10 Ideas for Entertaining Your Baby
I love the idea of heuristic play, and using random household items for entertaining S. She loves a lot of the most simple things, and is often more attracted to kitchen implements than the bright, plastic toys that have been bought for her!
Here are ten ideas for entertaining your baby…
- Old CDs stuck to the side of a cupboard or box next to where baby spends time will reflect light and be endlessly entertaining. In fact, anything shiny is sure to be a winner. Just make sure it’s safe.
- If you are able to sit and supervise baby, they seem to be quite enthralled with the noise made by the plastic windows in envelopes. This one kept S entertained for over an hour.
- I read about treasure boxes on The Imagination Tree and made one for S; she loves to rummage through it and pick out random items to explore. The idea is that you use them for heuristic play, so fill them with household items made from materials other than plastic – stuff that reflects or bangs or rattles or feels different in their hands. At the moment it contains:
- a paper plate
- a CD
- a loo roll holder
- a tin lid
- some brightly coloured material
- some metal spoons
- a wooden spoon
- a scrunched up piece of silver foil
- some random rock samples I was sent as part of an OU course
- Music! I used to think S loved to watch the children’s TV channel, until I realised she just liked the music. Now she listens to Radio 3 (more melodious music, usually less talking) and loves it. Sometimes we will put local radio on instead and dance around the living room to some cheesy tunes.
- Go on a tour of the house. This is a good one to do if you’ve been sitting in the living room for a while and baby is getting a bit grumpy. I take S into the kitchen and we say hello, then to the front door, the stairs, the bedroom, take a look out the window and say hello to the people out there, stop and say hi to her cot mobile, maybe play with a toy on the bed for a little while, say hello to the baby in the mirror, and then head back to the living room, saying hi or bye to the rooms and objects again as we pass.
- When S was very small, she used to cry whenever I changed her nappy. I read somewhere that babies like high-contrast images, especially simple pictures of faces, and so one evening I got out my pens and some postcards and made up some pictures to stick on the wall next to her changing mat. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to work, but until she was about 5 months old, she would happily stare at the pictures on the wall whenever her nappy was changed – though I did change them every month or so to avoid her getting bored.
- Explore different textures. I went through my old scraps of material, and bought some remnants from a fabric shop, to find different styles and textures of material. I’m sure you’ve already noticed babies love the feel of label tags on everything they touch, but as they get older they will be interested in other textures too, especially if they have different colours or patterns as well.
- Plastic bottles! I got this idea from my 2-year-old nephew, who’s always had a thing for plastic drinks bottles. I finished a drink the other day and handed S the empty bottle, to see what happened… turns out she’s just as enthralled as her cousin. I’d seen a few different variations of things to put into plastic bottles, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Seriously, this one is so easy: you fill the bottle with liquid, and then you put some stuff in it.
- Peep-o. The old ones really are the best. You can play this game with a baby for as long as you have the patience, either hiding behind something or draping a light cloth or blanket over baby and exclaiming “Where’s baby gone?!”
- One of S’s favourite things at the moment is to watch me wave my arms around and pull a face, or simply shaking my head. I get a good workout every afternoon jumping up and down and waving my arms whilst pulling faces at her whilst she giggles away at what an idiot she has for a mother.
looking for blue sky
I used to put pictures in my first born's pram way back in the 1990s, cos I was afraid that she had nothing to look at except sky :) looking for blue sky recently posted...Everything seems a little more hopeful
How clever! I particularly like the tour of the house; kind of a daytime version of Goodnight Moon. Do you have list of 10 for a two year old now? Paula recently posted...Blogligations: On Breaking the Blog Award Chain
I have to say one part of this I totally misread and it gave me a giggle "To be honest, I didn’t expect it to work, but until she was about 5 months old, she would happily stare at the pictures on the wall whenever her nappy was changed – though I did change them every month or so to avoid her getting bored." You only change her nappy every month or so?? Ha ha, but seriously, great article, and I do several of these already but some good tips I wish I'd known about sooner.