No one—your little one included—likes a rainy day that keeps them trapped indoors. Try these baby-tested ways to help the time fly by.
Fun High-Chair Activities
1. Name of the game: Hunt for Treasure
What you need: A plastic container; dry cereal; a baby-safe item (a plastic dinosaur, a ball, or a binky)
What to do: Place your baby’s favorite toy at the bottom of the container and cover it with cereal. Encourage him to munch away until he finds the hidden treasure. When he does, cheer and clap like crazy.
It boosts: Fine motor skills, object permanence
Why it’s fun: Remember how exciting it was to discover Cracker Jack surprises?
What to do next: Break out a favorite toy and play with it together.
2. Name of the game: Faux Birthday Celebration
What you need: A bunch of small boxes, wrapping paper, tape
What to do: Gussy up the boxes with your favorite flashy paper. Hand them over to your child and show her what to do. No present? No problem! Many kids love the challenge—and sound of paper ripping.
It boosts: Fine motor skills, curiosity
Why it’s fun: With shiny, crinkly paper and pretty bows to tug at, your little one will have the time of her life!
What to do next: Encourage her to explore the unwrapped boxes! Help her stack them, or toss them on the floor.
Awesome Floor Games
3. Name of the game: Kitchen Floor Shindig
What you need: Colorful plastic bowls, metal or plastic dishes, pot lids, wooden spoons, other kid-safe utensils
What to do: Set out all the “instruments” and show your baby how each one makes a sound. Then encourage him to bang out his own tune.
It boosts: Hand-eye coordination, large motor skills
Why it’s fun: Baby will delight in the cacophony of noise. Have your phone on hand for videos!
What to do next: Put on tunes you love and host a dance party!
4. Name of game: Bundt-Pan Roller Derby
What you need: A Bundt pan, a small plastic ball or two
What to do: Show your baby how to tilt the pan so the balls roll around inside of it. Let her try it out.
It boosts: Large motor skills, cause-and-effect motions
Why it’s fun: The pan creates a mini Tilt-a-Whirl.
What to do next: Try sliding balls down an empty paper-towel tube.
Cool Experiments with Water
5. Name of game: Favorite-Toy Bath Time
What you need: A large tub or basin, three or four waterproof toys
What to do: Supervise closely while your baby dips, dunks, or sinks his favorite bath toys and has a splish-splashing good time.
It boosts: Hand-eye coordination, small motor skills
Why it’s fun: Most kids love water.
What to do next: Add a few kid-safe bubbles and encourage baby to wash his toys.
6. Name of game: Tray-Top Hockey
What you need: Crushed ice, plastic cup
What to do: Dump a few pieces of crushed ice on baby’s high-chair tray and watch her have fun trying to pick them up. (Be sure to use crushed ice and not ice cubes for this activity so as to avoid a choking hazard.)
It boosts: Fine motor skills, problem solving, hand-eye coordination
Why it’s fun: We love to capture pieces of ice that almost always get away.
What to do next: Clean up and take a bath!
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