How old is an infant? Google told me different ages, so let's just say that infant is that cute, cuddly, and wonderous stage filled with learning between newborn and toddler. Infants are gaining new skills, like fine and gross motor skills (learning to pick things up and hold them), they're also learning about the world around them, listening to language and making a few go and ga type sounds, maybe starting to eat some solid food, as well as learning to roll over, crawl, and take some control of their environment. It's all happening!! We've put together a fun list of things to do with your baby that don't cost much money.
This is a good one if you're looking to get active, with Kangatraining there's no need for a babysitter or creche, your baby stays with you the whole time. Interact with baby as you warm up and strengthen your core, then baby pops into a carrier and enjoys being close to you as you work out. Absolutely safe for post natal mums from as early as 6 weeks, learn how to exercise safely and heal as you get to socialise and have fun with other mums. One of our customers, Nicole, is a Kangatraining instructor in Auckland, if you're not in Auckland check out the Kangatraining website, as classes are starting to pop up all over the country.
3. Play with a cardboard box
When it's just the two of you at home all day you need to find new 'toys' to play with. We love cardboard boxes because babies can play in, under, and around them, but you could also try making huts with sheets over the table or chairs, playing with household objects like pots and wooden spoons, and rearranging the couch and cushions to create new play spaces.
4. Bake something
Pop baby into a clip on high chair on the kitchen island if you have one, or pull baby's high chair into the kitchen and do some baking! Their involvement level will depend a bit according to their age, but you could put the bowl on their tray and let them help stir, or give them some cookie dough to roll into a ball. I used to like pretending that I was Alison Holst, and that my baby was my camera crew, I'd say things like, 'now I'm going to cream the butter and sugar, you want it to change colour until it's almost white'. Looking back, it was probably more fun for me than it was for her! LOL.
5. Create a treasure basket
We talked a bit about SPACE in a previous blog post, one of the things that we learnt at SPACE was about treasure baskets and heuristic play, basically the idea is that you get a soft sided basket or box (so that it doesn't hurt your baby if they fall onto it) and fill it with a range of natural, household and recycled objects, for exploration and interest. Some things that you could put into your treasure basket: wooden spoon, silicone cupcake cups, pine cone, piece of leather, set of metal measuring spoons, let your imagination run wild, and change the items out over time. Just make sure that the objects are safe for baby to chew, won't break, and won't hurt them.
6. Roll a ball to each other
This is lots of fun for babies, and it can be amazing to see what they can do. For young babies you can roll the ball to them while they're on their tummy, and for older babies you can roll the ball to them while they're sitting up. They'll be thrilled when they roll the ball back to you and you catch it!
7. Meet a friend at the park
If it's winter you could dress up warm and go and sit in the sun, in summer dress cool and sit under a tree. Bonus points if you can find a park that's near a cafe so the mums can enjoy a takeaway coffee, Cornwall Park and the Cornwall Park Cafe or Frolic are good ones. Actually playgrounds and parks can pretty much always be chosen for their proximity to coffee- there might be a new blog topic in that idea!
Manduca New Style Carrier - Black
8. Go for a walk with your baby in the carrier
Go for a gentle walk somewhere pretty with your baby in the carrier, it's a nice little bit of exercise, and as a bonus you'll get to enjoy a portable hug! We love that babywearing is a good time to chill and enjoy your baby's company, without the interruptions of technology and other people. Have a chat with your babe and soak up the quiet time.
9. Go to the library
You mightn't have set foot in one since you were a student, but there are libraries all over town! In Auckland it seems like they're in every suburb. You could join in one of their fun Wriggle and Rhyme sessions, or just go and read some of the children's books. Your baby might enjoy watching all the other children there (after school there are loads of big kids to watch and play with), or they might enjoy the books, and you even check some of the books out and take them home! They still do that you know :-)