Remember when you would spend hours just gazing at your newborn? Well now she does more than just sleep and feed, you might be looking for some fun ways to entertain her. Playing with your baby will also encourage her development and is a lovely way to strengthen your bond.
But if you are a bit sick of peek-a-boo, here are twelve activities your baby will love that you may not have thought of!
1. Make sensory bottles
Save some bottles from the recycling and fill them with different things that will stimulate your baby’s senses. Try adding some glitter and water to one, another with rice so it rattles when she shakes it and another with colourful buttons. You get the idea. Just be sure the lids are firmly closed.
2. Build a pillow course
If your baby is crawling, toss some pillows on the floor and she’ll love scampering over them or just flopping into them.
3. Play hide and seek with her toys
Place a toy under a tea cloth and ask your baby, “Where is it?” then make her roar with laughter when pulling the towel away and exclaim, “There it is!”
4. Have some water fun
If your bub is up to sitting, sit her beside a bowl of water outside with some cups to scoop the water out. Just don’t leave her alone with the water, ever.
5. Play sock puppets
Put a sock on your hand and make it ‘talk’. She will keep trying to grab it off!
Stick on some googly eyes if you really want to make Mr Sock come alive!
6. Take her playroom outside
Babies love being outside, and sometimes a change of scene is as good as a holiday, for both of you. Toss some balls in the grass and toys on a rug, and watch her play with them while patting the grass and looking up at the trees. Better yet, blow her some bubbles while you are out there! She’ll love it.
7. Roll play
Your birthing ball was a godsend during labour, but now your baby is a bit more mobile, it is also the world’s best toy. Let her enjoy some tummy time on it by supporting her as she lies on top of it and rolls about in different directions. When she’s older and up to crawling, she’ll love to scamper after it as it rolls on the floor.
8. Pull out a kitchen band
If your baby is sitting, pull out the saucepans, some wooden spoons and anything else that will make a noise and let your baby ‘play’ them. It will be noisy, but she’ll have a ball and will be learning about cause and effect – that is, if she hits the big silver thing, it will make an annoying sound!
9. Messy high chair fun
Place blobs of custard, puree vegetables and yoghurt on her tray and watch her create a picture with her fingers. This isn’t mealtime but fun time, and if she happens to eat her creations, well, that’s okay as it’s all edible!
10. Engage her outside
Instead of just visiting the park, actively engage her in her world by asking her some questions. You could say, “Hear the bird?” “See that flower?” “That car is noisy. Vroom, vroom”. Doing this will familiarise her with her world.
11. Make a rubber band toy
To make a fun DIY toy, simply secure a rubber band to two cupboard door knobs and watch her flick them! Just stay with her and take the bands away after she’s finished playing with them as rubber bands are a choking hazard.
12. Build a cubby
Even if your babe needs to be held in your lap, toss some blankets over the table and sit with her under it with a torch. She will delight in the light show and the change of scene.