One of the perks of being an at-home mama is the potential

for all-day play. You may think that babies can’t do much in the playtime

department, but there’s plenty of play to be had! Check out a few ideas below,

inspired by the book Brain Games for Your Child: Over 200 Fun Games to Play

by Robert Fisher.

1. Make music

Now that baby is likely sitting up, it’s the perfect time to

introduce him to the classic pot drum. The perfect distraction for when you

have to cook (or basically do anything around the house), open up your pot and

pan cabinet to the next great rock and roll drummer: your baby. Encourage him

to “make music” with everything around him – drums being the obvious first

step. Point out how different object make different sounds – hit a pan with a

wooden spoon, then the pan lid, and then the floor. Music is everywhere!

2. Get touchy-feely

Introduce her to different textures by letting her touch

everything (safely, of course). Have her grab a handful of sand, bread dough,

or corduroy pants; pet a dog, stroke a feather, or play with ice cubes. Open

her eyes to touching and feeling the world around her – don’t forget to

identify every object she touches and reiterate how it feels: hard, rough, wet,

furry, etc.

3. Baby got rhythm

Rhythm is a natural part of life, ingrained in us when we

heard our mother’s heartbeats while we were inside cookin’. After birth, babies

love to be rocked or sung to rhythmically. Continue this rhythm nation by

singing or dancing with him to rhythmic music – at seven months he’ll be more

interested when you add actions to rhythmic rhymes, think “Wheels on the Bus”

and “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.” Rhythm is a dancer, and babies love

to dance.

4. Cawfee tawk

Your baby is the perfect listener and budding

conversationalist, especially now as she continues to find her own voice. Talk

to her all day – point out names of things in her bedroom, explain every

step as you do the laundry or make lunch. Make a game of bath time or a diaper change

by pointing out different body parts with an extra tickle or kiss. “Chin –

tickle tickle!” or “Ear!” accompanied by a big kiss.

5. Counting games

Count EVERYTHING out loud. Literally. Count his legs when

you put each one into his pants. Count the ingredients as you cook. Count the

number of soup cans you add to your grocery cart. Bonus points if you turn the

counting fun into a song – “One, two socks in your shoe. One nose and two eyes

of blue.” (Rhyming optional. But encouraged.)