Milestones: My Daughter's Early Learning, Part 2

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!

Milestones: My Daughter's Early Learning, Part 2

For the next few months, I will be repeating my 'Milestones' series from 2013.  I will begin with Part 2 to, once again, give new parents ideas about how to play with your 1 year old as well as the toys we introduced.  For Part 1 of this series, here is the link:

Shapes and Blocks

Once my daughter was 11 months old and ready to start crawling, I knew, with that, would come the need for more intense exploration.  I knew she would want to explore new types of toys and objects.  So, I decided that it would be best for her to start playing with different shapes, so that she could spend some time learning about what those shapes are; and what they looked like up close.

I began by purchasing the Natural Animal Wooden Blocks set by Hape Toys.  She spent almost her entire 11th month playing with her new blocks and enjoying her older toys as well.  She seemed to really like the triangle shape the most and the brightly colored blocks (neon green and yellow mostly). They now have a new version called Maple Blocks sold at Hape Toys here:

Once she turned 1 year old (12 months), I decided that she needed to explore other shapes.  She was excited to play with some of her birthday gifts which included the Edushape Sensory Balance Toy and the Melissa & Doug Chunky Puzzle of Safari Animals. So, we opened these gifts together and had fun playing with these new toys.

"Yay, my new shape toys - I can't wait!"

My daughter really liked the circular shapes the most. They came in blue, hot pink and yellow. She really loved the feel of these shapes since they were soft and easy to handle. I brought them with us wherever we went.  She was always entertained and happy with this toy.

I also decided to arrange the blocks in sets of three where one block was in a different color. In the picture below is a typical arrangement that I put together for her. I noticed that she would study the blocks when she saw them in this arrangement.

Next on the list was the Melissa & Doug Chunky Puzzle of Safari Animals. She loved the animal shapes and would hold on to her favorite ones the most.  She was not ready to place the animals back in the puzzle, but I figured, that this would come with time.  In the meantime, she could have fun enjoying the safari animal puzzle pieces!

Sorting Shoes

After about 2 weeks with her new toys, I decided that I would need to play with her differently, because just having her sit and play with her toys was not going to be enough to entertain her.

After my daughter's 1st birthday, I noticed that she liked playing with my summer sandals. I decided to let her play with two pairs while I watched. She really enjoyed playing with the sandals, and eventually, as you can see in this video below, she sorts the sandals by type.  I am in the background saying the word "shoe" or "shoes" depending on whether she was holding one shoe in one hand or if she was holding a shoe in each hand. In this way, we made a little game out of matching the sandals together.

If you have a chance, and want to understand this activity, watch the 04:09 video below. My daughter is 12 months and 12 days old in this video. I love this early video because she very happily sorts the sandals and is into her play time.  Also, it gave me a chance to observe her learning process and enjoy the fact that she was having fun with my old sandals!

                                                   Sorting Shoes 9-8-12 .MOV

I hope the video was helpful to those trying to help their babies explore the big world around them, while having fun with their baby (without stressing them out before they have had a chance to become who they are supposed to be in life).

This series will continue over the next few months and I hope that new moms (and dads!) will have fun enjoying the videos, pictures, ideas and activities that I created for my daughter. In some cases, I created activities by accident while playing another type of game with her. By creating these activities, my time spent with my 11 - 18 month old daughter was enjoyable, happy and exciting for her.

I love the fact that, at 18 months old, she was a very happy, smart and pleasant person. I hope these ideas benefit new moms and my buddies. Feel free to contact me any time, if you need to, at

Happy play time everyone!

Joy E.
Posted September 13, 2015
* is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.

**Please do not use my articles, photos or videos without permission from me.

Family Outing: Artesani Pool!

With Daddy at the Artesani spray pool.
With Daddy playing with water spout.

Melissa and her family joined us at the pool!
Sliding in the park with my play date.

Meetup Groups for Fathers! (August, 2015)

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!

Meetup Groups for Fathers!

I wanted to let everyone know that several Dad groups have been established across the United States. New dads and experienced fathers can join and meet up for playgroups in these cities.

Here is a list of the Dad groups:
Boston, MA :
New York City:
Atlanta, GA:
Chicago, IL:
Cleveland, OH:
Columbus, OH:
Philadelphia, PA:
Denver, CO:
Detroit, MI:
Indianapolis, IN:
Madison, WI:
Dallas, TX:
Alburquerque, NM:
Los Angeles, CA:
East Bay (Martinez), CA:
San Francisco, CA:
Portland, OR:
Las Vegas, NV:
Tampa Bay, Florida -AT HOME DADS:

For local groups looking for ideas, here are some of the Boston Dads' past playgroup meetups: Baby Pictures (discounted movie in a baby-friendly setting), New England Aquarium - which also has the Sea Squirts program and MFA Play dates.
+ Baby Pictures:

+ Sea Squirts program:

+ MFA Play dates:

With Dad in the Arboretum, Lilac Sunday, 2015.

