Flowering Baby: A Curriculum for Your Youngest

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for a positive review, and all of these opinions are my own.

Flowering Baby CurriculumI have been casually searching for learning ideas for my littlest. When I stumbled upon Flowering Baby, I was instantly intrigued.

Flowering Baby is a curriculum of “whole child development” activities for children birth to five years old. The curriculum is about $30 for each year’s worth of lessons (organized by age: birth to one, one to two, two to three, and four to five).

I received the “One to Two” curriculum for free for this review and was able to begin at month 13 with my little guy. Each month includes titles of books to read to your baby, a classical composer to listen to, some finger-play/nursery rhymes to listen to, as well as an assortment of activity ideas that include everything from language skills and muscle development to painting and exploring.

Each month lists all books, music, and supplies needed. Most titles are available at a library or can be substituted with books from home. And the supplies are simple things that I usually had on hand.
Each month lists all books, music, and supplies needed. Most titles are available at a library or can be substituted with books from home. And the supplies are simple things that I usually had on hand.

We’ve been using this product for a couple of months, and I have loved this curriculum for two reasons. First, I love having special one-on-one time with my little one because, honestly, it’s easy for him to get forgotten in the rush to get the big kid’s lessons out of the way. Or, I tend to occupy him rather than really play with him. This curriculum gives me a very focused 15-20 minutes with him, just him! I actually send the big kids away and focus just on him. We both enjoy this time immensely.

Second reason I love Flowering Baby are for the ideas. Even as an “experienced” mother of three (that’s a joke, by the way), I often get in ruts and don’t immediately think of ways to challenge and build his little skills. Flowering Baby gives me ideas (about 25 lessons a month) and inspires me with my own variations on those ideas. It helps me to realize what he is probably capable of attempting, something that’s easy to lose track of as time flies by. Many times, I would read the plans and think “oh, he can’t do that yet” only to be amazed that he actually could (and loved trying)!

Also, Flowering Baby is teaching me! The language lessons, especially, have taught me practical things like how to talk to my baby, what to talk about, what to point out in a picture, etc. Motor skills were also surprising lessons for me, like teaching my baby to kneel rather than his default sprawl position that is hard on his little hips.

Then, there’s the fun—hide a toy; teach direction words by placing a toy under, over, beside, etc; “fold” laundry together; find faces in books and magazines; get a mirror out and look at our faces together; and so much more!

My little laundry helper. He also likes to "help" unload the dishwasher.
My little laundry helper. He also likes to “help” unload the dishwasher.

Just a note, I did not follow this as a step-by-step lesson, though you could. I looked through the ideas several times during a month to get ideas for our next time together and then put it away. I knew which books to read, and he quickly found his favorites. All of us enjoyed the classical music selections, which we listened to using the free Naxos app on my ipod (comes with several free playlists that coordinate with this curriculum).

Littlest's new favorite book
Littlest’s new favorite book

And because I can only take so much mess, I modified some of the ideas to fit us. For instance, one activity was to practice pouring rice or beans. I had nightmarish visions of what this would look like, so I instead opted for our pouring lesson to be at bath time with water in the tub. Instead of painting (I tried this at Christmas for grandma gifts and am still in need of therapy), I opted for crayons.

But customizing this curriculum was really what made it a winner for me. Their ideas bred so many other ideas. If the lessons called for feeling different textured squares, I instantly thought of textures throughout our day—when we went on nature walks, when we were standing outside the restaurant waiting to be seated, or wherever we were. I loved that the lessons helped me to focus and weave in his learning during the whole day.

Littlest enjoyed creating with crayons (much sooner than my older kids did).
Littlest enjoyed creating with crayons (much sooner than my older kids did).
Our sensory bottle made from adding a beaded necklace and water.
Our sensory bottle made from adding a beaded necklace and water.

Is it worth the $30? If you’re trying to justify $30 on your little one, I’d ask you to price some of the toys in his toy box. Most likely, a couple of those (that he probably doesn’t even play with) would easily have cost you $30. And you will get a lot more out of this purchase than a new toy that he will probably quickly lose interest in anyway. Honestly, I wish I’d had this as a new mom to use with my other two children.

Also, keep in mind that this is not a list of ideas to keep your baby busy so that you can do something else. These activities require you sitting down with your baby. Many of them require you to closely supervise your baby as he explores.

Want to check it out for yourself? The website has great samples to preview for each age. The Flowering Baby curriculum is sold on CD or as a downloadable PDF (I printed mine  and bound it myself to have a hardcopy). You can purchase the curriculum at the Flowering Baby store or on Currclick.com.

I’m looking forward to continuing with this curriculum, and I’m looking forward to more special “baby” moments with Littlest throughout this year.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for a positive review, and all of these opinions are my own.

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