No matter where you are with a baby, there are times when the toys aren’t accessible or the conditions aren’t ideal. Maybe you forgot the toys at home, maybe you’re going through security at the airport, or maybe you’re in line for the checkout at the store.
This is where everyday objects and a good song repertoire can really come in handy. Straws, paper, any two things that can be banged together, the baby wipes package, a Kleenex package, any of these can be lifesavers.
A tried and true favourite of Daniel’s (since he was about 2 months and actually noticed) is the peek-a-boo game with a muslin. This works anywhere and at anytime. The game has progressed as he has learned more skills. First he learned to remove the muslin from his head himself, now he can remove it from mine or Pete’s heads as well.
Crawling on the floor and hiding behind a suitcase, Pete developed a new version of peek-a-boo as we waited for a delayed flight.
Another form of entertainment is sounds and gestures you can make with your face and hands. The ‘stick your tongue out game’ never really worked for Daniel but many babies love it. Tongue clicking on the other hand can keep him distracted for minutes. Blowing up your cheeks and slapping the air out of them, air raspberries (any sort of lip vibration works for little D), whistling and humming, are all good things to keep in the repertoire.
Daniel loves songs, especially songs with hand motions. Here are some places where I got ideas for these activities:
- Play it Again Mummy is a great for resource for ideas on playing with baby. Here’s the link to songs with actions.
- Intellidance has lots of videos with actions that really keep Daniel engrossed when I sing and act them out with him (he loves ‘This is the Way’ – great for lap time!)
- Clap you hands (watch a clip of the song here) from My Vox Songs is probably Daniel’s all time favourite and it works anywhere
- Sing and Sign is a great way to learn songs with actions – you can get a flavour for what the class is like here.
- We also learned lots of songs in our Baby Yoga class – these tend to be more dynamic and really took me outside of my comfort zone in a great way. Soon enough I was lifting Daniel upside down (he was squealing in delight) . If you’re in the Belsize Park area – contact Alice Lim, if you have a group of mums she can organize a class. She teaches Baby Massage at Belsize Health (another great activity, for younger babies that aren’t crawling yet).
Do you have a good trick for keeping babies entertained in a pinch? Share them with us!