One of the perks of being an at-home mama is the potential
for all-day play. You may think that bitty 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 Gymboree book 1001 Fun Ways to Play by Susan Elisabeth
Davis and Nancy Wilson Hall.
1. Mirror time
Even though baby may not recognize his own reflection until
he’s at least a year old, he loves to look at faces, and what better face to
gaze at than his own! You can also use mirror time to point out his eyes, ears,
nose, etc. and reiterate his and your name – “Look, there’s Mama!”
2. Human sound machine
Your beatboxing career never quite took off, but those mad
skillz can be employed to entertain your little one! Silly sounds make diaper
changes fly by and can also inspire baby to find her own voice. Imitate the
sounds of sirens outside your window, a dog barking, or even just blow
raspberries or whistle!
3. Mama of a thousand faces
Making silly faces is a fun way to make baby smile, as well
as introduce emotions. Combine this with peek-a-boo to create your own little
game – every time you pull your hands away, form a different emotion on your
face and say its name. “Happy!” with a big smile. “Sad,” with a big frown.
4. Get a head start on your baby’s six-pack
Get your baby beach ready with a daily abs workout! Kidding,
of course, but baby sit-ups are a fun little exercise to strengthen baby’s neck
muscles. After a diaper change or during playtime on the floor, place her on a
blanket, grab the top corners of the blanket (making sure her head and upper
body are fully supported), gently pull her up toward you, and then gently lower
her. Add some extra fun by making silly faces as she sits up and reward her
with a big kiss before gently lowering her.
5. Set up a floor gym
If you have a pre-packaged floor
gym, you’re probably already aware of the fun baby has looking at the toys
hanging overhead. If you don’t have a floor gym, or find yourself out and about
and looking to entertain baby, why not make your own! Lay down a blanket and
dangle a toy or two over baby’s head. Engage in playtime by shaking the toys,
crinkling them, or even making them talk or kiss baby!