A whole new world opens up when your baby is old enough to start enjoying fun activities! While I’m sure many activities are suitable for infants below seven months of age, we just naturally fell into orchestrating activities for our daughter once she was able to sit-up on her own.
Below, you will find our favorite activities that we completed prior to our little nugget’s first birthday!
Temporary Bathtub Art
I came across this brilliant idea at – http://realmomsofvegas.com/mess-free-toddler-art/.
What better way to unleash your baby’s creativity than to strip them down, set them in the bathtub and hand them some paint? The highlights….they get to be artistic and messy, squish paint in between their fingers and toes, and slide around in the tub. And the best part…the only thing clean-up entails is running a quick bath or shower to get the paint off of both your child, and the bathtub, in one fell swoop!
This activity is so simple, and you will most likely have all the necessary supplies already on-hand.
Things you will need:
- Paint – since our little nugget was so young, I decided to make an edible paint just by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to a few different small containers of plain yogurt – we used yellow, blue, green, and red.
- Paintbrushes (optional)
Our daughter had a blast slipping and sliding around in the bathtub, smearing paint everywhere! And I was extremely glad I chose to use the safe and edible yogurt paint, since the first thing she did was put the containers of yogurt to her mouth. Yum! Yum! I did provide paintbrushes, but she preferred to just use her hands and feet. And cleanup was a breeze!
Sensory Water and Ice Experience
On a warm summer day, I decided to grab a large Tupperware filled with (warmish) water, as well as a smaller container of ice (I used ice from our ice maker, as well as some re-usable ice cubes of varying colors that we happened to have in our freezer) and headed out to the backyard for some sensory fun!
We started out just playing with the tub of water and splashing around, and then I dropped some of the ice cubes into the mix. Our little nugget was quick to investigate the ice cubes. She had a great time holding them, watching them melt, and tossing them back into the water to create a big splash.
Such a simple activity provided us with at least 30 minutes of fun (and any parent with a young child knows that 30 minutes is a long time)! We enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air, got wet, giggled and squealed, and our dogs even stopped by to grab a drink out of the tub every once in awhile!
All you need for this activity is a tub (or two), water, ice and your child! You could even do this activity inside during colder months – just place a couple of towels down on your kitchen or bathroom floor and you’re all set!
Cornstarch + Water Sensory Play (also known as Oobleck)
Who knew that playing with cornstarch and water could be so awesome? I must admit that I might have had more fun than my daughter with this activity. Thanks to Asia at the Fun At Home With Kids blog for sharing the idea – http://www.funathomewithkids.com/2013/03/super-easy-sensory-play-cornstarch-and.html.
Forewarning: this activity is messy – but you will have so much fun, you won’t mind the clean-up!
Supplies and Instructions:
- Large tub or bowl
- Food coloring (optional)
- Old sheet or towels (optional)
- Lay an old bed sheet (or towels) down on your kitchen floor to help aide in clean-up.
- Pour approximately one cup of cornstarch into a large tub or bowl. Cornstarch itself has a very interesting texture – so start off by just exploring the cornstarch.
- Next, slowly add the water (please note that if you want to add food coloring, you should add it to your water first). There really is not an exact formula for how much water to add, but the general ratio works out to be about 1/2 cup of water per 1 cup of cornstarch.
- Dig in, mix it all up, get crazy, and have fun!
It won’t take long for you and your child to realize how strange this mixture is…it won’t splash or move if you hit it quickly. If you grab a handful and squeeze your hand into a fist, the liquid will become a solid, yet when you open your hand, it will transform back into a liquid and slide off of your fingers. It’s awesome! By the time we were through, my little nugget was sitting in the tub – she couldn’t get enough of the goo! Per usual, some of the mixture made its way into her mouth (since this is just cornstarch and water, it is safe to ingest – although I don’t recommend letting your child sit there and eat it by the handful).
If you took my advice on laying down an old sheet, clean-up simply consists of rinsing off your child, running a quick load of laundry, and washing out the tub.
We have enjoyed doing activities with our daughter from the very beginning – it’s fun – and it’s a great way to spend time together! Activities can be elaborate or simple – sometimes the easiest ones are the most fun. And you can develop a lot of good ideas for different activities simply using stuff that you find lying around your house.
Don’t forget, fun activities don’t always have to be artistic or scientific, or done strictly at home. Our daughter has always been extremely alert and observant. Some of her favorite activities involve exploring the world around her – be it venturing out in the bike trailer, going on a grocery store run, or stopping by the neighborhood park to visit the slides and swings!