Recently, I’ve realized how awesome it is to live in an area that provides so many fun experiences for children! Moms can take advantage of playgroups, special programs through colleges, church programs, and more to keep their little ones happy, engaged, and learning throughout the summer and the school year.
Buuuut, what is there to do when your little one is too young for all the fun??
Well, being that my sweet, inquisitive girl is only seven months old, I’ve made a list of fun activities that are developmentally appropriate for those itty-bitty people we hold so dear.
1. Sensory Bags
We LOVE our sensory bags and they are so easy to make! Fill a gallon size bag with that you think would be fun for your baby to see and squish (I doubled bagged ours). Inside our sensory bag, I filled it with purple dish soap, glitter, pom-pom balls, and a flat, wooden unicorn. The dish soap allows the bag to be squishy, which babies love! The glitter is eye-catching, the pom-poms allow for babies to practice their fine motor skills by pinching the pom-poms to move them about, and the unicorn adds personality! Sensory bags can keep little ones entertained for quite awhile in multiple different places around the house; if you want to practice tummy-time, lay the bag down on the floor with your baby on their tummy. If you want to practice sitting up, tape the bag to the wall so that baby has to sit and reach out to play with the bag. If you want to practice high chair sitting, let baby sit in the high chair and play with their sensory bag while you get dinner ready!
Much like sensory bags, this requires a gallon size bag, paper or canvas to fit inside the bag, and paint. Baby can go to town smashing and squishing the paint around to create an awesome piece of art! If you’re anything like me, masterpieces by my kiddo are exactly what I want on display; this is a safe and easy way to encourage the love of art early!
Discovery baskets are an easy way to allow baby to discover different textures, colors, shapes, etc.All that is needed is an empty box or basket and things from around the house! You can use a theme for your discovery basket, but it isn’t necessary to do so. Recently, I put together a discovery basket with the theme of “Orange”; I collected orange toys and objects from around the house and put them in the basket for my baby to play with and enjoy! My baby loved this basket and theme. The contents of her basket kept her engaged and I was able to use it as a learning experience about the color orange.
Out and About:
Our libraries have many events for babies and parents throughout the week. Several of our area libraries offer baby-specific story time and playtime classes, music classes, and programs such as “Mother Goose on the Loose”. This is a great (and free) way to get out and socialize while also introducing your little one to literature.
2. The OKC Zoo and Science Museum
If you haven’t been yet, you MUST go spend a day at the zoo and the science museum! Our zoo not only has a wide array of animals, but the zookeepers provide different classes throughout the day in which they teach about specific animals and their required care. Recently, we visited the zoo and got to sit in on a lesson about elephant care—to be entirely honest, my social butterfly was way more impressed with the cute little guy sitting next to her (flirt alert), but it was a great opportunity to sit down in the shade and get an up close look at a big animal with those little eyes of hers! Our science museum also provides an opportunity for exploration and learning, even for the littlest ones, with so many fascinating things for their little eyes to behold. Plus, it’s mainly all inside, in air conditioning, which is the BEST.
3. Parks and Splash Pads
We have an abundance of parks and splash pads around the metro. Being that it can stay quite warm well into the fall, parks and splash pads provide a free and fun opportunity for babies to get outside and have some fun. I recently took my seven month old to our nearest splash pad. I carried her through the water and she was mesmerized! She also enjoyed people-watching as older children ran about, probably secretly wishing she was a “big girl” like them. If it’s not a great day for getting wet, pack up a bag and blanket and enjoy a picnic with your baby. Allow them to discover the grass and dirt, show them the flowers and leaves, let them lay in the warmth of the sun (but don’t forget the sunblock). Babyhood is about discovery and exploration after all!
What are some fun things you’ve found to do at home or around the metro with your sweet baby?