La Tela di Carlotta
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Activities to do with your baby at home (15+ months)

Jul 25, 2016

Summer is great to spend time outside, in the nature, on the beach, at a playground, except if you live in hot Marbella and the heat is unbearable for the biggest part of the day. Playgrounds here have a major downside, too: they’re almost all in the sun (yes, I know, it’s crazy!)! Park and beach are great early in the morning or late in the afternoon, but… what do you do for the rest of the day?

These are some activities I enjoy doing with Oliver all year round, and they’re easy to prep, very versatile and the material is not expensive to buy.

Most of the videos were taken on a fun morning we spent at our place with Bella, Oliver’s 19-month-old best friend. And yes, you can hear me laugh many times, I just couldn’t help it! They’re adorable together!

PS. If you live in Spain, you can find the Amazon.es link of every product in the Spanish version of the post.


Dancing

I’m not exaggerating, they danced for at least one hour. I use, as always, the Super Simple Songs (you can buy them online: CD 1, CD 2 and CD 3), which I absolutely love! They’re fun, repetitive (hence great to learn words) and very versatile—you can do your own dance or learn the proper moves on their website. Watch how much Bella and Oliver loved them!

Music session

Just before dancing, we had a little music session. I got inspired from the activity class I go to sometimes, and made a music box for Oliver: it’s nothing fancy, just a set of instruments in a box. Easy peasy! The instruments are: a harmonica, a flute, a maraca, castanets, a bell and a rattle. We also have a xylophone which doesn’t fit in the box.

Oliver (16 months) still can’t play the harmonica—he usually asks me to play it for him—but Bella (20 months) got very good very quickly, as you can probably hear in the video above.

I bought the music set from a lovely local shop in Marbella, Le Bidule, but this one by Melissa & Doug is also nice.

Play dough

After hearing me moan about how difficult it’s been with Oliver at home lately, my friend Kathrin lent us some play dough saying it would work like magic. It does! Oliver loves it so I’ll definitely buy a few more colours, maybe this set.

Colouring

They love colouring with crayons. Oliver, though, usually gets bored very quickly, but when Bella was there they sat and coloured for quite a long time.

What I’m really looking forward to, though, is to paint! We did it once in the activity class and the kids loved it (the mums even more!): we just stuck a big paper sheet on the wall and used washable finger paint and a roll to make… art. Very easy to clean, too: just a bit of water and everything was like new!

Passing the ball

It took a while for them to understand the game, but when they did, they played ball for at least 15 minutes. Oliver threw it towards (at) Bella, Bella picked it up and threw it towards (at) Oliver. They laughed so hard!

Feeding the dog - Team work

Team work is always great and gets kids very involved. It can be any team work, from organising the apartment by having them pass objects to each other and put them away, to, in this case, feeding the dog, as you can see in this video.

Cleaning

Oliver loves helping me clean! That’s why I decided to buy the beautiful Melissa & Doug cleaning set for him (a bit expensive, but great quality and materials, very steady, beautiful design and absolutely worth it!). Oliver loves it and he hasn’t even discovered yet that he can actually wet the mop like I do… he’ll go crazy when he finds out!

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.