Looking for some fun activities to keep your infant entertained in the comfort of home? From sensory play to water fun, there are plenty of ways to incorporate learning and joy into your infant’s day. Here are nine activities to help keep them engaged while developing their cognitive and motor skills.
Infants explore the world through their imagination, and storytelling can nurture this. You can start by reading or telling simple stories and introducing them with accompanying hand puppets. As your baby grows older, get more creative stories with props such as costumes and decorations. This will help your baby to focus on the story better and provide more entertainment! Narrating your own stories about people and things in your home offers an opportunity for social interaction that many babies learn from quickly.
Rattles and Shakers
Babies like to grasp things and explore objects with their tiny hands. Every baby should have fun rattles, shakers, and other toys they can manipulate. Show them how to shake the various instruments and encourage your children to practice holding them in different ways and discovering what new sounds each one makes. Be sure to use colorful or textured materials so your infant can experiment with other tactile sensations!
Move and Groove
Get those little legs moving and add some music to your home time! Music stimulates your baby’s brain, produces feelings of joy, and improves coordination as they learn to move. Engage your infant’s senses by playing musical instruments and singing simple songs. Show them how they can clap their hands, stomp their feet, and dance in rhythmic motions too! Moving to the music also introduces ways babies can communicate nonverbally – expressions or body language- giving children a new way to talk without words.
Each activity is designed to be fun and beneficial for your baby’s development, providing plenty of ideas and tips for new parents to help foster language and learning skills in a safe home environment.
Remember to praise them for their effort with a verbal response – that way, they will understand that the actions they made are what you are responding to! Take this time to playfully point out body parts, describe parts of each song, and incorporate movement into everyday activities like getting dressed. Move and groove as your little one watches you, copy the motions they make, or respond with a move of your own. This lively exchange will give them an understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship while helping build fundamental motor skills and creating a fun atmosphere.
Sensory bins are a great way to stimulate your older baby’s senses while teaching them about textures and colors. Fill a container with different objects such as dried rice, uncooked beans, pom-poms, and pieces of cloth. Let your child explore the bin and help sort through the various materials. While they dig around, you can also provide commentary on the materials they find to help further their learning experience.
** Please use caution with sensory bins and choose items that are not choking hazards. Sensory bins must be used under close supervision even when you feel comfortable with the items included.