Bored of tummy time? Can’t stand the sight of the same route on your neighborhood walk? Sometimes we feel limited in the activities we are doing with a baby that isn’t mobile yet, and it’s hard to find activities that encourage baby’s learning and growth while still steering clear of toxic materials and avoiding screens. Have fun doing these 11 activities with your baby (all personally explored by Peurobaby!)
1. Create and play a Spotify playlist and sing interactive songs that can have your baby clap along or interact. We love the (free) Sing N Play Spotify playlist which includes favorites such as This Little Piggy, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Hot Cross Buns. Bonus points to get up and do a dance party!
3. Baby exercise! Lay baby down on a play mat, extra large swaddle blanket, or pretty much anywhere and do some baby exercises! Our favorite was playing YMCA and alternating bicycling the legs and doing the YMCA routine with baby's arms and hands during the chorus.
4. Explore baby touch senses! Get together a bunch of different materials and make a game putting them to baby’s hands. A gentle washcloth, a piece of paper, a leaf from outside, and a pile of (organic) cotton balls. Guide baby to touch each different texture, explaining the difference. Lay baby down on the floor and make cotton balls “rain” on baby, helping explore new textures and practice pincer grasp.
5. Go on a Nature Walk: Not talking about a regular walk in the stroller where baby may often times fall asleep, Put baby in a comfy baby carrier (front facing if they are old enough, and preferably a carrier that switches positions and helps regulate temperature), and go on a walk in your backyard or on your block. Point out different leaves, branches, grasses and animals to baby, and let them touch the different textures. Bend down to a flower and do an exaggerated sniff to encourage baby to smell the flowers.
6. Explore sounds! Babies love hearing, imitating and making new sounds. Use these musical wooden blocks that are solid wood to, grab, shake and explore different sounds. They are colored with water based lacquer (not paint), so if baby does some sensory exploration with the blocks, you don’t have to worry about what is going into their mouth.
7. Twist and Grab: Lay baby down on any play mat or extra large organic blanket and have their eyes follow a toy that is easy to grab. We love any dangly wooden toys. Dangle the toy in front of them, and slowly bring it to one side, encouraging the baby to follow the toy and twist to the side to follow it. This helps strengthen baby’s core as well as works on gross motor skills. Let the baby grab at the toy and slowly bring it back up and to the other side for another twist. Twist and repeat!
8. Copy cat chit chat: Babies absolutely love any kind of copying and especially any chatting. When your baby is babbling, try talking back to them in a full babble conversation. Every sound they make, you make back!
9. Food Art: This may not be the artwork you will keep forever, but let baby make some new artwork and explore different senses using foods. Try mashing up steamed carrots, or making/getting a prune or beet purée. Get the the food on baby’s hands, and have them explore applying it to a piece of paper. (Note: make sure you have either gotten the okay from a pediatrician or are okay with your baby eating some solid foods during this game). Bonus: Hang up prune handprints on the fridge (until it’s gross and you need to throw it away).
10. Explore Smells: Helping baby uncover all their senses at this age is super fun, and surprisingly baby’s sense of smell is super strong (probably to find mama and dada). Open different spices in the kitchen and bring them to baby’s nose – encourage a sniff! Watch how baby’s faces changes with different smells.
11. Take a trip to the library. There are of course plenty of books at home, but it’s exciting for baby to explore a new (but still quiet and not overwhelming place), and check out some new books. We kept our baby strapped in in his Pipa carseat and shared new books.