Entertaining Baby with Homemade Activities

My baby is now 9 months old so I feel qualified to list some ideas for playing and entertaining babies under a year old. Let's face it there are only so many times you can coo and push a button to make a plastic animal squeak, roar, or bark. Is your baby tired of her bouncy and giving you the stink eye when you sit her under her Gymini? Here are a few ideas for entertaining your little one. Hopefully, you'll stumble across one or two you haven't yet tried.

  1. Gather hats and glasses from around your home. Try them on for baby.
  2. Go to your coat closet and get an umbrella. Now sit in front of your baby while she's in a bouncer or swing or propped up in a sitting position. Open and close the umbrella. Don't worry about bad luck if your inside- if it brings a smile to your little girl or boy's face then its highly worth it! Twirl the umbrella, do your own rendition of "Singing in the Rain," and bring it from a high position to a low position to make a woosh of air come down on you and baby. Just be careful to hang onto it tightly, as the sharp points could definitely take an eye out if your not super vigilent. I've also tied on toys to the inside of the umbrella and spun in around while my baby was in my lap. I did this when she was about 2-3 months.
  3. The best tip I have is to duct tape a helium balloon to your infant's foot when they enter the kicking stage. They will see that their actions cause the balloon to move up and down. My little one absolutely LOVED this game for a couple of months. Watch the video to the right to see her having a blast. I purchased a huge stork balloon after this one deflated. Of course, you shouldn't leave your little one upsupervised even if it would seem they cannot reach the balloon ribbon- you never know. Stay in the room and enjoy the show while you are eating lunch. Hopefully it'll give you at least 20 minutes of free time as it did me.
  4. Tightly (and I do mean tightly) tie a clean sheet to your headboard if you have the type that will accomodate this activity. I have a wrought iron one that is very sturdy. I tied the sheet in a knot and yanked on it with all my might to make sure it was secure. Then I placed my baby in the sheet and held the other end of the sheet with my hands. I slowly lifted her up and down. She loved this game and it helped me build my tricepts. I would count to three and lift her up on three. As she became older I woudl swing the sheet slowly back and forth like a hammock. When I'd stop she would squeal for more. Babies like surprises, so I'd try to surprise her by sometimes swinging her on a different count other than three. You can make up rhymes too.
  5. I noticed my daughter studying her water bottle the other day, so I got a plastic container and filled it half way with water and then put one of her plastic balls in the container so if floated. She loves it. She is playing with this at 9 months. Wish I had thought of it sooner.
  6. Buy some puppets. I have a marionette bird puppet from a vacation to NewYork long ago. I bought it at FAO Shwartz. She loves this bird. Of course, I have to be careful and keep it out her reach because the bird is controlled with invisible fishingline like thread that poses a strangulation hazard.
  7. I evented a game I call Belly Boop. I pull my shirt up and my daughter's shirt up. I lay her on my stomach skin against skin -and when she leasts expects it I push my stomach out and say "Boop" loudly. She bursts into giggles everytime. We play this for about 10 minutes at a time.
  8. I let her play with my cell phone since she can't open it. When she can one day I'm in trouble!
  9. I have given her an old remote with the batteries removed. Glue or duct tape the battery compartment shut so she isn't in danger of swallowing small parts. I let her play with this only when I'm with her.
  10. Let her push the garage remote door opener.
  11. Let her watch you bounce a balloon. Remove it if it pops and throw it away. Before you do, she might enjoy watching you suck in the balloon to make a mini-bubble like we all used to do as kids. But the latex poses choking hazard so don't leave it laying around.
  12. Show her how the lint brush that is sticky works.
  13. Let her watch you shred junk mail.
  14. Roll a beach ball back and forth.
  15. Do exercises together putting your feet or arms in the air while saying "Up" and "Down" to teach him or her the meanings of the words.
  16. Find out what funny noises make your baby laugh. Mine loves it when I grunt. I discovered this when I was trying to teach her how to move her bowels while she was on the changing table and having constipation issues. It's like our own private joke now.
  17. Make a cushion house or a mountain out of cushions and let your little one practice crawling up them.
  18. Put your baby on a blanket and have yourself and another adult grab both ends. Then swing her slowly. Hold on to the blanket tightly.
  19. Play the harmonica for her.
  20. Blow bubbles.
  21. Blow a whistle -but not too loudly as you don't want to damage any eardrums.

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