In general, babies get tired of playing real quick, and parents are left trying to come up with different ways to keep them entertained. Through this social distancing period due to the coronavirus crisis, the only option is to get creative! Therefore, BabyHome put together a list of activities you can do at home with the little ones. There are games for the small kids who can’t sit on their own yet (like the line of ribbons) and options for those who have mastered walking. Get inspired by these ideas, look at what you have at home that can be used to play and entertain and have fun!
1) Painting with “natural paint”
Babies tend to ut absolutely everything in their mouths, and “natural paint” Works perfectly for them because they are made of food. You can use beets, carrots, spinach, blackberries, or any other food with a strong color. Use a blender and very little water to make your paint, run your “paint” through a clean cloth to make it smoother, and keep different colors in different bowls or jars. Fingers up…let´s paint!
Many other edible ingredients can be used to make “natural’ paint but need close supervision, so babies don´t ingest them like coffee, saffron, dirt, coco…
You can also use food coloring or jello powder, but only if you know your baby is not allergic to it.
2) Painting without the mess
How about letting the little ones experiment with paint without any mess to clean up afterward? Inside a Ziploc, place little amounts of thick paint and small objects, as long as it is not pointy you can place inside, try uncooked pasta, buttons, anything you have lying around. Use tape to stick your bag of fun to the floor and let little ones run their fingers on top of the plastic bag and play with shapes, textures, and the different colors mixing.
Mix things up by placing a piece of paper the size of your Ziploc inside and place it on the floor or to the tackle; This might be how you´re gonna get your kids first masterpiece!
3) Homemade playdough
Flour, salt, oil, food coloring, and water are your ingredients for today’s recipe: playdough.
You can let babies play, not worrying about washing their hands before it makes its way back to their mouths—mix two cups of flour and half a cup of salt.
Add a teaspoon of oil and a cup of water (little by little, so it doesn’t get too runny). You want it to feel like playdough and not stick to your hands. Add more flowers if you feel like there is too much water. Once you get it to a nice consistency, a couple of drops of food coloring will do the trick. You can use it later if you keep it in a Ziploc.
Big babies love stickers. They love stickers everywhere they can place one. Actually, they like to glue that little piece of sticky illustration, but… guess what? If you don’t have any stickers around the house. Use any tape you have, cut it into pieces, and what your little one gets distracted… stick it, pull it off… stick it again… pull it off…
Here is an idea: use pieces of tape to make a road or train tracks for toy cars or anything else your kid likes to play with.
5) Sensory board
Babies love to touch and discover different surface textures (and make noise, too!). A good distraction can be improvising a sensory board on the wall or on anything you have lying around like a poster board, cardboard, wood (the traditional one is made on a wooden panel). Now you need to make things stick to your board or wall, glue, tape, hot glue. But it really depends on your board surface (make sure the items are safely glued to the sensory wall, especially little items that could be swallowed):
- plastic pot lids that open and reveal hidden drawings;
- old phones, unused remote controls;
- keyboards, calculators for the child to press the buttons;
- tunnels for placing balls ( paper towel rolls);
- pot lids that make noise when touched;
- light switches;
- wooden abacus handling small pieces;
- mirror; * book to browse through the pages;
- brush to feel the bristles;
- bunch of keys to make noise;
- bags with different grains;
- zipper to open and close;
- wheels to rotate …
And whatever else you can come up with (let your home supplies be the limit)!
6) Ribbon baby play
Babies love to watch those beautiful ribbons hanging and moving with all their colors. For a base, you can use anything you can keep sturdy and at a safe distance from your baby, even a longer piece of ribbon (Picture a clothesline), hang different ribbons in various colors and widths. And please make sure the ribbons don’t hang too low so it doesn’t get wrapped around the baby’s neck and cause a serious accident.
7) Musical bottle
Plastic bottles are a great means to explore sounds. You can try various bottles and place a variety of grains inside to let your baby shake and experience different sounds. Uncooked beans, rice, corn will make each sound differently. To be extra safe, you can use tape to make sure the bottle will stay closed, and even bigger kids won’t be able to open it. If you’re feeling artsy, decorate with washi tape, paint, or (you know it bu now) whatever you can find around the house!
8) Popsicle sticks
This one will entertain babies for a long time! Youé gonna need popsicle sticks and a can with a plastic lid (potato chips, powder milk, coffee). Decorate with wrapping paper, washi tape, or paint, and you can even decorate your popsicle sticks. Make a few cuts on the lid wide enough for the baby to push the sticks in the can.
9) Paper basketball
Scrunch up scrap paper to make small basketballs. To play: throw the paper basketballs through the top opening of any basket, clothes hamper, or bin you can find.
Adults can’t help but have fun with this one!
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