Ever since Pinterest came into our lives, Moms have had no shortage of activities to do with their kids! Indoor, outdoor, spring, winter, Christmas, Halloween – you name it and it’s there!
But even though there are activities for a wide range of age groups (even adults), there is one tiny little group that gets ignored, probably due to their limited fine and gross motor skills – babies!! Well obviously, they aren’t old enough to wield a pair of scissors and mess with pipe cleaners, but there are still many activities you can do with babies that help develop both their physical and cognitive skills. And you don’t have to go search Pinterest, we’ve brought them all to you in one mega list of 34 Creative Play Activities for Babies under 1 year of age!!
Creative Play Activities for Babies below 1 Year
Sensory Play Activities
Sensory play activities are those that stimulate a baby’s senses and encourage him to explore and discover things on his own. The activities listed here help to develop a baby’s muscles, fine motor skills, perception of color, depth and space.
1. Sensory Bags
Sensory bags are really easy to make and you can make them in different themes! Just be sure to make them really safe so that your baby can have fun and you can be stress free!
Play mats for babies are quite common, but this one has lots of bells and whistles that your baby will enjoy to push and pull! Just be aware of choking hazards.
3. Water Play
You don’t need a pool for water fun, just a regular baking tray and your child’s regular bath toys! Don’t forget a large, thick towel or two!
Just like sensory bags, sensory bottles are also a great way to engage your baby, and you can customize them to your liking. They also make cute decor items when they’re not in use!
5. Play dough
There is something immensely satisfying about moulding playdough in your hands!! And they also give little fingers some good exercise in squishing!
6. Water Beads
These water beads are a great and edible way to engage all your baby’s senses. And you don’t need to worry about lead paint or other chemicals!
There will come a day when you’ll yell, “Stop playing with your food!”, but today is not that day!! Food is a lovely safe way for babies to play; you don’t have to worry about lead or other substances!
8. Cloud Dough
Here is another baby-safe material – cloud dough. Made of cereal, it is soft and fluffy and perfect for little hands (and little mouths)!
9. Colored Ice
The perfect activity for hot summer days, your child will love trying to handle slippery and elusive colored ice cubes! They’re great for outdoor play to add into a pool of water and watch the ice melt and color the water!
10. Tugging Box
You know how kids prefer playing with the box over the toy that came in it? Well make the most of it then, by adding all kinds of features to the box!
11. Rainbow Shakers
Kids have a natural inclination towards music, so let them make their own tunes! These rainbow shakers are really easy to make and look lovely!
Motor Play Activities
These activities encourage babies to move their muscles more, which helps in improving their gross and fine motor skills, thus increasing their mobility and confidence.
12. Tummy Time Art
In the initial months, babies spend a lot of time on their tummies, so make this time enjoyable! Propping up abstract patterns like this one will keep babies interested as they bat and swish at it.
13. Balloon Kicking
Who doesn’t love balloons! Give your baby’s legs a good workout, along with developing his eye-leg coordination.
14. Obstacle Course
So your little explorer is moving around and you don’t know how to contain him in one place? Easy – set up an obstacle course that’ll give him enough movement without actually going anywhere!
Dropping straws into a bottle is just one of the host of activities that your baby can do that gives him good scope to exercise all his fine motor skills, while having fun and exploring at the same time!
16. Mice Trails
Let your baby have fun following the mice trails to find which one’s tails are sticking out! This is a really easy craft to make, and you can use containers of any size.
Don’t toss your old newspaper into the recycling bin just yet, let your baby have some fun time scrunching it up! While your baby’s fingers will get good exercise, you might just miss out on the morning news!
18. Bubble Pool
This is another fun summer activity for water-loving babies. Fill a little pool with bubble bath and let her revel in playing with bubbles! Throw in a few toys for her to play detective and hunt around!
You know about obstacle courses, so why not take it a level higher by making it a sensory obstacle course? Just add various textures along the way and surprise your baby!
Make baby’s tummy time worth his while by make it full of different textures. Avoid hard or rough surfaces though, and make sure it’s not something he can tear up and choke on.
21. Grab and Go
Babies start reaching out very early in infancy, first with their mouth, and then with their hands. Let them give their bodies a good stretch by keeping an object just out of reach so they have to work for it.
Who knew that a laundry basket would be so much fun! Tie soft string to and fro till you get a spider’s web. Toss in your baby’s favourite toys and let her rescue them!
23. Colander Thrust
Kids love playing with pots and pans, so let them! Give your baby pipe cleaners in different colors to insert into the holes of a colander – it’ll take some effort but is an excellent exercise!
The pom pom balls from craft stores are great playthings for babies; just be sure to choose larger ones. Make a ball stuffer with any recycled plastic container.
Sherline Pimenta’s Activities for Little Kahan
Sherline is a good friend of mine with a bubbly 1 year old named Kahan. She has shared with us a few activities they do together, all of which are great for fun and learning!
26. Cutouts on the Wall
This is a great game for when the lights go out! Darken the room, point a torch and ask your baby, “What is that?”
27. Suspended Toys
Parenthood is the mother of innovation! Here is yet another use of the stacking toy and my shoe laces – just suspend the toys from the ceiling for your baby’s very own play gym!
28. Egg Sort
Okay, we don’t use real eggs here! Hand your little one a bunch of plastic balls and let him stack it into the slots of an empty egg carton.
29. Making Tikkis
Let your junior masterchef help by rolling out tikkis or making patties with his hands. It’s a great way to exercise their finger muscles as well as inculcate a love for cooking!
30. Passing objects through Pipes
If you have a long pipe at home, you have a very sophisticated toy! There are many things you can do with this pipe, one of which is passing little objects through it.
31. Food exploration
There are so many ways a baby can play with food, it requires a post of its own! Just refer to our collage for some ideas.
32. Colour Play
Even young babies can identify colors, so ask them to put all red toys in a basket, or bring all the blue blocks to Mamma.
More Ideas for Baby Play Activities
There are many easy to do fun activities for your 6-18 month old here. And you don’t need any special equipment; just things lying around the house!
34. Making Music
Your baby is a rockstar, so why not let him rock to his own music? Make him a homemade guitar for him to strum away!
Besides these, you can also check out our list of 10 Play activities for babies. Now with so many ideas at your disposal, your baby is not likely to get bored any time soon!! Happy Playing!