September 1, 2013

Activities for Babies

Logan is now crawling, pulling up and standing. He is becoming more mobile everyday and I have been looking for new ways to entertain him during awake times while we are home. (We try and get out to do something fun everyday in the afternoons during his longer stretch of awake time, like moms group/play date, a trip to Target, the grocery store, visit to the park, the pool or a long walk.) I spent an evening looking over Pinterest and different blogs to see what other people are doing with their kids and found a whole bunch of ideas!

Here are a few of my favorites that we have attempted... (the first two are just fun things we are doing, not inspired by anyone else but I wanted to include them since we do these on and off all day long.)

Stacking Up and Knocking Down
Logan loves his blocks and stacking cups! They are great to chew on, have different sizes and come in a rainbow of colors. Pretty much right now, I stack them up and Logan crawls over and knocks them down. I move to the other side of the room and we repeat as many times as he wants to. :) It's a great way to try and burn off some energy before a nap or bed.
Playtime in the mirror
Self explanatory really. Babies love other babies so I put up a mirror right by our play mat so Logan can check out his reflection all the time. He loves it and I love sneaking around the corner and seeing moments like this...

Heuristic Play- Treasure Baskets
From what I gather, Heuristic play was coined by a child psychologists in the early 80's and it basically means to let children explore and play with objects from the real world (aka not plastic baby toys). A lot of the "boxes" I found online were really in depth and had a lot of different themes. I went with easy to grab objects from around our apartment (mainly the kitchen) that were big enough so there was no chance of choking. I tried to have a variety of sizes and textures to explore for his box so he can feel differences in the objects.
Each day, (usually while I am finishing up dinner or washing dishes) I set Logan down with the box of objects in front of him and he takes them out one by one, looks at them, puts them in his mouth and plays with them. I always make sure I am nearby with one eye watching him. This usually entertains him for a good 20 minutes and he definitely has favorites that he picks up again and again. I let him take his time and when we are all done, I put them back into the box until the next day. I've been rotating an object or two out each couple of days. He seems to really enjoy this activity and I usually stay quiet until he holds up an object to show me.

Water Play with Ducks and Frogs
 I loved this idea because Logan loves going to the pool and splashing in the water. We sit on a towel either outside or in the kitchen and I fill a dish with water. I place his bath time ducks and frogs in the water. He will take them out one by one, and when he isn't looking I sneak them back in. He chews on them, picks them up and puts them down. It's a good activity for working on fine motor skills like picking up objects and grabbing them as they move around the dish in the water. He loves this activity and at the end when all the ducks and frogs are out, he goes to town splashing the water all over. This one is a little more messy but he is so happy splashing around that I love watching him have a good time and I don't mind the clean up.

Sensory Bag
I saw these all over Pinterest. They are cute, easy to make, cheap (after a quick trip to the dollar store) and are supposed to entertain babies, squishing the objects all around. I made mine one afternoon with blue gel, little cut out fish, plastic frogs... Logan picked it up, put it in his mouth and moved on. I'm not sure if it's going to be a total flop or if he might like it a little bit later. I'm still holding onto it and I show it to him every couple of days but so far it's a flop.

So, here is just a few of the things we have been up to. I have a few more activities I want to try in the coming weeks but we are getting ready to move so I think a lot of our downtime will be packing and organizing.

Any activities that you or your kids love that I should try? Or do you have a Pinterest board of ideas that I should check out?

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