9 simple activities to do with your baby at home
While spending a lot of time at home during lockdown, it’s easy to run out of ideas to keep your little one occupied and happy. So, in the spirit of staying at home, we’ve made a list of super simple activities you can do with household items which will keep your baby busy for hours (while you try to get on with more important things!).
1. Cuddly Toy Time
This is a sensory exploration of all things cuddly, and great for babies who have just learnt to sit up. Fill an empty paddling pool (no water!) with all the cuddly toys you can find, sit your little one in it and let them explore all the different textures of the toys. This is particularly great for placing in the shade outside if you're using lockdown to get to work on your garden, but can also be put inside.
2. Dry Bath
This is again great for babies who are just starting to sit up, shuffle or crawl. Sit your baby in the tub (no water!) with some of their favourite toys. This is great for when you want some time to get ready in the morning in peace. Your little one is contained, has all their favourite toys at arms reach, and has you in eyesight. Although, watch out for the day they learn how to turn the tap on!
3. Cheerio Hunt
Keeping your baby entertained while you’re trying to cook is a challenge, this activity is lovely for babies who are 9 months+. Find a clean draw or box, fill it with plastic utensils, tupperware or toys and pour in some of your babies favourite cereal. Your baby will love exploring the different items anyway but the cheerios will add extra incentive and keep them engaged for longer!
4. Cup shakers
A super simple way to make DIY instruments is by putting dried food (beans, peas, lentils etc.) in between 2 paper cups and taping them together. Your little one will love the sounds they make and these can be great to take out for the weekly NHS clap!
5. Sensory bottles
These are easy to create, fun and interesting bottles that your baby will be mesmerised by! Fill bottles with items such as buttons, paper, beads, pom poms, foam pieces, fabric, ribbon, confetti, bows, etc. Anything that is lightweight and brightly coloured will work. Filling each bottle with different coloured items will introduce your baby to colours and admiring them all lined up can lead to some great tummy time!
6. Sensory Bags
A really lovely way for babies to explore different textures, movement and sound are sensory bags. Similar to the bottles you can fill them with whatever you like but these have the added benefit of being interesting to touch. Fill a zip lock bag with anything you think will have a nice texture or sound, for example orange slices, pasta, sponges, water ect. Get as much air out as possible before sealing and then tape it to the floor or their high chair and let your little one feel and squish away without getting messy!
7. Soft Obstacle Course
A nice activity to do in the evenings while you're trying to get some time to relax is to set up a soft obstacle course. Choose some soft items like cuddly toys and cushions and place these under blankets, towels and sheets (different textures are good). Your baby can then discover their favourite toys underneath by crawling around and exploring.
8. Sponge splash
For sunny days a nice activity for outside is playing with sponges in water. Using multicoloured square sponges is great as you can stack them up and knock them over or sort them into colours. Your baby will really enjoy playing and examining how the water is squeezed out of the sponges. You could also add items to explore filling and pouring.
9. Flower Fun
Make use of the spring flowers around at the moment by collecting them from your garden and around your local area. Your baby will be fascinated by the different colours and shapes which are nice to talk about with them. If your little one has mastered their fine motor skills a lovely (but challenging) activity to do is to place a colander upside down and guide the stalks of the flowers through the holes. Then watch as your little one takes over, they will love having a try!