Quarantine life has been hard with a baby under the age of one (10-months old to be exact). At first, I felt like I was constantly reaching to come up with ideas to entertain her. Then, an article came out titled “101 Things To Do While in Quarantine,” and I was pumped! It gave me some inspiration on ideas I could do with my daughter. I had to do a little tweaking to some of them to make them more feasible for my family, and I even added a couple of ideas to my list of “10 Things to Do with Baby During Quarantine.”
Going outside and playing with bubbles has helped our daughter to recognize patterns, taught cause and effect (the bubbles pop), and shown her the difference between weight of objects. She has fun watching the bubbles float away, and when we use our Gazillion Bubbles Machine, she giggles when all the bubbles fly towards her!
2. Sidewalk Chalk/Coloring
Although our daughter cannot write yet, or even draw for that matter, I want her to be familiar with writing utensils. I put the crayon in her hand and help her guide it. This is ends up being just a bunch of scribbles, but we do talk about the different colors, and I help her draw different shapes. Sidewalk chalk is nice because it offers a bigger grip and gets everyone outside, but normal crayons work fine as well and are what we use most often.
3. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
The 1000 Books Foundation promotes a child’s love of reading! The goal is to have read 1,000 books before starting kindergarten. When I saw a friend of mine post about it on social media, my husband and I wanted to jump in! We both thought it would be a great way to get our daughter loving to read. Their website offers many resources and tools for parents to help their child with reading and even a log sheet to record all the books you have read together.
4. Tummy-time Activities
There are many tummy-time resources for parents on the internet. At every stage of infancy, babies reach milestones that can be accomplished through tummy time. Activities by age are listed below:
- 0-2 Months – tummy to tummy (baby lays on your chest), tummy across lap (baby lays across your lap), prop up baby on a pillow and let their arms dangle over the side of the pillow.
- 3-4 Months – lay baby on floor across from you so you can look at each other, play baby airplane on your legs, activity gym
- 5-6 Months – put a toy in front of baby to reach for, use a mirror propped up again a wall for baby to look at themselves, introduce different colors and shapes to baby during tummy time
- 7 months on – put toys out in front of baby to promote stretching and reaching, move toys away from baby to promote pushing through hands and getting on all fours, sit farther away from baby to motivate movement towards you
5. Baby Massages
After bath time we have enjoyed doing baby massages to help her relax, decrease gas and constipation, ease muscular tension and teething discomfort, and bond together. The massages have enhanced our bedtime routine. Sometimes, babies can be fussy with massages at first, but do not get discouraged. Every baby is different and may prefer different methods.
6. Extended Bath Time
My daughter loves bath time. We used to be rushed to give her a bath before bed, but lately we have started bath time a little earlier on some nights to let her play a little longer. Some games we play in the tub are taking cups and filling them up, then slowly dumping them out on her hands, bath animals to practice animal sounds, letter and number foam bath toys to not only practice letter sounds and counting, but also colors. We also like to play peek-a-boo with her washcloth back and forth hiding our faces, hands, and feet.
7. Exploring New Foods
I understand this tip would only be for babies over the age of six-months; however, it has been so fun to have my daughter in the kitchen! I give her foods to play with and explore, and although she may not eat everything given to her, she has fun figuring out how to grab different shapes and textures as well as learning about different colors and types of foods. I also put her in her highchair as I cook so she can watch. Overall, this is an extremely messy but fun way of learning.
Yes, I understand this may not be the most exciting idea (or educational), but it gets us out of the house for a bit and we have had fun driving around town and going to new neighborhoods and parts of the city. We give her toys to play with and turn on her sound machine to keep her entertained while we listen to podcasts or the radio.
Honestly, I have not tried this one out yet, but it is on my list of things to try with her during quarantine. There are many videos online to show you how to participate in baby yoga, and it is beneficial for both baby and you. Baby yoga helps with bonding, introduces stretching and exercise, promotes mobility, and reduces stress.
Whether we are singing, dancing, or playing toys that have musical sounds, we try to incorporate music into our everyday play. Music promotes skills for intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy in babies. To add music to our play, we play children songs from our phone and clap, sing, and dance with baby. We also have a few toys that are “musical instruments” like a piano and xylophone that she can hit and push to make different sounds.
Although we’re not as restricted as we were this spring, having a variety of things to do with baby when you’re stuck at home is always a good idea, especially with these hot summer days. What have you been doing with your little ones?