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5 At-Home Activities

for Babies and Toddlers

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Creative
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Curious
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Gather a few everyday items and play these games with little ones who are able to sit, eager to move, or ready to dance.
5 At Home Activities for Babies and Toddlers
1. Basket Sleigh Ride
What You’ll Need:  A large basket or cardboard box and an ample, obstruction-free space to play in
 
How to Play: Line a basket with a small, soft blanket. Settle your baby or toddler inside, and tell her you are taking her on a sleigh ride. Use your arms to pull (or push) your cutie around the play space—just make sure she’s tucked in securely. Some horsey clip-clops and neighing sounds will add to the fun. Say and act out words like start, stop, slow, fast (but not too fast!), forward, and backward.
2. Dance-Party Nation
What You’ll Need: A clutter-free zone, along with tunes to inspire your moves and your baby to sway along with you
 
How to Play: Start the music and begin dancing! Your tot will feel the rhythm when held in your arms. Invite your toddler to concoct some moves and dance with you. Match his twirls and turns. See if he will follow your cues and then give you some moves to follow. Find inspiration in his favorite characters, zoo animals, or vehicles that he loves—the crazier and sillier the better. Mix up tempos, rhythms, and genres, or turn off the tunes, and say “freeze,” although you may be the only one freezing.
3. Pillow Gymnastics
What You’ll Need: Two or three couch cushions or pillows and a spacious carpeted or padded area

How to Play: Arrange pillows to form a stepping stone path for your baby to master or a squishy tunnel for your toddler to crawl through. Place a stuffed animal friend at the end of the trail to recognize her accomplishments. Then turn pillows into tiny trampolines she can jump on while holding your hand, or use those soft surfaces for tummy time or rolling practice.
4. Scavenger Safari

What You’ll Need: Toys, blocks, balls, stuffed animals, objects in different shapes, things with letters on them, and rooms to roam around in

How to Play: Help your infant or toddler hunt for and collect favorite possessions. Explore each room. Locate objects, provide a name for them, and add a description, such as red ball, blue block, furry dog, and cuddly kitty. Gather the toys to play with later. Name or match colors, or point out similarities and differences.

5. Mirror Me In the Mirror
What You’ll Need: A securely anchored mirror, hats, and other baby-friendly accessories
 
How to Play: Sit in front of the mirror and hold your baby. Let her explore the mirror. As she does this, imitate her gestures and facial expressions. Then take the lead and see if she’ll follow your directions or mirror your actions. Say: “Can you touch your ear?” or  “Where’s your tummy?” Add props, such as a floppy hat, for a peekaboo session.

 

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