A VERY good friend of mine 😉 who stays at home with her adorable baby as well, requested this post so here it goes! I will preface though by saying that I have inherited some of these ideas from other smart ladies (a huge source being the leader of my Mommy Group) but I just had to share these! Without further ado, here are some AMAZING cheap, creative and easy ways to occupy your baby indoors…just in time for this storm I hear might be coming this weekend. I don’t have much trust in the weather people though 😉 OK, and PLEASE comment adding your own!
-BUBBLES BUBBLES; need I say more?! Zach LOVES these. Either buy some at the dollar store or make them yourself. I do the former, but I hear there are some good recipes on the www. Here is an AMAZING bubble blower (mechanical) that I have seen used and it is on my “to buy” list 😉 Blows. My. Mind.
-MUSIC! Sing songs (or listen to Sesame Pandora station or YouTube) while playing instruments you either bought OR make yourself. An easy way to make instruments: use a coffee tin, formula canister or something of the like. Fill with dry pasta or rice. Tape shut. OR, you can do like us and do Tupperware drumming with a pot and pan accompaniment. Spatulas work wonders for drum sticks, btw.
-TOILET PAPER TIME- either in a large enough box, kiddie pool or other enclosed area, allow your baby to “have it out” with a toilet paper roll; they will LOVE it. You can also use scraps of wrapping paper, magazines, etc. to let them practice ripping, scrunching, etc. This will easily kill ten minutes 😉
-STICKY TIME; get some contact paper and masking tape it to the floor or wall so the sticky side is up. Then, have your baby experiment with different toys and how they stick on the paper. They will also stick their hands on it to feel the texture.
-MIRROR TIME; all babies love mirrors, but switch it up- take baby in the bathroom and support him/her standing int he sink so he can get a good look at your bathroom mirror. Then, play lights on/lights off to show cause and effect.
-CHALK and butcher paper. VERY funny when they try to eat it. I’ve seen it before 🙂
-BOXES- put your baby IN the box, or flip it over so they can stand with it or bang on it. My doll likes to chew on it. Duh.
-WHAT’S in the BAG/BOX? Take a bag (sturdy; plastic is dangerous) and fil it with baby’s toys and have them “root through it” like they do with your purse or diaper bag. This is also fun with old scarves you might have or lonely baby/adult socks that have lost their match.
-CHASE THE BALL- if you have an exercise ball this works best (lord knows I didn’t get any use from mine purchased for labor). Have baby roll the ball and chase after it. Hilarious too.
-UNWRAP IT- I got this one from this girl but basically the idea is to wrap baby’s toys in tin foil and have him/her open them. Good for travel too.
-SORTING- use either an ice cube tray, empty egg carton, or baby food jars to have baby sort items. Good way to start color introduction. Baby can sort colored pasta, pom poms, beans, etc. Item will depend on age, and if small, SUPERVISE!
-INDOOR PETTING ZOO- line stuffed animals up on the couch, floor, etc and have baby pet each. Talk to them about the different features of the animals. Cute, huh? this one I think came form Parents Magazine.
-EDIBLE FINGER PAINT- need a say more 😉
-FOOD EXPLORATIONS- I’ve talked about this before- but simply allowing your baby to taste new things can be a fun activity
-COOKING LESSON; if I want to bake cookies or do something for dinner, I will sometimes put Zach in his high chair and tell him EVERYTHING I am doing. This is good for verbal development. I will also have him “help me stir” or feel the ingredients, good for sensory development. Also good for being productive 😉
-WHAT’S THAT SMELL- got this one from this girl. Have your baby smell different scents such as cinnamon, orange, candles, etc. Super fun. Good for senses!
-CLIMB THE CUSHIONS- IF your house lends itself to this (i.e. you have carpeting and your baby won’t hit his/her head) take the couch cushions off the couch and pile them on the floor. Have baby climb the cushions 🙂
-PEEK-A-BOO a million times over. Friends, this isn’t your typical peek-a-boo game. Use ANYTHING you can to play this wonderful developmental game: the door, a scarf or blanket, behind the couch, under the high chair, etc. Get creative with how many different ways/how many different props you can use to play this popular game
Whew! OK, I’m out. Hope that was helpful! Please add some!