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Are you getting tired of going from station to station with your baby? From the exersaucer to the jumper, tummy time to the bouncy chair. Day in and day out, it’s the same thing over and over again and it can get quite boring!
Playgroups are great, taking them out is wonderful but what about those really cold days or lazy days where you just don’t feel like leaving your home?
We have put together a list of some of our favourite activities that our children always enjoy!
Sensory activities are excellent for children because they offer a hands on way to allow them to explore the world around them. Sensory bottles and sensory bags are great because they allow younger children and babies to explore sensory play without getting messy. It also allows them to have all of the benefits of sensory play without being exposed to potential choking hazards. Sensory experiences expose babies and toddlers to a range of different learning concepts such as colours, shapes, counting and much more.
They can also have a calming effect as they watch the different materials float and as they manipulate the different textures and materials using their senses.
Add water into the bottle with a drop of food colouring of your choice. Put some glitter, glitter glue, some beads and anything else you would like to add to make it look interesting to stimulate their senses. Add some hot glue to the lid and put the lid on the bottle to reinforce it. Give it to your baby to play with, shake and explore.
Add ½ cup of shaving cream to your re-sealable, clear bag. Add a drop or two of paint and some sparkles if you wish and seal the bag. Reinforce it with tape. Let your baby touch and manipulate the bag but stay close just in case they are a little too rough with it!
Circle time and action songs are great for your baby to learn rhymes, cause and effect, patience, rhythm, counting, literacy and so much more!
Action songs allow them to begin to predict what comes next. When your baby begins to learn that they get tickled when you go around their belly or at the last toe, they are learning to predict what comes next in a story or song. You can see them anticipate the fun part before you even get to it, which is super adorable!
The repetitive, short and consistent songs and rhymes are teaching early literacy while making it easier for them to learn languages. Singing action songs and rhyming with your baby while facing them and having them close to you is a wonderful way to bond with them as you watch them giggle and engage with you.
Go online and find small pictures/ clip art or outlines of pictures of monkeys. Print 3 monkeys and a crocodile. (You might even be able to find printouts of this exact song if you google 3 little Monkeys Swinging in a tree.) Once you have printed them out, you can colour them and cut them out. Cover them with clear, contact paper and cut them out once again. Add some Velcro to the glove and to your monkeys once you have cut them out. Place the monkeys on the glove. Here is the rhyme to go along with the cut outs.
3 little monkeys swinging in a tree (Swing your hand in the air)
Teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me!” (Shake your finger from side to side)
When along came a crocodile as quiet as can be (place your finger over your mouth and say this in a quiet tone)
Snap! (Have the crocodile grab a monkey from your hand)
Repeat until there is one left and then the crocodile misses that last monkey.
The more animated you are when reciting these rhymes with your children, the more engaged they will be.
You can replace the glove and Velcro with Popsicle sticks or use felt instead of paper to create your activity that way. There are so many more activities such as the Itsy Bitsy Spider, 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and many more of the popular children’s rhymes and songs that you can sing using this same idea.
Action songs are a great activity to do with your baby without requiring toys or props. These work well in keeping them occupied while out shopping, at the Dr., in the car and so on... They are also great when baby is having a fussy day! Sit with them facing you and sing to them showing them the actions as well as taking their hands to help them with the actions. Again, the more animated you are, the more they will enjoy this experience with you.
Some examples of great action songs that babies love are: