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


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