Wow… aren’t there a LOT of hours to fill in just one day, especially when you have a baby who is awake A LOT! We think going out is great (especially if you’re coming to one of our postnatal courses ;-)) and we all rely a bit on technology… but it’s still lovely to have some ideas up your sleeve of fun activities you can do at home to stimulate your baby, aid their development and join in with too.
- Not so messy messy play – fill a plastic freezer bag with foam and add in a drop of food colouring before sealing the bag with tape. Your child will enjoy squidging the bag around and watching the food colouring spread through the foam.
- Make a den – something a lot of us enjoyed doing as children, but you can create mini versions for your baby by draping a blanket or large muslin across chairs or other furniture – added bonus points if you use an Etta Loves large swaddle muslin to make your den – these sensory muslins are designed to stimulate your baby’s development.
- Fairy lights – I know this is something I’ve seen Haley, twin mama on Fox Fairy Twins do a lot and her babies loved it (her blog/instagram is also a great place for general activity inspo)!. String up fairy lights around various parts of the house to create an engaging scene that’s also easily portable – it’s great if you can get the lights that automatically switch into different modes, to really keep your babies engaged and guessing what’s next!
- Freezer fun – a lot of babies’ toys are suitable for the freezer (do check first), but particularly if they are teething toys like our friend the Matchstick Monkey here… even if your baby isn’t teething, they love exploring the different feelings of hot and cold.
- Colouring activities – drawing is a daily activity in our house, sometimes it’s nice to mix it up and get them to colour in colouring sheets to really engage their imagination (otherwise everything my son draws is supposedly a tiger)…. these FREE colouring sheets from Prenderland Books are fab and really something you wouldn’t mind putting up on your wall!
- Potato paint stamping – get some baby safe paint and chop up a potato into different shapes. We cover our floor in newspaper and get lots of sheets of paper for some potato stamping mayhem.
- Water play – you don’t need a special water table for water play. simply filling up a small bowl of water and going to wash toys or letting your baby splash is something they find super fun. Mini paddling pools that they can sit up in supervised are a great way of containing water play!
- Treasure baskets – these come into their own once your baby can sit up (aided or unaided) but can’t yet move – so around 6 months. A treasure basket is a collection of everyday objects to stimulate the different senses. The objects should be safe and in a wide variety of materials (not plastic). They give babies the opportunity to engage with objects they wouldn’t normally have the chance to explore themselves. The basket itself should be strong enough for the baby to lean on without tipping, perhaps a small(ish) wicker basket, that can be brought out every now and again. This is an independent play activity, so your role as parent is to supervise (from a slight distance). Some fun ideas of contents: pinecones, loofahs, lemons, wooden spoon, pompom, tennis ball, clothes peg….
- Play prompts – if, like me, sensory play activities aren’t always at the forefront of your mind.. the wonderful Claire from Play Hooray, an Early Years Specialist has devised some fantastic play prompts – 100 ideas of things to do around the home with your little one that are free (or almost).. some fun examples include: making edible sand by putting crackers in a food processor, as well as getting messy with a big bowl of angel delight! We stock the 0-1 year old play prompts at Nurturing Mums Store (if you want another 98 ideas!)
So… we hope you enjoy your time at home with your babies and do send us tag us in pictures @nurturingmums if you are enjoying any of these activities today!