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 -
This is a perfect activity for babies and toddlers, ideally best before afternoon naptime.
Use a large umbrella (or if you haven’t got an umbrella make a den using a sheet or a table)
Attach coloured paper chains, old recycled CDs, ribbon, mirror (anything that is clean and safe)
Lie baby under the umbrella and let them explore.
Activity 2 - Tummy Time
Lay your baby across your lap (stomach down) and place your hands on their midsection so they’re fully supported
Gently lift baby up and move baby up and down and side to side. Add sound effects – babies love the element of surprise ‘can they hear the aeroplane’
Activity 3 - Scarf/Material Circle
Make sure you have enough space for little one to roll. Never leave a baby unsupervised on a bed – this should be done on the floor.
You will need a handful of scarves or other fabrics (towel, pillow etc)
Arrange them into a circle and place baby in the middle of them – watch as they roll over, allow them to explore with their fingers (and mouth)
Not yet rolling – don’t worry you can use the material to stroke babies face, hand, feet etc. Talk about the texture and use some of the ‘tracking’ techniques.
Activity 4 - We're Going on a Bear Hunt Activity
Activity 1 - Tummy Time Painting
Tummy time builds the core muscles required to eventually sit-up independently, crawl and stand.
A perfect mess free activity to distract babies whilst on their tummies is tummy-time painting.
Using a variety of paints blue, red, yellow and red, a Zip-lock bag and some tape. Open the Zip-lock bag, squeeze in some paint. Secure the bag and then tape the bag to the floor.
Place baby on tummy beside the bag, lay on the floor in front of baby so that they can see you clearly and you can speak to them as they explore the paint.
Comment on what baby is doing using simple language, “squeeze, push, poke”.
Had enough of tummy time that’s fine, why not explore the bags using your feet.
Activity 2 - Nursery Rhyme Treasure Baskets
Nursery Rhyme Treasure Baskets are a really simple and fun activity. Collect a variety of small toys such as a car or train, animal e.g. a pig, or cow, bath toys e.g. a boat or duck, happyland toys and any other objects which represent a nursery rhyme or song.
Ideas for nursery rhymes and props:
- Boat – Row, row, row your boat
- A farmer, or selection of animals – Old Macdonald had a farm.
- A sheep – Baa, baa Black Sheep.
- A Bus – The Wheels on the Bus.
- A Duck – 5 Little Ducks went swimming.
Once you have collected your toys place them all in a basket and allow your baby to explore them. When he/she picks out a toy, start to sing the nursery rhyme that corresponds with the toy.
Activity 3 - Mirror Time Matters
Babies are very sociable and love to gaze at themselves in mirrors. Around 6 months babies begin to recognise themselves in the mirror.
Just like tummy-time, mirror time can be done everyday for at least 15 minutes (not necessarily continuously).
Sit your baby up, with support if needed, in front of the mirror and play a range of activities such as:-
Cover your babies eyes with your hands, remove your hands and say “peek a boo”. They will see themselves again in their reflection. This supports object performance; the understanding that something still exists when out of sight.
Stick out your tongue
Baby will find this very funny and will begin to mimic you.
Talk about Body Parts
Supports vocabulary. Take time to point out all the parts of the body and say the name “nose, eyes, ears, mouth”.
Make funny faces
Sounds simple but this can be crucial for emotional development. Smile and say “Mama is smiling”, “Mama is happy”. You can continue this with a list of emotions.
Activity 4 - Rhymetime Live
Rhyme time live @ 10.30am. Please follow link to Cheshire West and Chester libraries @cwaclibrary
Activity 1 - Rattle Play
Use rattles to get babies attention, sit on the floor with baby lying next to you, shake the rattle next to baby on the left side and then on the right side, wait at least 90 seconds for baby to respond if they don’t respond repeat the action. Repeat 2/3 times whilst baby is still interested and then move from the side of baby to one at their head and one at their feet, wait for baby to show interest.
Offer baby the rattle and then use another one to shake the rattle and await a response from baby, they may even copy you with them shaking it back. If your baby continues to be interested and for slightly older babies who are sitting independently you can hide the rattle under a blanket for baby to try and find where the noise is coming from.
