When you are a new Mum, it takes a while to get into the swing of things. From the multiple naps you take throughout the night (let’s be honest, you can’t really call it sleep) to the occasional nappy explosions, it all takes a bit of time to adjust. However, one of the best bits about parenting is, that once you get adjusted to one stage, everything changes and you have to get into the swing of things all over again.
So when your baby starts to move around and needs more to keep them entertained, you can find yourself a bit stumped. What do babies even like to do? Well the long of short of it is, everything.
Take a walk
Babies just love to learn about the world around them. There is always so much going on outdoors; the noises, the colours, the smells and new faces. What better way for a baby to learn about the world around them, than experiencing the world around them? Talk to your baby about what is going on and explain what things are. I’m forever walking around with Oli – Bear telling him all about the world. Sure people give me funny looks and think I’m a bit bonkers, but the way I look at it, what is more important, my child’s needs or a random person’s opinion?
Of course to learn about the world they live in, babies don’t always need to be outdoors. There is lots to learn inside the house too. Messy play is exactly as it sounds, playtime which is messy. This is best for when your baby is 6 months or over.
We bought a large meter round tray (it’s actually a building tool for mixing mortar – we bought ours from Amazon) and filled it with jelly, cooked pasta, cooked rice and flour. Then Oli – Bear and his friends sat in it and played. They all just loved feeling the textures and they particularly liked standing up (with our help) and sliding around in the jelly.
You can chop and change what you put in and can even cover the tray with delicious, fruity finger foods. This gives them the opportunity to taste and feel different foods and of course, it is always best to share food with friends.
Oli – Bear loves to paint. Actually I think he likes the amount of mess he can make when he does painting. We bought a paint tray and some ready-mixed children’s paints, then let Oli get stuck in. He was more than happy wiping the paint all over himself, the paper and anything else he could get his hands on. Painting always tires Oli out, so after everything has been tidied away and we are all cleaned up, we cuddle up on the sofa and have a lovely, long nap.
*If you decide to do a painting activity with your babies or children, they must be supervised at all times to ensure they do not eat the paint or get the paint in their eyes.
Sensory play is one of the cheapest forms of baby entertainment. It can be the simplest of objects. We have a wicker basket filled of everyday objects such as:
» A sponge
» A teaspoon
» A pinecone
» A twig
» A wooden peg
» Kitchen roll
Of course you can always expand on your collection by adding bits and pieces from your day to day lives or trips your have taken with your little one.
Sensory play can be more than a few items in a wicker basket. Oli – Bear and I built a sensory toy box, complete with ribbons, fabrics, shapes, colours and a peek – a – boo window. I will upload a blog post at a later date on how to make homemade sensory toys.
*Note that when playing with sensory toys – children must be supervised at all times as these are not toys made to guidelines or regulations.
Whether you have a singing voice that rivals Beyoncé or even makes Donkey from Shrek cringe, your baby will love to hear you singing. If lyrical knowledge of all nursery rhymes has escaped you, there are many baby books containing pearls of nursery rhyme wisdom. If that fails, google will be able to help.
I love to read and children’s books aren’t just for children, grown-ups can read them too. I don’t know about you, but I get quite wrapped up in the story of how the mouse walked through the deep dark wood in The Gruffalo, or the children’s adventures when they visit the lands at the top of the faraway tree. Reading to your little one is a great way to bond with them, is great for their language skills and means you get even more of those precious cuddles during the day. We loved our reading time so much, we built a story den to enjoy all of the stories in.