Sometimes spending time & playing with your baby seems effortless while other days you may feel stumped as to how to keep this new little human entertained.
Before my first baby was born in February of this year, my sister gave me this darling jar as part of a baby shower gift. It has been one of the most valuable, used and treasured gifts I received.
Inside, it contains several ideas of ways to play with your baby.
There have been several afternoons where I've opened the jar to find some inspiration. Although some of the ideas may just be familiar to you, it's helpful to have those reminders!
The slips of paper are organized by color and in layers 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, etc. As your baby gets older, it may be a little easier to know how to play with them although it's still nice to have suggested activities on hand. I was really excited to have ideas I could use with my baby right away for 0-3 months when we were spending even more time at home.
Some of the ideas for 0-3 months include:
Make a buzzing sound with your index finger circling around in the air above your baby. Your baby's eyes will follow your "bee." Build suspense before landing the "bee" on your baby. Next, take the baby's finger and help it be the "bee."
Hold your baby's feet and gently direct them in a cycling motion. Babies do this naturally, so you just need to guide them. Make baby's "workout" fun by singing a song such as "Row Your Boat." (My husband prefers "Bicycle Race" by Queen...)
-Who's in the Mirror?:
Hold your baby in your arms and face a mirror. Point out baby and Mommy in the mirror. Take your baby's hand and touch the faces in the mirror. You can play peek-a-boo in the mirror with baby by moving to the side of the mirror and back.
-Dance with me:
Dancing is fun for Mom and baby! Turn on any kind of music you enjoy and ask your baby for a dance. Sometimes you might feel like a slow waltz to a classical song and other times you can liven it up with rock, hip-hop or whatever you like to dance to! Sing along to the music as you sway or bounce together. Baby will learn to look forward to dances with Mom.
-Baby massage: (usually after baby is a month old, he or she will enjoy this)
Learn to give your baby a soothing massage. Rub a small amount of massage oil or baby lotion onto your hands and give your baby a gentle massage. Start with the arms and legs, stroking gently but firmly. Moving to the head, use your fingertips to make soft, rhythmic circles on the baby's crown, forehead and temples. Stroke from the crown along the sides of the face. On baby's back (have baby lying comfortably on his or her tummy) stroke down from the shoulders to the lower back, then go crosswise on the back from side to side. Finish up with tiny "rain drop" finger taps. Be sure to only massage if your baby is enjoying it and don't try to massage if baby has a full tummy!
-All Washed Up:
Sing about parts of baby's body that you're washing in the bath. Sing the following to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush."
This is the way we wash our face,
wash our face, wash our face,
This is the way we wash our face
during bath time
You can include verses of scrub our feet, wash our toes, clean our arms, etc.
These just give you a taste of ideas for what you can do with your new 0-3 month old baby or of things you might want to include in giving a similar gift.
Do you have any fingerplays, songs or baby "games" you've enjoyed with your new baby?