Activity 2 - Balloons
Babies love playing with balloons, blow up 1 or 2 balloons and let baby experience their touch and feel show baby how to push them up into the air, for non-mobile babies use some ribbon to tie the balloons to babies feet so that when they move their feet excitedly the balloons move around and bounce up and down, the more excited baby gets the more the balloons move and then the more excited the baby gets. For older mobile babies you can add some counting as you move the balloons around the room and even ready steady go as the balloon is hit or thrown up into the air.
Activity 3 - Jelly Play
Babies love getting their hands and even feet into Jelly play, and watching you play with it too encourages you child to explore it confidently and learn how to explore it. Be prepared for them to put it on their face and perhaps into their mouth too, their mouth is a primary sense that is learning about their surroundings. Support the play with words like “drop” “drip” “splash” “wibble”“wobble”. You could sing the song wibble wobble wibble wobble jelly on the plate. Make the Jelly up as per the instructions on the packet the day before so it is ready when you need it to be.
Activity 4 - Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Activity 1 - Bubbles
Babies love bubbles, and for many it is a real treat which will continue to fascinate them for increasing lengths of time as they grow.
Blow bubbles near babies for them to follow with their eyes, blow them above, on a level, from behind the baby to develop anticipation, focus and eye movements.
Make sure some bubbles land on their hands, feet or arms so they can feel the sensation of the bubbles popping on their skin.
Activity 2 - Reflection
Hang CDs above prams and baby chairs where they can reflect light into the room or sunlight outside. Hold babies so they can see their reflection (and yours) in puddles, windows and in shiny metal.
Offer babies unbreakable mirrors with easy hand grips so they can see themselves. Put on unbreakable mirror on the wall next to the changing mat so babies can see themselves as you change them.
Activity 3 - Patterns
Research has told us that pattern is an early way that babies get engaged in their world. Strongly contrasting patters and colour will hold babies’ attention for long periods, while they try to work out what they are seeing.
Put mobiles and images with very distinct patterns near where babies are lying, near changing mats/play mats. Black and white patters seem to be very attractive to the youngest babies. 20-35 cm/8-15 inches is the best distance for young babies to focus. Make simple black and white faces and patterns with a thick black marker on circles of card. Add a short stick to each and use them to play a simple game as you wave it (don’t move it too fast).
Activity 4 - The Tiger Who Came To Tea, with Makaton
Activity 1 - Baby Sign Language
Baby sign language is a great tool to use before babies can say words. It is said to boost self-esteem, social and emotional skills as well as aid communication development.
Most babies are developmentally ready for parents to begin signing around four months, babies won’t likely be able to sign back until they’re seven to nine months old.
Activity 2 - Parachute Play (use a blanket or sheet)
Lay baby on their back in front of you and raise a small blanket up and down gently, if you have someone to help, another child or adult in the household this will be easier and fun for all.
You can make this a language rich experience by commenting on the movements of the blanket i.e. up and down, fast and slow, side to side, you can comment on your baby’s emotions and actions i.e. laughing, smiling, happy, kicking legs etc.
There is a lot of opportunity for communication skills to be developed as well as physical and personal, social and emotional skills.
Sing to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell” The Chute (parachute) word can be changed to suit you i.e. blanket, sheet etc.
The ‘chute is on my head, the ‘chute is on my head!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute is on my head!
The ‘chute goes up and down, the ‘chute goes up and down!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute goes up and down!
The ‘chute goes fast and slow, the ‘chute goes fast and slow!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute goes fast and slow!
The ‘chute is on my head, the ‘chute is on my head!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute is on my head!
If you’re happy and you know it, lift it high!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it fast!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it slow!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it low!
Activity 3 - Messy Play
Gloop is a great hit with babies, you must be prepared to join in as it can be a difficult texture for babies to handle independently however when gloop is dripped in front of your baby they will watch with amazement and begin to reach out for and touch the dripping gloop.
Gloop can be made simply using cornflour and water! Add water gradually to cornflour in a large bowl or tray being careful not to add too much water making the mixture to runny. Gloop should appear wet and hard to the touch but when lifted, drip and become liquid.
Activity 4 - What's In The Bag Songs