Looking for something fun to do with your little one? Take a treasure walk together!
Now that your baby is getting sturdy, try a more interactive song such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. Help him with the movements as you sing the words; he’ll learn about his body parts while enjoying a duet with one of his favorite singers…you. (6-8 mos)
Hold your baby on your lap so she can see your face, then experiment with different sounds. Make a whistle noise, click your tongue, blow your lips like you’re giving a raspberry, then make a kissing sound. Experiment with animal sounds, car noises, and so on. This one’s fun to do with Daddy, too. (0-2 mos)
Experiment with different ways for your baby to make noise: a crinkly paper bag, a wooden block, a metal mixing bowl. (4-6 mos)
“Retire” a favorite toy and then bring it out a week later for a look of wonder. (6-8 mos)
Let him take a whiff of your morning coffee, especially the beans before they’re brewed. If he seems to enjoy it, try other smells too: an orange, fresh flowers, even a family pet. Chances are he’ll reach out to touch each one, so if your pet is willing (and friendly) he’ll get a bonus snuggle too. I’m not sure about smelling the family pet… (2-4 mos)
Gather up a few household items at different temperatures — a cold carton of milk, the shampoo bottle at room temperature, a not-too-hot teacup — and help your baby explore the different sensations. Did he seem to like the cold item most? Let him feel a cool apple next. Was the teacup a hit? Try a t-shirt fresh out of the dryer and so on. (2-4 mos)
Uh-oh! Make a big show of dropping something on the ground and say “WHOOPS!” Laughs are sure to follow. (8-12 mos)
Splash! Fill a large bowl of water with a couple of inches of water. Let your baby splash her hands inside or float a toy. (Always use caution when babies are near water.) (8-12 mos)
Perform an impromptu puppet show among stuffed animals — witty dialogue not necessary. (2-4 mos)
30 Seconds with Baby: We hate to interrupt those delicious moments when babies are playing happily on their own, but just before you are about to pick him up anyway, surprise your little guy with a giant ticklefest on his tummy. He’ll be delighted to see you, and laughing so hard you’ll have to join in too.
Turn your meal prep time into your baby’s playtime with his very own set of stacking cups that live on the kitchen counter. Show him how they work, how they fit together, how they make a tall tower and, of course, how they crash down. Even if you’re busy preparing dinner, he’ll be happily occupied with his first geometry lesson. (12 mos & up)