5 things to do with baby: Encyclopedia of Me

Set up a miniature obstacle course in your living room.

5 things to do with baby:  Encyclopedia of Me

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

for all-day play. Your nearly-one-year-old is a playtime expert, but he’ll love

a few new games – remember to make them your own! Check out some ideas below,

inspired by Let’s Play and Learn Together by Roni Cohen Leiderman, Ph.D.

and Wendy S. Masi, Ph.D.

1. Baby fetch

Now that baby can identify a few objects, send her on a

mission – “Where are your shoes?” It can even be as simple as “Where is Mommy?”

Keep it simple at first, but challenge her awareness. Have fun with it!

2. American Baby Gladiator

Set up a miniature obstacle course in your living room with


couch cushions, stuffed animals, cardboard boxes, and other safe items. Let

baby loose to climb, roll, crawl, or walk over it, whatever he wants. Conduct a

detailed play-by-play of the action, “Wow, now he’s lifting the pillow over his

head and tossing it to the side. What confidence!”

3. Shadow games

The next time you take a walk, be sure to point out your shadows.

At the park, find a wall and make shadow puppets with your hands and encourage

your little one to make shadows, too. At home, go into a darkened room (not

completely dark, don’t want to scare baby!) with a flashlight and have a ton of

shadow fun. Point out the outline of your hand, wiggle your fingers, and even

do a silly dance.

4. Play with a friend

This is a great time to set up play dates because

one-year-olds are just starting to really learn to play with others. They’re

not quite ready to initiate and maintain play on their own, but either way it’s

a good excuse to have some adult time with the kids as buffers.

5. Encyclopedia of Me

Compile your favorite photos from your first year together

and put together an anthology. Laminate the pages so it’s toddler-safe and read

it together every day. This is a fun way to revisit cherished memories and a

convenient vessel for family photos and baby’s favorite things. Take it along

when you have to wait at the doctor’s office, a long car ride, and everywhere


These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

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Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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