lunchtime during a visit with Thea's cousin Baker
Lately, it seems that Thea and I are growing a tad bored with our usual routine of hanging out around the house. Inspired by my sister-in-law, I came up with a list of things to keep us occupied. The first part of the list is an effort to get us out of the house a bit more. And then I stretched my brain to come up with more creative things to do while we at home. A few of these are ideas I've heard about from other mamas, and a few are ideas I've read about in other places (but can't remember where). Anyhow, I thought I'd share...
Visit the Children's Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.
Take a walk and let baby feel the grass, leaves, and flowers.
Go to a playground and let baby watch the other kids play. Put baby in a front carrier and swing on the swings. Hold baby and go down the slides.
Visit Maymont to let baby see all of the plants and animals.
Sign baby up for a class at The Little Gym .
Go to story time at the local library or book store.
Take a mom-n-baby yoga class.
Go to the hardware store and let baby practice opening and closing different types of drawers and cabinets (and then make sure the drawers and cabinets at home are secure!)
Join or start a play group.
Read books that feature animal noises. Do your best to imitate the noises as the animal would actually make them.
Make some inexpensive new toys for baby, like a ring with ribbons (thanks, Dale!)
Sing silly songs - favorites in our household are pat-a-cake; head, shoulders, knees, and toes; and Miss Mary Mack.
Make musical instruments for baby to play with. Fill plastic containers with dried beans, rice, or other kitchen items that make an array of different sounds.
Play with silky and gauzy scarves. Let baby feel a variety of textures.
Put on your favorite music and dance with baby.
GIve baby a thorough tour of the house, showing her things in each room and telling her their significance.
Interact with baby in front of a mirror.
Set up pillows or cushions in the floor so baby can practice crawling on an "obstacle course." Let baby climb all over you.
Find some big empty boxes and let baby explore.
Keep toys in rotation so there are always "new" ones for baby to play with.
Let baby play with pots and pans or metal bowls and wooden spoons.
Try some simple arts and crafts on a splat mat or someplace else that is easy to clean up.
Talk to baby as you do daily chores like laundry or dishes. Tell baby everything you are doing step by step.
Take a bath together.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What am I missing? What did you do to keep your pre-toddler entertained when they were sort of crawling and pulling up, but not quite walking?
And also, I'm curious - were there stages of mothering your young child/ren that were more challenging for you than others?