James is 11 months old. Did you get that, people? He will be one year old in one month. And while it’s taking some time for that to sink in, I get a smack-in-the-face reminder when I turn around and find him standing up, clapping and laughing. He isn’t walking yet- thankfully, cause mama ain’t ready for that- but he is literally everywhere. And I am behind him every step of the way. I’ve already moved every single plant and a safety gate has been placed bang in the middle of our living area to stop him from going to the staircase which is basically a death trap. So I’ve had to think of ways to keep this little man busy…without having to do much.
With babies, it’s hard to figure out how to keep them entertained. At least with James it is. He’s at that in-between stage (not yet one but desperate to get there) where safety is of utmost importance. He puts everything in his mouth and will try and climb up anything. I keep coming across amazing activities on Pinterest, some truly great ideas but I know they just won’t work for him. So I keep it simple.
1. One of his all-time favourite things to do is take stuff out of bags and boxes. I realised he likes to do this when he would crawl into the big reusable food shopping bags and take out everything. Then crawl inside. Also one day after I cleaned out a cupboard overflowing with plastic plates and cups and put everything in a big paper bag to give away, I noticed how enamoured he became with studying the shapes and colours of the cups, bowls and plates. This is actually my go-to plan when I need to keep him entertained. Tip: Every couple of weeks change the items in the bag.
2. Ziplock bag with something squishy inside works occasionally with James. I’ve tried it with small ones like these plastic freezer bags from Ikea but I think the bigger ones are more fascinating to him. You can put water and some food colouring for effect, or smash up a very ripe banana or anything really that your baby will love sucking on and thrashing around. At least that’s what my son does. Tip: Use two even three ziplock bags to ensure nothing spills. Or grab a big packet of pasta you won’t mind being crushed.
3. Stones in a bowl or just plain stones are working their way up in James’ world. Sensory play definitely plays a star role in this activity which basically involves giving your baby a bunch of stones, not too big not too small, washed and with tons of texture. Late one afternoon I plopped him down on the grass and he made a beeline for the stones we have around our trees in the garden. He happily played forever and now even points to where he wants us to take him once we’re outside. Tip: Use a plastic bowl and sit down beside your baby and show him how to put them back in. It’s totally cool if he doesn’t want to. I wouldn’t either. Sucking on them and tossing them is way more fun.
If you have an older child you want to entertain try this homemade bubble mixture or you could try splat painting (this one was so much fun). Oh and now the weather’s warmed up check out water painting!