There are a few at-home objects that are never NOT fun.
One of the perks of being an at-home mama is the potential
for all-day play. Baby’s getting bigger and you’ve had to get more creative
with playtime. Check out some ideas below, inspired by Making Sounds, Making
Music, and Many Other Activities for Infants: 7 to 12 Months by Judy Herr
and Terri Swim.
1. Fill it up, dump it out
The thought of encouraging this behavior, which will
eventually drive you nuts in toddlerhood, is a bit crazy, but why not introduce
this game as a clean-up device – fill it up now, dump it out tomorrow. You can
use foam blocks or really any toys you have lying around and any smallish
container he’s able to safely lift. Applaud him when he successfully cleans up,
but have a sense of humor when he inevitably dumps everything all over the
2. Puppet time
Puppets and stuffed animals can be used for a silly story
time, to learn animal sounds, teach baby parts of her body, and so much more. Encourage
baby to put her own hand in the puppet (although it’s totally understandable if
that kind of freaks her out). Integrate stuffed animals into playtime, such as
in a tea party or dance break.
3. Paper towel roll fun
There are a few at-home objects that are never NOT fun –
tissue boxes, pots and pans, empty soda bottles, and paper towel rolls. Baby
can use a paper towel roll as a drumstick, looking glass, microphone, snack
chute, and so much more. Spread out an old sheet on the lawn for art time – let
baby finger paint on a paper towel roll and display his masterpiece after it
dries. So fun!
4. Hide-and-seek with toys
Keep shoeboxes on-hand for play time. If baby seems in a
patient, inquisitive mood, take one of her favorite toys, let her watch you put
it in a box, and ask her, “Where is your teddy bear?” If she can’t locate it
herself, guide her hand to the box in question and celebrate when she finds her
toy. Note: this may cause her to play hide-and-seek with one of YOUR favorite
things, so keep your jewelry, phone, remotes, perishable foods, etc. secure.
5. This is my family
Help quell separation anxiety and keep distant family on
baby’s mind by creating a family tree. Get a piece of large poster board and
glue on photos of your family and close friends. Display the poster at play
time and when baby shows an interest, point to each person’s face and repeat
their name. Eventually, you’ll be able to say, “Show me Grandma,” and he’ll be
able to point her out! Don’t forget a picture of him, though, and repeat his
name – bonus points for pointing to and naming his facial features; “Look, your