Say Cheese!

‘Tis the season for family reunions! (falalalala lalalala) I love Christmas get togethers with my family! Opening presents around the tree, singing Christmas carols, eating a ton of food, sharing stories and making lasting memories always makes my Christmas special.

As the season approaches, I decided to start familiarizing Micah with all of my family members back in the Philippines…because…. we will be going home for the holidays!!! (yehey!) Nothing beats spending Christmas at home! It will be Micah’s first trip home too.

In order to prevent separation anxiety, I started introducing Micah to our family through pictures. I taped 3-4 pictures of different members of our family on his mirror. Every morning as part of our routine, he would crawl towards the mirror for our short “meet the family” session. I would introduce each person by telling him their names and pointing to their faces. We would go through each picture several times. I noticed that as he started to familiarize himself with the people, he showed more and more interest because he started to recognize their names and associate their faces. As I rotated the pictures, I observed that he would react differently to each set. He would often get more excited with the people he has seen rather than the ones he is “meeting” for the first time. I would always leave one familiar person so that he can always recognize someone. Since I can’t have everyone’s face on our mirror, I decided to have some of them in photo albums. I have several plastic (chewable/waterproof aka saliva proof) photo albums (from Walmart and Amazon) with inserted pictures of the other members of the family. To avoid confusion, I categorized the albums: a grandparents album, an aunties and uncles album and a cousins album.

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Here is a picture of my uncle Alan and my cousin Ethan with my Dad and I.

We used to sit and look at the albums together but lately, I have noticed that he would crawl towards his book box and take the photo album and start flipping through the pages independently. The movements of grabbing the album and turning pages are great ways for him to develop his pincer grasp. (developing a child’s pincer grasp is a great preparation for handwriting-Montessori method!) Sometimes he reacts to the familiar faces with excitement, other times he is just mesmerized by the parade of colorful images.  This has quickly become one of his favorite floor time activities!

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I’m learning how to flip through the pages!

What you would need:

A small photo album – the type where the photos slide into clear plastic pockets

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Here’s my photo book! We got it from Amazon.

4×6 snapshots of  your baby and the people in his life

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Micah’s focused on his picture with his Auntie Connie.

Here are some helpful tips:

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This is my Lola. Lola means grandma in Tagalog.

1. The photos I chose are of one family member and Micah. This helps him focus on the person instead of getting distracted with several other faces. (One photo per page is the best!)

2. In addition to relatives, you can add photos of your child’s favorite toys, activities, caregivers and pets.

3. I have several albums so we can look through different ones throughout the day without having to switch photos every time. The photos for the mirror are the only ones I rotate.

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