I've been having trouble keeping Wyatt happy and entertained when we stay home. He seems to get bored quickly and even my old stand by songs just aren't cutting it anymore to entertain him. I thought he was tired when he started crying, but turns out that he really does want different activities and when I change it up to something he likes I easily get another happy 20 minutes out of him, which is saying a lot. He gets easily frustrated by the fact that he can't crawl yet and is constantly trying to move!
So here is my new go to list to keep me inspired and having fun when we stay home.
- Sing a song, especially one with actions or that involves touching him. (Think along the styles of head, shoulders, knees and toes).
You might not consider this an activity but he loves it, especially if I get in with him and pour water, spray water and kick water with him. It's a completely different experience when we're in there together!
- Sit in high chair
Though solids aren't recommended until 6 months, Wyatt is loving sitting in his high chair at the table while I eat. At first I gave him extra support with blankets and just gave him a simple toy or spoon to play with. Now that he's showing lots of interest in food sit him there and give him something safe to suck on: chicken bone, broccoli, celery, watermelon rind, etc.
Wyatt loves doctor Seuss books, I think because they rhyme and have very few colours on the pages. Though lately he prefers to handles the books, hold them and try to put them in his mouth. We do this little game where we take ABC, which is white in front and blue in back and show him the from and say "light side" and flip it over and say "dark side". Or open the book, say "open" close it and say "closed". This activity is part of our wind down routine and he just loves it. I also try to point out objects in a book instead of reading if he's losing interest, but he's not very interested in that yet.
I take a blanket and just fan him with it while he lies on his back and he'll easily giggle for 20 minutes. When he gets bored, I'll lightly brush his body with it instead of fanning it, he's in a phase where he loves to touch everything and that really seems to entertain him. He also likes it when I blow on his belly or toes or even face.
- Naked time!
When he's upset, i often just take his diaper off and give him his toes while on the change mat. He loves sucking on them and likes being diaper free. If i want to give him some more naked time, i lay out this awesome $6 change pad from Ikea on the carpet and let him roam naked until he gets bored or pees or poops himself then throw it in the wash for next time.
- Go outside
I lie him straight on the grass in the shade. Sometimes he hates it, sometimes he loves it, all depends on his mood. If he doesn't like it I might help him sit or lie him on a mat but with his fingers touching the grass. He loves the texture of it and of course tries to grab it and put it in his mouth.
Grab some coconut oil and rub it all over him, between his toes and fingers and those cute leg rolls!
- Blow bubbles
Make or buy bubble blowing soap and blow away.
- Stack stuff and let him knock it over: measuring cups, tupperware or an actual stacking toy
- Give him every day objects to handle, one at a time: water bottle, tupperware, measuring spoons. Make sure they aren't small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll to make sure they aren't a choking hazard. I find he gets frustrated really easily with toys and objects if they don't fit in his mouth and are easily held so I use this as a last recourse. Some good ideas for every day objects on Plain Vanilla Mom.
- Play with water
Sit outside with a spray bottle, peri bottle, some small plastic bowls with just a bit of water and let baby go to town while helping him sit up. Some more water inspiration on Dirt and Boogers, or try Coloured Ice Cubes and Water or Bubble Discovery Bowl.
- Explore smell
Try raiding the spice drawer, maybe rubbing different spices on your fingers to have baby smell.
- Explore touch
Either give baby different types of fabric to touch, or walk around the house letting him feel every day objects, the wall, wood, plastic, etc. You can even make a sensory board or bin with different fabrics to feel
There are a lot of variations of this to play!
- Take a toy and a tupperware big enough to hold it and hide in inside, over or under.
- Hide a toy under a blanket and ask baby to find it.
- Sit your baby in front of a mirror and show him how to play peekaboo with his own hands and face.