As a new parent, it can be quite overwhelming trying to figure out how to keep your baby entertained while at home. Even if you have other children, there will be times when you are looking for easy ways to entertain baby at home.
There are some tried and tested methods, and there are those random, spur of the moment things that parents try, that somehow seem to keep their baby’s attention for some time.
Below I have listed 8 relatively easy things you can do to stimulate your baby and keep them occupied. Most of them don’t require you to buy anything, and you can often use things that you already have at home.
1. Some Good Old Singing
Babies love to hear their mother’s voice (and father’s too). They love familiar sounds, and will respond kindly to them. From inside the womb, your baby is forming connections between different voices, and they tend to love voices that they hear over and over again.
Below are some examples of things you can sing to your baby to keep them smiling and happy.
- Nursery Rhymes – the possibilities are endless. Try to sing shorter and more familiar ones at first to get yourself in the groove. Once you’re more comfortable you can venture out into longer nursery rhymes and not so common ones. Try adding new songs to your list regularly so your baby can see what it’s like to learn new things after a while.
- Traditional/Cultural Songs – these are most specific to your culture and practices. Maybe your parents used to sing some old folk songs to you that have been passed on through the generations. This is a great way to get your baby used to your own family traditions and they will grow having some cultural experiences at home.
- Learning Songs: numbers, ABC, etc – these are quite easy to come up with on your own. I have created so many songs on my own that I’ve lost track. From learning numbers and the alphabet, to the days of the week and months of the year, I have made my own rhythms and songs that my son has now come to love. He doesn’t know that mommy just made up the song on the spot, and he doesn’t even care 🙂
- Church Songs – if you grew up in church or go to church, then you may know a few church songs that might come in handy when you can’t think of anything else. Children church songs are nice and easy to follow and are often interactive, so your baby can participate as well.
Dancing will surely entertain your baby for a while. Dance by yourself or take their little hands and let them join in on the fun. The type of music matters in these situations. You want to choose songs that are upbeat and lively if you want to make quite the impression.
Dancing can lift your spirits and create a sense of enjoyment and fun for your little one. Add singing to your dancing, and your little one will be amazed by all that’s going on. Try mixing up the music to add the element of surprise. Your baby loves surprises and will be all smiles by the time you’re done “making a fool of yourself”.
3. Musical Toys
It’s undeniable that babies love anything that makes noise. Toys with sounds and music are so exception. This can potentially keep your baby’s attention for a very long time.
Try to get a mixture of toys with different sounds and songs. Also, changing out your baby’s toys ever so often can bring a sense of newness to the toys. So maybe each week you could switch out each toy, so your baby gets excited each time a “new” toy comes around.
4. Stuffed Animals/Puppet Show
Babies love to have a “special” toy that they bring with them everywhere. Often times, this is a stuffed animal.
Having a collection of toys is great as your child can choose different toys, depending on their mood.
Keep in mind that stuffed animals will need to be washed regularly to keep them clean. Your baby will undoubtedly put these toys in their mouths, so cleanliness is a must.
If the stuffed animal uses batteries, then take care in wiping it clean or following wash/care instructions on the tag.
You can also use stuffed animals to do a mini puppet show for your baby. Use different voices and accents if you can to make your baby smile.
5. Children Shows/Cartoons
This is more of a controversial option. Many people don’t agree that babies/children should get any kind of screen time until they are older.
While constant screen time can potentially damage your baby’s eyes in the long run, I personally think a little bit is ok. I mean, if you have a child who can only be comforted or soothed by putting on a children’s learning program on TV or the computer for a few minutes, then that might be what works for your family.
I’m not saying you should turn on the TV or computer and have your baby sit in front of it for hours at a time. That, I believe, is detrimental to them. Even as adults, it’s not good to have too much screen time as it can create strain on the eyes.
The key is in this case is moderation. When done in moderation, it can make a horrible day go by much more smoothly.
6. Arts & Crafts
Kids love to play. This is their main source of entertainment. Play time is crucial to their development. Supervised play is important as you can teach your little one different things that they can do on their own time. However, giving your baby independent play time is just as important.
The options listed below can be done with supervised or moderately independent play time, depending on the age of your baby/child.
- Edible Paint – this is easier than you might think. While you can buy this in certain stores, you can make your own at home. How, might you ask? By using soft foods and food coloring. Crush the food until it’s smooth and then add different food coloring so your little one can have a range of colors to play with. This can also be a teaching moment for your baby because you can teach them the different colors.
- *Just be prepared for the clean up after – both your house and your baby*. (You can put a big blanket or some paper on the floor to prevent messing up your house too much)
- Ripping Paper – this is exactly what it sounds like. You can use regular paper from a book or newspaper. You can also get different textures from the Dollar Store, like the thicker paper used to do school projects.
- Hand and Foot Prints – This can be done with the edible paint or other baby safe paint. I really like this idea because it gives you something to cherish.
- Drawing with Crayons – this is a fun way for your baby to start learning how to hold writing items in their hands. You can get an exciting coloring book from the Dollar Store as well – lots of options to choose from there.
7. Pots and Pans and Other Household Items
Even though these are not ideal, babies tend to love them. They can use them as drums because they love the noise produced by the pans.
Of course this has to be supervised play, as you don’t want to ruin your precious pots and pans. Furthermore, your baby could potentially get hurt so ensure you are right there with them as they have fun with the pans.
As mentioned above, babies love to hear their parents’ voice. Reading is a great way to keep your baby’s attention. Reading also allows your baby to learn the natural flow of your language, so this is a win-win situation.
Keep in mind that your baby might not sit for very long as their attention span is quite short. Try doing different voices and expressions while you read. This will surprise your baby and help to hold their attention.
You can use either cloth books for younger babies, or actual paper books.
Some great book ideas are those that have pop-ups to make the story more interesting.
So Much to Choose From
With all these different options, I’m sure you will find something on the list to make your little one have fun and enjoy themselves.
I’m sure there are many other ideas out these not mentioned here. But these are just some simple options that almost anyone could do.
Hope you enjoyed reading about some easy ways to entertain your baby at home.
Which one is your favorite from the list? What have you used to entertain your baby that’s not listed here? Share your opinions in the feedback below.
Thanks for reading 🙂