Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Any ideas for a safe way to play?

So the other night my daughter spent almost twenty minutes playing with a headphone jack and extender.  She was absolutely fascinated.  She would plug it in, then pull it out.  Turn it around, try another way, and do it all again.  Both Clay and I were sitting right there with her (and I think it goes without saying that nothing was plugged in - there was no electricity involved!).  She seriously loved it and was SO proud of herself.  (I love this intense look of concentration!)

Clay is an electrical engineer who teaches guitar out of our house as a side business.  She sees lots of plugs and cables.  She watches like a hawk (while I try to block her view with my body) anytime I plug something in. 

I am trying to think of a safe alternative that would utilize the same fine motor skills but more importantly gain her interest like the headphone jack.  I don't want her thinking that she can play with any plug she sees. 

I tried pop beads, but she didn't have the strength to actually connect them or pull them apart.  Serious frustration ensued.

My sister found this link for a DIY Busyboard through Pinterest, and I think it is something Sophie would really enjoy.  I like that it's "real life" (which is always way more interesting to her than her toys).  This will definitely be in our future, but it still isn't quite the same as her plugs.
From the Bright Green Door

My mom suggested something like an old school telephone operating board.  This would be perfect -  I could even color the cords so that she knew they were hers and not just any old cords.  Problem - I have no idea how to make this happen.  Haha.  They don't sell telephone operating boards on Amazon.  (The ridiculous part - I actually never know what you will find!).

So...this is where I need your help!  What toys or real life items would be similar to this?  Any suggestions?

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