My main posts will cover the ideas I’ve tried with my toddler as there are hundreds of these, but whilst browsing Pinterest I came across a few ideas for play with my baby girl. Most of these activities have only been used in the last few weeks, from about week 9/10 onwards as before that she was just a teeny who wanted only food and sleep. As she’s woken up to the world she has wanted to play and interact more. Her favourite thing to do hands down is watch and smile at her big brother, and I’m sure that won’t change until they are teenagers and hate each other!
She is now 3 months old and so far I have tried:
- Tummy time
Generic recommendation from all Health Visitors to put baby on tummy for a little while everyday has been followed. Luckily baby girl quite likes being on her tummy so fitting this in has been easy, she loves watching her big brother run about so shes easily distracted for a good 10 minutes or so each time. I’ve put black and white books, baby toys and her brother in front of her and she seems happy whilst strengthening her neck and back muscles at the same time. She pretty much pukes everytime she has tummy time regardless of when she has eaten, always have a muslin handy!
- Activity mat
From about 9/10 weeks old she has been happy to spend a bit of time here and there under her play gym batting at the hanging toys and watching the flashing lights. I’ve been rotating and changing the hanging toys every few days to keep her interest. As the weeks have gone on she has started to coo and gurgle at them whilst she is playing, she is super happy practicing her hand eye co-ordination. This also has given me the chance to let her entertain herself for 20-30 minutes at a time so I can spend quality time with my toddler!
- Cuddly toy in babygrow
By far my favourite Pinterest find for teeny baby, when they are lying down open a couple of poppers across the chest, insert a cuddly toy and pop one of them back up to hold it upright. My baby girl really loves this play idea and happily bats and grabs the toy for ages smiling and gurgling away.
We have three of the same rabbit cuddly toy as my eldest loved to chew his ears so they constantly had to go through the wash when he was teething. I’m hoping she will learn to love this little guy and his two twin brothers so they get more use as the eldest doesn’t care about him anymore. So far she seems to like grabbing the hands and ears and trying to get them in her mouth. I’m sure it won’t be long before she gets the hang of it as she spends most of her awake time chewing her hands at 13 weeks. I will keep doing this activity with her for a while longer whilst she enjoys it still.
The blog I got it from says its a good way for baby to practice their chin tucks, which are part of the process needed for rolling. If so this is good, either way she’s happy wrestling her rabbit cuddly so I’m a happy mummy.
- Flashlight fun
I have a small pocket torch in my stash of toddler activities as I’m in the process of adding it into one of his things to explore. I found the idea of flashing the torch about in a darkened room to give the baby something to track and follow. After changing her nappy I closed the curtains and shone the light on the ceiling for her to look at, but she preferred it and payed more attention when I shone it onto the nappy box I use to keep all our supplies in. She likes looking at this anyway, so having it lit up seemed to entertain her even more. I took care to never shine it in her eyes of course.
- Mirror time
We had the mirror down off the wall trying a new ‘self discovery and awareness’ activity for the toddler. Whilst he was happily running about spotting his nose, feet, tummy etc and generally running riot I sat baby girl on my lap and let her have a look at herself. She happily watched me and the strange baby in the mirror for a good 5 minutes or so before she decided to go for a poop. Give this a go if you haven’t already, her little face each time she spotted me was so happy and cute!
- Balloon kicks
Seriously give this one a go, I got 2 balloons from The Card Factory for £1.49 each inflated with helium. They are sparkly shiny ones and got her attention in the shop so had a feeling this one would be a favourite. I loosely tied one to each ankle whilst she was chilling on the sofa (being watched don’t be worrying she was safe). At first she laid very still mesmerised by them floating above her, but as she wiggled about and they started dancing she began gurgling and smiling like crazy at them. As the balloons will last a long time we will be doing this activity quite frequently for a bit as she LOVES it.
- Reading books and singing
As I’ve been reading to my toddler I’ve held baby so she can listen and watch me talk. She lies there smiling at me so I know shes enjoying it. Its quite nice and cosy sat on the sofa with them both reading a book, and the toddler is a bookworm so we do this one quite a lot and its a good calm activity for everyone.
Most babies love singing, mine only likes it when shes feeling really playful otherwise she just grumps. Maybe its my singing voice. I did get her first proper laugh though singing Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Go Robot’ at her before her bath so when she is in the right mood it works a treat to entertain her. When we have been playing with my toddlers Nursery Rhyme basket I’ve also sat her on my lap or in the bouncer chair and showed her each prop as we have sung and she happily has a look and tries to bat it.
I got this for my eldest as he thinks they are hilarious. Whilst we were playing with it baby girl was watching and liked the shiny one.
- Crinkly lovey
As she is wanting to practise her grasping I got this one out, one of the presents I got at the baby shower, and she happily lies on my lap crunching away at it with her baby paws.
- General cooing and smiling
Whilst she has enjoyed the ‘games’ we’ve played over the last few weeks her very favourite thing is still to have a happy face to look at. Everything is good when a little baby smiles at you with all the love in the world shooting out of their eyes (as a very good friend put it). She’s so flippin’ cute.
Here are the Pins that inspired me: