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Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be boring, and with a little imagination you and your baby can have lots of fun. You don’t need to schedule something to fill every moment, but it’s helpful to have a few ideas up your sleeve for when you need them…
1. Make some noise
Gather some safe household objects like an empty box, a wooden spoon, and the lid of a tub and let your baby pick which one they want to play with. They will enjoy handling each item and banging it to see what noise it makes. Just make sure whatever you give them isn’t breakable or dangerous.
2. Show them magic
While your baby is still learning how the world works, showing them how certain things work can be magical. Seeing you press a switch that turns on a light or pressing a doorbell that makes such a loud sound will entertain as well as educate.
3. Watch the outdoors
Hold your baby up to the window and point out birds, passing cars, a squirrel running along the fence, or the shape of clouds.
4. Dance party fun
Turn on some fun music and dance with your baby. If your baby is old enough to stand with your support, they will love that you’re dancing hand in hand.
5. Read books together
It’s great to start reading picture books to your little one at an early age. Point out the characters in the story and use expressive voices to bring the story to life. Get your baby involved by helping them hold the book and turn the pages. Movements will particularly delight your little one. You’ll love seeing your baby squeal along even if they don’t yet have the words or actions down pat.
6. Sing nursery rhymes
You may remember one or two from your childhood, but you can also check out these popular nursery rhymes.
7. Build obstacle courses
A slightly older baby or toddler will love to crawl, climb, and explore. Create an obstacle course using pillows and boxes, and your little one will be thrilled at the challenge of getting over, under, and around the objects.
8. Create a tunnel.
Pull two chairs together back to back, with about 3 feet between them. Place a towel or blanket over the top, encouraging your toddler to crawl through the tunnel. They’ll love the sense of achievement, and they’ll love finding you waiting on the other side.
9. Blow some bubbles.
Blow bubbles around your baby and watch them try to swat at them in wonder – it’s as entertaining for you as it is for them!
10. Play with blocks.
Piling blocks into a tower that can later be knocked down is a big favourite among many older babies and toddlers. Traditional wooden blocks are nice, but you can also make your own box blocks by stuffing milk cartons, cereal boxes, or shoe boxes with paper and taping them shut.
11. Roll coloured balls
Roll a ball towards your baby, and have them try to roll it back to you. As they grow, if you have a selection of balls in different colours and sizes, you can help baby learn about patterns and colours. For example, ask them to roll the yellow ball, or the striped ball towards you.
12. Play peek-a-boo
Your baby will be delighted as you reveal your face from behind your hands or from behind a blanket or tower. You can pull a funny face to create even more laughter.
13. Try feeling fabrics
Create a tactile tub by gathering together clean clothes or scraps of different fabrics such as coarse wool, smooth silk, beaded materials, or netting. Place them all in a tub, box, or bag and let your baby handle and feel the different materials and textures.
14. Kitchen cupboard fun
Though you may have babyproofed your low kitchen cupboards by locking them shut, you might like to keep one cupboard open to store safe, unbreakable items like small pots and tubs with lids and wooden utensils for your baby to play with and explore. They’ll love the thrill of being able to grab, bang, and shake all the different objects.
15. Rotate their toys
Your baby will be intrigued with something ‘new’ if you rotate toys and keep the rest hidden. When you give them a toy, encourage them to crawl to reach it and let them figure it out by themselves so that they will get that sense of achievement.
For advice specific to your baby’s age, check out the NHS guide to baby development milestones.
What are your favourite indoor activities with your baby?
Let us know in the comments below!