These groups are a convenient way to meet and socialize with other Dads who enjoy spending quality time with their children!

Have fun everyone! :)

- Joy E.
August 14, 2015

Also, here are a few interesting Dad-related articles:
'How new moms assess their partners' ability to parent' (using data from New Parents Project):

'Controlling parents harm future mental health':

'Dad bloggers are redefining 'real men':

Our daughter in the Arboretum, Lilac Sunday, 2015.

Family Outings and Fun!

Me, Dad and Grand-Dad at the Four's Restaurant for lunch 4-25-15

Me and Mommy at the Four's, 4-25-15.


At Singing Beach 4-25-15.

In Artesani Pool with Daddy, 8-1-15.

Playing in new DCR spray pool at Artesani, 8-1-15.
Me and Daddy at lunch at Bertucci's, 8-1-15.
Exercising with ball at My Gym with Mommy, 8-13-15.

Leaping into the ball pit at My Gym! 8-13-15.

Swimming in the ball pit, My Gym, 8-13-15.

At My Gym, 8-13-15.

In Minot Rose Garden 5-12-15.

Walking in Minot garden, 5-12-15.

Baby Safety this Summer: 2015 (June, 2015)

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!
 Baby Safety this Summer: 2015

Once again, summertime is here and, as parents know, there are different safety concerns during these months.  I am re-posting for my buddies the following news articles that appeared in the news feeds in regard to baby safety issues, food safety and parenting.

Grandparents flunk baby safety quiz:

Overprotective parents and teachers 'ruining children's play' because of risk-averse lifestyles: Adults are 'over-supervising' and 'over-scheduling' children; Cambridge lecturer says a lack of play stops normal development:

Dry Drowning: Water in the lungs during swimming can cause 'drowning' within 24 hours, see this important article about Dry Drowning:

Water Safety: Time to worry about water safety as summer approaches: Pools, swimming lessons, etc. Swimming can also help people with arthritis.

Sunscreen for Babies and Children:  The Mayo Clinic offers guidelines for sunscreen use on children:

Child Safety Warning: Teething Gels May Be Dangerous: Check out the Orajel Lawsuit:
Here is another article regarding the lawsuit against Orajel Teething gels:

Read about how Red Food Dye affects children:

Paint your child's room in one coat:

Senators Call for Closer Look at Flame Retardants:

Educational Benefits of Children's Toys:

CCEI recommends child care safety training in support of safe toys and gifts month:

'Snow Plow' Parenting becoming new trend:

Controlling parents harm future mental health:

Our daughter in her NFM t-shirt!

Links on 
For more information and links in regard to baby safety, click on the 'Baby Safety' tab above. Also, for a useful list of baby care tidbits, click on the '*Tidbits*' tab above.

Most importantly, I wanted to inform residents of Massachusetts that all children between the ages of
0 - 3 years old who qualify for the Massachusetts Early Intervention Program will receive services at no charge. The income-based fee was waived in 2013 for every income bracket (the fee was between $0 -$1500 per child based on income!).

Anyone can make an appointment with Early Intervention and they will send a team of professionals to your home to examine your baby or young child for any developmental delays (speech, motor, etc.).  This meeting is at no cost to the family as well. If it is determined that your child needs services, they will send professionals once a week to your home and provide whatever necessary services your child requires.  For more information, here is the link:

If you want to check the Early Intervention services in your state, here is the link:

I discuss my brief experience with the Early Intervention program on my '*Tidbits!*' tab. Just click here:

Also, below are very useful articles for new moms and moms-to-be:
My husband, Frank, feeding our 5-day-old daughter. Yum!

1. Pregnancy Awareness Month 2015:
2. Lost the Weight, but not the Waistline?:

3. The Lack of Sleep and Stress that New Moms Experience: 

4. Toys for Babies and Children:

I hope everyone finds these articles useful this summer as well as the other tabs above.  We will take a vacation for the next few weeks and return in August with our next post.
My happy daughter playing with her stickers (10 months old).

I hope my buddies have a great 4th of July and enjoy your summertime fun with your families.
Happy summertime everyone!

-Joy E. 
Posted July 2, 2015                                                                                        supports supports
Keep up the great work!!