Are you looking for some activity ideas to implement into your family’s daily routine?
Each week we will add a new activity page with a weekly selection of activity ideas to try at home. Discover previous Infant weekly activities using in the useful links section at the bottom of this page.
With the support of you their parent/carer all activities support your littles ones developmental journey whilst being fun and engaging.
Enjoy and have fun!
Activity 1 - Explore Objects
Give your baby the opportunity to explore objects that they are unable to see at first. Try using objects that your baby will be able to experience in different ways, for example hide an object that makes a noise behind your back (e.g. a rattle), so that your baby can hear it. See if they look for the object or turn towards the sound. You could also try a textured object rubbed gently against your babies hands or feet (e.g. a sponge), when they aren’t looking. See how they respond to the feeling of something they cant see. You can also try using a scented object, does your little one respond to the smell. Afterwards reveal the object to your baby, allow them to look at it and explore it with their hands. See how they react.
Activity 2 - Create a Calming Jar
Use some soap, some beads and possibly some glitter to create a calming sensory bottle your child can play with. Make sure to put the lid on tightly. Allow your baby to grasp the bottle and watch the liquid move up and down. Shake the bottle for your baby.
Activity 3 - Down by the Bay
Did you ever see cat wearing a hat? How about a goat rowing a boat? This baby song has endless variations once you start adding in your own rhymes, which means it’s a great way to work in words from your baby’s own experiences. Try creating your own rhyming pairs. Is there a bee who hurt his knee, a snail sending mail, or a pig in a wig. See how many verses you can create.
Down by the bay,
where the watermelons grow,
back to my home I dare not go,
for if I do my mother will say,
[did you ever see a bear combing his hair?]
Activity 1 - Tummy Time
Try joining your baby for tummy time. Place your baby in a comfortable position on their tummy and then lie down on your tummy facing them, so you are face to face. Use this as an opportunity to bond with your baby, by talking to them about your day, singing a nursery rhyme, making funny faces or sharing a story. Be sure to make eye contact the whole time. Your baby will enjoy looking at you and listening to you.
Tummy Time (pdf)
Activity 2 - Dinosaur Dance
Make a hand dinosaur, raise your middle finger to form the head and use the other 4 fingers as legs, try gently walking your dinosaur over your baby’s chest, up their leg or arm, or on there feet. Use a firm but gentle touch, so it doesn’t tickle too much. You can try talking or singing to tell your baby what you are doing ‘here comes the dinosaur’…
Activity 3 - Story Time
Make sure you and your baby are comfortable and relaxed and settle in to share a story. Offer your child a choice, place two books in front of them and see if the reach for one over the other. Early decision making is an important skill for your baby to learn. Read the book your baby has chosen. Add exaggerated facial expressions, funny voices if you like, and remember to show the pictures.
Activity 1 - Sledding
This activity works best on a carpet or rug but can be enjoyed (more carefully) on a tile or wood floor too. Lay down a blanket on the carpet and position your baby tummy down on top of it, with his arms out in front of him or to the sides, whichever seems comfortable.
Gently and slowly slide the blanket forward and back, to give your baby the sensation of crawling forward. Don't pull too quickly.
With practise your baby will begin using their arms to propel themselves forward, help to develop the coordination they'll need to crawl.
Activity 2 - Cause and Effect
As your baby grows and becomes more observant they will become fascinated by light switches, TV remotes, and other objects that cause things in their environment to change. Show your baby how things work, and that a specific action will cause a specific result.
Start with simple changes: Open and close a cupboard door or dresser drawer, then turn a light switch on and off . You can also roll a ball across the floor to your baby or put a stuffed animal at the edge of the table, then push it off onto a chair.
Try helping your baby ring the doorbell, turn the volume of music up and down slightly. This will be a fun game for your baby and will help them begin to understand the idea of cause and effect.
Activity 3 - Humpty Dumpty - Had a Great Fall
Try the classic humpty dumpty rhyme with a surprise fall. Sit your baby in your lap, with their back against your chest, when you tell your baby ‘humpty dumpty had a great fall’ slowly and gently lean backwards, or lie back onto the floor. This change in position will create a new sensation for your baby.
Activity 1 - Train Game
When your baby is beginning to crawl confidently try this simple train game. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and tell your little one they are a train that needs to crawl through the tunnel, encourage them to crawl through your legs. Making some train sound effects, ‘choo- choo’ or a whistle, for extra encouragement, as your baby passes through. If your baby is not fast enough the tunnel may collapse, sometimes as your baby passes through your legs, gently move your legs closer together to catch her, or bend your knees a little, lowering your body as if you are going to sit on her.
Activity 2 - Raining
Splashing in the bath lets your baby practice those fine motor skills, and also enjoy a different sensory experience. Here's a game where your baby can make it "rain.
Get a small container with a lid, an empty butter tub would work brilliantly. Using a knife, fork, or scissors, punch small holes in the container's lid. During bath time, fill the container with water and snap the lid on. Show your baby how to turn the container upside down and sprinkle water into the tub. Try different way of playing to create different experiences. Let the water sprinkle on your baby’s arms, legs or head (try and avoid the eyes, as this may startle your baby). As baby gets bigger, he can use this to ‘water plants’, give his bath toys a shower, or make it rain. Use your imagination.
Activity 3 - Listen Along, Not now Bernard
Not now Bernard - BookTrust (YouTube)
Activity 1 - Performance
Try putting on a show for your baby, to develop those early listening and attention skills, dress up, sing a song, do a dance or tell a story to your baby to catch their attention and have some simple bonding time. Alternatively share a skill with your baby, can you play an instrument, speak in another language or make up a story. Share these skills with your baby, they will enjoy watching and listening to you, and may even try to mimic what you are doing, so they can be just like you. This is also a great chance to get older siblings involved so they can share their interests and talents with their baby sibling. Just be sure to cheer everyone on.
Activity 2 - Funny Faces
Babies love looking at faces and begin focusing on faces very early on. Choose a time when your baby isn’t hungry or tired and position them so they can see your face, looking directly at you. Then make faces to your hearts content, try opening your mouth wide, raising your eyebrows, smiling or sticking out your tongue. Your baby may try and copy you and make faces of their own, and is likely to pay close attention to you.
However if baby keeps looking a way it may be time to take a break.
Activity 3 - Read Along, The Cow Who Fell to Earth
The Cow Who Fell To Earth - BookStart (Youtube)