It’s official! Your little one is now most definitely on the move and much of your time will be taken up chasing after them. As well as making sure that everything is moved out of harm’s way, you need to find some new and fun activities to play with your little one. We’ve compiled lots of really easy activities for you to play with your little one, using things you already have round the house.
These are 10 suggestions that are not only fun to play, but will ensure your little one sleeps better afterwards as well. It’s also useful to time these play sessions for when bub is refreshed and interested. Playing games like this just before naptime or when bub is tired is likely to over stimulate them. Remember, as with everything involving an active baby, you will need to supervise them closely at all times.
Ten ways to actively play
1. Paint swirling
- Yoghurt/edible paint
- Large sheet of cardboard
- Food colouring
- Pour some of the yoghurt onto the cardboard and show your little one how to “swirl.”
- Let them play round with the yoghurt and see the instant effect their swirls create.
- Add food colouring for a visually stimulating effect.
2. Spray time
- Water Spray
- This is perfect outdoor fun for a warm day.
- Using the water spray gently let out a spritz in your little one’s direction.
- Watch for their response. Most bubs love the thrill of water spray and will want you to chase them with it.
- Allow them to hold it and spray you back.
- Together you can make a game of chasing and spraying each other.
- Have a towel handy to dry off with afterwards.
3. Music time
- Pots and pans
- Wooden spoon or sturdy spatula
- Lay out a few pots and pans (old ones preferably).
- With your little one on your lap, bang some of them slowly and then quickly using the spoon.
- Then allow them to play with the pans. This will familiarise them with the varying loudness of sounds and rhythm.
4. Obstacle course
- Cardboard boxes (remove any frayed edges or sharp staples)
- Furniture such as chairs, coffee tables
- Make a simple obstacle course and let bub crawl over the pillows, in and around the cardboard, through chair legs and under coffee tables. It’s great for their gross motor skills.
- This is a great age to start playing chasey with your baby.
- Whether they are crawling or starting to walk it is fun to chase after them and swoop them up with lots of kisses and cuddles.
- They will encourage you to chase them when they know the reward is snuggles with you; also it’s a great way to burn off some of their energy.
6. Stacking time
- Wooden blocks or stacking cups or boxes
- Stack up some of the blocks and then gently knock them over.
- Pop the blocks inside a box and then tip them out.
- Allow bub to copy you and encourage them to stack the blocks themselves. You’re laying the groundwork for organisational and fine motor skill development.
7. Push pull game
- Medium sized box filled with toys
- Encourage your little one to a standing position using the box to support them.
- You hold the other side of the box firmly and slowly pull it across the room.
- This should encourage them to walk as you slowly pull the box along.
- As they become more mobile this game can become faster and faster until bub is running round the room pushing the box without your aid.
8. Ball rolling
- Large round ball, e.g. old soccer ball or netball
- When bub is on the move, gently roll the ball towards them.
- Encourage them to roll it back to you or to somewhere else in the room. This way you’re helping with their hand-eye coordination.
9. Cardboard box play
- Large cardboard box (remember to trim any sharp edges)
- Pop a couple of their favourite toys inside to encourage them in to explore the space.
- You may even like to cut a hole in the side large enough for them to climb in and out of. That way you can play “peek a boo!” with them as well. It’s a simple way to introduce them to the concept of indoors and outdoors.
10. Train time
- When bub is crawling round go and stand in front of them with your legs wide apart.
- Encourage them to crawl between your legs while making train sounds like “choo choo!” or the whistle noise as they move.
- You can support them in learning to crawl faster by pretending to fall down as they go through or reach down for a cuddle as they crawl by. It’s a great game for improving their gross motor skills. *
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.