Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thumb sucking? Play this!

My daughter sucked her thumb ever since she was a little baby and we have always tried to make her stop. Now that she is a little older and understands a little more about her surrounding, we have started talking about being sick, germs, fingers in your mouth, etc...It’s been a week since she has not sucked her thumb! I thought it would be almost impossible, that she would cry the whole day, but she has been working really hard to not forget about her thumb and she feels really proud every time we tell her she is doing a great job. Sometimes she forgets, but then she remembers and smiles...
We have been trying to help her by playing games together that keep her hands occupied and where she can be distracted and not have any intention of putting her thumb in her mouth (normally she sucked her thumb without even realizing she was doing it). These games include puzzles, painting or jumping on the bed! (don’t worry, it is just a mattress on the floor in her play area!)

I found an activity in a Montessori book a long time ago, which I think is a great game for this occasion and started making it.

What you need is:
  • 2 string bags ( I didn’t have bags at home and since I had some fabric, I decided to sew and make them myself)
  • Several matching objects.
  • If you want and your child feels it is comfortable, a blindfold

These are some of the matching objects I found and put inside the bags
I used different colors for the decoration on the bags
Here you can see the game. The Mystery Bag activity involves asking a child, blindfolded or with eyes closed, to put both hands in a bag and identify an object inside.
Another possibility is the matching game. You use both bags. First, again blindfolded or eyes closed, the child pulls out a piece and then he/she has to pull out from the other bag the matching one. This matching game helps children refine their visual and tactile senses.

Here you can see how my daughter plays this game:
First she pulls out the first piece
Try to find the match....
Here it is! (Look how happy she is!)
We are almost there!
All done!
One more time Mommy?

This was a perfect way to play, learn and not sucking her thumb! Today she even felt asleep without this bad habit!

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