I don’t know why it’s hard, but sometimes I struggle when it’s time to play with the Trikester. Maybe some of you have the play gene built-in, but for me, it wasn’t instinctual. I didn’t grow-up around little kids, and although I’m a teacher, my interactions with teenagers are a far cry from what I’d do with an infant. It’s gotten easier as he grows because he’s so much more interactive now, but I still look for ideas and suggestions to help get things going.
Enter my all-time favorite parenting resource: Baby Center’s “Let’s Play! Weekly activities for your baby’s first year.”
An amazing HB-er shared the link with me when the Trikester was a month old, and even though I’ve passed it along on the boards, I think it’s totally worth a whole blog post because it’s just so loaded with fantastic ideas.
The article is divided into months, and each month is further divided into weeks. Every week contains two activities that are developmentally appropriate for that stage of life. The suggestions are all easy to implement, and give me a great starting point to expand on the basic idea. For example, the “Common Scents” activity under the one-month category was inspiration for my “What’s That Smell?” blog post.
Recently, we’ve had fun with two different ideas: Rattle and Roll and Where Did It Go? With Rattle and Roll, I filled different containers to make a cheap-o set of percussion instruments. I put rice in a baby food jar, popcorn in a Tupperware container, and barley in a paper towel tube. I taped down all the lids/staples with clear packing tape, and handed over the goods (under supervision, of course). As you can see above, he had a blast. It cost zero dollars, and was good for at least fifteen minutes of entertainment.
The second activity we’ve tried this week is Where Did It Go? The suggestion was to bury brightly colored objects in the sand and encourage your baby to dig around to uncover them. We don’t have a sandbox, so I dumped a bag of rice into a Tupperware container and used that instead. We played on the deck to minimize the mess, but next time I’d put a sheet down, too, as the Trikester thought it was super fun to throw giant handfuls of rice out of the container. We buried wooden stacking rings and then dug around until he found them. Simple and fun!
Do you have a favorite resource for play-time ideas? I’d love more suggestions!