It’s been hard to keep baby occupied and learning with everything closed. Yes, nurseries are open, but we’re not quite ready for that yet. And there’s only so much walking you can do in freezing, rainy weather! I’ve been struggling with one baby, hats off to those families with older or multiple children!
I’ve put together a few ideas and activities to help inspire any parents at home with babies. But while I’ve done this post, I also want to say, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to get baby learning or playing specific games. It’s OK to let them have some independent playtime and let them grow by playing with their toys. Majority of Myla’s week is spent grabbing and flinging her toys around, or just eating them.
So here are some ideas to help with baby and parent playtime [a bit of a disclaimer here – most of these we do for about 15-20 minutes until baby gets bored, is ready to rest or move on to the next thing]:
We have a few toy musical instruments, but you can use anything really. A saucepan and wooden spoon as a drum, the old school – Pringles box with dried beans inside as a shaker, blocks as castanets! We usually put on a few tracks (a mix of Disney, nursery rhyme and non-explicit old school R&B 😊) and play with the instruments.
The word class used super loosely, because 1. I can’t dance, and 2. I really can’t dance! It’s just a bit of movement and fun really. We love a bit of music and prancing around. Playlist for this one is all Mummy’s faves because honestly, I cannot dance to Disney.
I know we don’t have the opportunities to go out and make memories as we usually would’ve (with family/friends or in our favourite places), but we do have so much time to capture their growth. Why not make it something you can look back on and laugh/smile about! I take a “sofa picture” of Myla every week with something significant during that time, same spot, same camera angle. I’ve done it since she was 3 weeks and watching her growth – even in her expressions – has been amazing!
We take a bit of time every day to practise whatever new thing she might be trying or goal she is reaching towards. This saves her from doing it in the night! For example, recently she has been trying to crawl and I noticed she would wake up from her naps on her hands and knees, so we’ve been crawling around together, practising going from crawl to sit position etc. We’ve also been practising standing against the sofa.
Myla LOVES puppet shows, she’s always been obsessed with her teddys and toys with faces, smiling away at them. We have a couple of puppet book which she loves. Mostly I just make stories up with her soft toys, half the time they make zero sense whatsoever, she doesn’t mind. I do try and make the actions of the “puppets” (“” because two are actually socks, I sh** you not) coordinate with what I’m saying though, sometimes! Just small things like waving, walking away/coming back, jumping etc.
We got her a bubble machine for Christmas – it’s a bit of sensory play and fun to get the hands moving towards the bubbles. Try and get baby to pop to bubbles!
We have some colourful wooden blocks, and usually this play involves me stacking them up (counting as I go) and Myla knocks them down! Sometimes she finds knocking them down hilarious, sometimes she tries really hard to copy me stacking them. Either way she’s learning/playing and it keeps us both entertained.
This is basically me just piling up all of her toys of a certain colour and randomly shouting the colour at her while she plays! (LOL) I even dress her in the colour of the day. I usually name the object and say the colour of it. At the end (or randomly) I’ll put two of the same objects, different colours, and ask her to show me whichever colour that she was playing with, green for example. She hasn’t pointed to or grabbed the right one yet, haha, but I’ll keep trying!
Now this is one we haven’t actually done, but I’m dying to do it. I’ve seen a lot of videos online and from other Mums where you put baby safe paint under cling film or in between a clear, zip seal bag and let baby play with it to “paint” a picture. I think Myla would love this one and as soon as I can get paint, we’ll be doing this.
(and most importantly) Giggle time
Just have fun. Do that thing that makes baby laugh, whatever it is. I could spend hours making and listening to her laugh. There are a few things that we’ve picked up on that make her hysterically laugh and giggle some are: mirror play, peekaboo, chase. Sometimes she just laughs at herself!
A few great Instagram pages to follow for more activity ideas are @an.activity.a.day, @funwith.florence, @whattdidnext
I hope this helps a little with giving you some, easy to organise, things to do with baby. Let me know below if you’ve done anything not here that you’ve loved, or if this has helped you with ideas!