The holidays may be over but the cold, wet, windy, snow, icy, stuck inside, winter is only beginning. Now is more than ever is the time to explore indoor fun before you go stir crazy.
- Still, get outside! Bundle up and get out there. Take the dog for a walk or just go out to get the mail. Whether your child is walking, in a stroller, or in a carrier on your back, the sensory stimulation from outside is infinite. The fresh air will give you a little boost of energy too.
- Rotate toys. Now is also a perfect time to make space for all of the new goodies you child received. Donate or storage is up to you. Either way, put some toys out of sight for a week or two. Bring them out and put others away and it will be like Christmas all over again!
0-6 months can be focused on an activity WITH caretaker for up to 3 minutes
7 months – 2 years will play with a toy or book for about 30 seconds before reaching out to engage with you
- Libraries and Book Stores: Both of these have free story time and activities for all ages. If not, go anyway, there’s bound to be another exhausted parent and energized child. And don’t think just because you have a newborn of 3, 4, 5 months old you can’t go anywhere. Although a wee babe may not be engaging with other kids yet, he/she will still appreciate the sensory input from varying environments.
- Indoor play: Here are a few of my favorite specifically indoor activities…
- Kitchen – while you may have dishes to do, dinner to prep, or coffee to make – set your little one up right on the kitchen floor with a wooden spoon, a few plastic mixing bowls, and even a heaping of flour if you’re not afraid of a little mess (exhibit a). You’ll be Suzy Homemaker and he’ll make you flour soup!
- Book forts – drape the living room in blankets and sheets, turn off the lights, toss some books underneath with a flashlight and lay on your bellies. A different scenery can make old things seem new and exciting.
- Mirror, Mirror – take turns making silly faces in the bathroom mirror. A great way to practice sounds, body parts, and who’s who. Note: babies don’t recognize their self until around 2 years old. Before that, it’s just another baby!