Obviously you won’t be playing this game with a huge mud pit in front of your little one!
Just about the age when J started sitting up on his own, I started playing this game with him. It helps them develop better balance and stronger back and stomach muscles so that they don’t teeter over at every gust of wind (or when you just walk by them!).
J and I sat next to each other and I would get him to grasp onto a scarf, towel, shirt, blanket (anything I had nearby!). I would grab the other end and pull every so slightly. My resistance was really really light at first. I didn’t want him to let go of the scarf, but wanted to show him how fun it was when he kept his grasp. It didn’t take him too long to realize it was a game and to hold on! If I pulled too much, of course he would teeter over. The goal in this tug of war is not really to make them fall over. You have to find that sweet spot where they keep playing but are also getting a work out and improving their balance. As time went on I could increase my resistance because he was getting stronger.
Baby games are simple, but I found it was nice to “spice up” our day with things like this!
Age attempted: around 5 months
Starting around 3 or 4 months old, I used to sit J in my lap in front of a full length mirror. He loved looking at the other adorable baby in the mirror. We sangs songs in front of the mirror, practiced hand motions, and we played with simply rotating toys. He liked to watch both the toy itself moving, but also the toy in the mirror.
Around the same time, I learned to lean a mirror on against a wall and lay J down next to it. When left to his own devices, he just chattered away to his new friend in the mirror. This kept him content long enough for me to mop the floor/cook dinner/iron.
I started putting J in a jumperoo at 3 months old. Of course, he didn’t jump at that age, but he looked at the toys around him and tried batting at them. I like changing his position throughout his waketime to help develop different muscles. It also helps them from getting flat heads from spending so much time laying or leaning back (as in a cradle or swing).
Jumperoo at 3 months
I love taking pictures, and who better to take pictures of than the world’s cutest baby! Obviously, this activity was really more for me than for J. But as a first time mom and stay at home mom, filling our days with new and different activities keeps the days moving. We had so many cute little outfits gifted to us, that I started practicing photography on my own as a weekly activity. I would get him all dressed up, prepare a setting and start snapping photos. These photo shoots did end as he got older and learned to get away! But it was fun while it lasted (from about 2 to 5 months)!
This is one of the first set activities I did with J. At about 2 months old, I consistently brought J into our room after he woke in the morning. We talked with daddy as he got ready for work and then once he left, we sat in bed, reading stories. He loved reading from the very beginning. At first, he mostly like books with simple pictures; if the illustrations were too busy, he wasn’t interested. He also liked books with a rhyming story. His absolute favorite was In the Beginning by Dandi Daley Mackall. He would laugh almost every time I read it. I think he liked the sing song story most of all.
Story time certainly transformed as J got older.
For a period of time (around 4 months?), he became very frustrated while looking at books. He had just learned to grasp things with his hands and was disappointed that he couldn’t grasp the pictures in the book. Cloth books and touch and feel books seemed to bring the most enjoyment during this stage.
I read an article one time that mentioned reading to babies and pretoddlers also helps them to learn basic reading skills (example: we read left to right – both pages and text).