Indoor Activities for Babies and Toddlers: Age appropriate activities for infants and toddlers

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What activities can you do with infants indoors? What can do you do on a rainy day with a baby? How do you entertain a baby? What activities help child development? What are age appropriate activities for infants? I have created a list of indoor activities for babies to help you entertain your little one.

Please note any activities baby does should be under your supervision or that of another trusted adult.

Activities to do with a newborn, 0 to 3 months old

Supported tummy time

To help build baby’s strength to roll, eat, crawl, sit and walk, supported tummy time is essential. You can roll a towel into a cylinder and place it on the ground. Position baby with tummy against the floor, and the rolled towel under baby’s arm pits. Another way to do supported tummy time is for baby to lie against you. Lounge back into your couch, and position baby’s tummy against your tummy and have her try to push up with her arms against you.

Making faces

Babies love faces. She will initially stare at you, then follow your face when it is close, and will start to recognise the faces of the most important people in her life, usually mummy and daddy. She enjoys you making faces at her, smiling and laughing. It is a great game.

Mirror play

Again, babies love faces, and a mirror is a great way for baby to start to recognise her own face. If you place a mirror on the floor, you can combine mirror play with tummy time.

Kicking foil

Get a sheet of aluminium foil (the type you use in the kitchen). Lay baby on her back. Put the foil near her feet so she within kicking distance. When she kicks, she feels the different texture of the foil on her feet, and hears a crinkle sound. A bit of fun with sound, texture, and helps her to learn about cause and effect.

Activities to do with 4 month old

This little piggy

Babies start to get more confident in finding their fingers and toes. Help to be aware of her fingers and toes by singing the ‘This little piggy’ nursery rhyme.

Lyrics and actions when using fingers:

This little piggy went to market (wiggle baby’s thumb).
This little piggy stayed home (wiggle baby’s index finger).
This little piggy had roast beef (wiggle baby’s middle finger, and pretend it’s eating).
And this little piggy had none (wiggle baby’s ring finger, and make a sad face).
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home (wiggle baby’s little finger, and walk your fingers from baby’s hand up along her body and tickle her under arm).

Lyrics and actions when using toes:

This little piggy went to market (wiggle baby’s big toe).
This little piggy stayed home (wiggle baby’s index toe).
This little piggy had roast beef (wiggle baby’s middle toe, and pretend it’s eating).
And this little piggy had none (wiggle baby’s fore toe, and make a sad face).
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home (wiggle baby’s little toe, and walk your fingers from baby’s foot up along her body and tickle her under arm).

Chat to baby

Baby starts cooing when you talk to her at 4 months. She also starts imitating speech sounds, like baba, mama and dada. Increase baby’s exposure to language by chatting to baby and describing your and baby’s daily actions. For example, when changing baby’s nappy, you can say:

  • Baby Leigh, Mummy’s going to help you change your nappy because you did a wee wee.
  • I’m taking your pants and nappy off.
  • Please bend your knees and lift your bottom.
  • I’m wiping you clean.
  • I am applying applying nappy rash cream to your bottom.
  • Mummy is helping you put the nappy back on.
  • Time to put your pants back on. Right leg, now left leg.
  • All done.

Activities to do with 5 month old

Helium balloons

Baby starts amusing herself by playing with her hands and feet. She also starts to distinguish between bold colours. A fun activity that combines these attributes is to tie colourful helium balloons to baby’s hands and feet and lay her on the floor. She will be amused waving and kicking her legs to make the balloons move. It will also help her to learn about cause and effect.

Activities to do with 6 month old

Sing BINGO using your baby’s name

Baby’s start to recognise their own name from 6 months. To help baby learn her name, change the lyrics of the BINGO nursery rhyme to your baby’s name. For example, for baby Leigh, the lyrics are:

There was a mummy, who had a baby,
and Leigh was her name-o.
L-E-I-G-H
L-E-I-G-H
L-E-I-G-H
And Leigh was her name-o.

There was a mummy, who had a baby,
and Leigh was her name-o.
(clap)-E-I-G-H
(clap)-E-I-G-H
(clap)-E-I-G-H
And Leigh was her name-o.

There was a mummy, who had a baby,
and Leigh was her name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-I-G-H
(clap)-(clap)-I-G-H
(clap)-(clap)-I-G-H
And Leigh was her name-o.

There was a mummy, who had a baby,
and Leigh was her name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-H
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-H
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-H
And Leigh was her name-o.

There was a mummy, who had a baby,
and Leigh was her name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-H
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-H
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-H
And Leigh was her name-o.

There was a mummy who had a baby,
and Leigh was her name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)
And Leigh was her name-o.

Exercise ball tummy time

Keeping hold of your baby, lay her across the top of an exercise ball, and gently rock the ball back and forth for a new tummy time experience. A great suggestion from The Mom Friend.

Activities to do with toddlers (2-4 years old)

Stem Toy Expert suggests 17 indoor activities to do with toddlers when they are bored, including:

  1. Make a colourful ‘Skittles rainbow’
  2. Make a walking water rainbow
  3. Engage in sensory play
  4. Make your own bubbles
  5. Ice painting
  6. Fine motor activities
  7. Seed germination jar
  8. Water play
  9. Ramp races
  10. Play dough mats
  11. Pom pom drop
  12. Bubble wrap roads
  13. Cardboard tube threading
  14. Puzzle control map
  15. Leaf people
  16. DIY matching game
  17. Dinosaur dig sensory bin

Clara

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