment of pinks, purple and red) and the tray of salt dough hearts.  To promote fine motor development I encouraged my daughters to pick up the beads using a pincher grasp (thumb and pointer finger) rather than reaching for handfuls of beads.  Strengthening the hands by using the pincher grasp is an important pre-writing skill.


Filling the Dough with Beads


Fill the centers of the hearts until there are no spaces left.


Beads inside the Dough


Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 1.5 hours or until the beads are melted together.  Remember oven temperatures can vary it may take a longer or shorter amount of time.  The salt dough will turn a light to dark brown color.  Let cool completely.


Baked Suncatchers


You can leave the heart as is, paint the salt dough or use glitter.  We decided to cover the salt dough with glue using a paint brush and then generously sprinkle with pink glitter.  Once dry I attached twine to the backs of the hearts using my hot glue gun.  Our new Suncatcher Heart Garland looks beautiful hanging in our dining room window!


Suncatcher Heart Garland


Looking for more salt dough suncatcher inspiration?  You may enjoy our original Handprint Suncatchers and Suncatcher Heart Jewelry!

 Suncatcher Heart Necklaces


MeredithMeredith Magee Donnelly, MS, Ed is an Early Childhood Educator and mother of three.  Meredith received her Masters of Education from Bank Street College of Education.  Prior to becoming a mother Meredith taught Preschool and Kindergarten and now is a stay at home mother to her five year old boy and twin three year old girls.  Meredith created the blog, Homegrown Friends (http://www.homegrownfriends.com), to share her knowledge of child development and play-based education.


Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/meredithmagee   *    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HomegrownFriends   *   Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HGFriends   *   Google + : https://plus.google.com/+MeredithMageeDonnelly

Christmas Pom-Pom Sorting

Christmas Pom-Pom Sorting

This Christmas Pom-Pom Sorting activity is super simple and great for both cognitive and fine motor development.  Classifying and sorting according to a common attribute is an important skill for preschoolers.  We chose to sort according to size, but you could easily sort based on color as well.  The tweezers must be held in the child’s hand similarly to a pencil, so it is great pre-writing practice as well!

Here’s what you’ll need:  tweezers, various sizes and colors of pom-poms (small, medium, and large), a marker, and 3 separate containers.  







1.  Dump your pom-poms into a bowl.




2.  Let your child use the tweezers to pick up each individual pom-pom and place it in the corresponding cup (small, medium, or large).









 Big Brother was surprisingly VERY focused on this activity…he really enjoyed it!








Check out more fun Christmas activities here or on our Christmas Pinterest Board.