Being a dad can be really tough! I find this especially true while thinking about new and innovative activities to keep my little one entertained. Most parents would agree that babies have a very limited attention span, and you need to think of interesting things to do with your baby almost daily.
I feel spending time doing fun stuff with your baby is a great way to build your bond with them, not to mention the amazing memories you would have! Plus, being active throughout the day, they would sleep well during the night, which is a great relief for all parents!
Considering I was largely successful in my endeavors of making my little one’s day more joyful, I thought of sharing some of my ideas with the other parents out there! So here I am, writing this article on some really fun things to do with babies.
You can take your pick from both indoor and outdoor activities mentioned below and have a blast with your little one.
Top 10 Fun Things To Do With Babies
1. Go For A Picnic
I think that going on a picnic is one of the most fun things to do with a baby, and the best part is that you don’t actually need much prior planning for it. I, for instance, just need the weather to be nice, and I’ll be packing a picnic basket for a family day out!
You can be sure that your baby will love it! I suggest you choose a cozy place nearby, such as a park. Or alternatively, you can have a picnic in your own garden or backyard, where you and your baby can watch the flowers or even stare at the fluffy clouds together!
A Few Tips
1. For me, a soft blanket is a must-have for a picnic with my baby. I prefer one made of cotton or wool so that it has enough cushioning to protect the baby from the hard ground and small stones or pebbles.
2. I think choosing the right place is the main factor behind a successful picnic. Try to set up your picnic space in a nice, warm, and shady place, such as under a tree, as it will allow your tiny tot to enjoy the weather without feeling the harshness of the sun.
My little one hates being directly exposed to the sun for too long, and I am sure you wouldn’t want to know how difficult it is to coax a displeased baby on a picnic!
3. If your baby can crawl, then there are high chances of them wandering off after anything that interests them – be it a butterfly or a bird. I, therefore, always make sure that my little one stays within the range of my vision at all times.
2. Read A Book With Them
As a dad myself, I know that parents often feel too tired on some days to take their babies out to have some fun. Reading a book with your baby is a good idea on such days.
Well, you don’t actually get to literally read together until your darling reaches a certain age. Instead, you read, and your little one listens. However, you would be very surprised (I, for instance, really was) at how calmly your baby listens as you read! Compare that to the bored and sulky baby you had to coax sometime before, and you’ll know what a relief it is!
Reading together is among the beneficial things to do with a baby. It aids in the baby’s brain development and also plays a role in building their vocabulary, memory, and listening ability. I would suggest you choose a book with lots of pictures. While your child may not understand the words, they will find the pictures interesting.
So the next time you come home tired and feel too exhausted to move, just curl up on the sofa with a colorful book and read to your little one!
3. Make Some Noise
Babies love to hear different sounds. This is a reason why they find musical toys especially attractive. However, even if you don’t have such toys, you can make them feel at home with minimal effort. To be honest, making musical instruments (however crude) is one of the most enjoyable and fun things to do with babies.
This activity was a real lifesaver for me, as I tried it once when my little one was in an especially grumpy mood. However, a few moments into the game, you couldn’t find a happier kid!
For starters, take out a few pots and pans or even a few boxes and arrange them on the floor. Use a spoon or spatula to strike all of them to show your little one the varied noises they make. Let your baby hold the spoon and strike the objects, and you will see their faces fill with delight!
You can also bring in some containers filled with different items such as beans, cornflakes, or the like and let them shake those to their heart’s content as I did. We totally loved creating our own little musical performance, although I am sure the neighbors would find ‘racket’ a more suitable word to describe it!
A word of caution here. Make sure that the lids are tightly closed, or else you would have a room filled with now inedible food! It can be dangerous for your baby, too, as they have a habit of putting things into their mouths.
Plus, a tip for all the dads out there- this is best tried when your wife is not at home (although you should be ready for her reaction when she comes back to find the living room in a mess)!
4. Take Them For A Dip
Want your little one to do some exercise? Try going for a swim with them! While many parents will feel concerned about the safety issues, and rightly so, I would say that the earlier you introduce your baby to the water, the better it is for them.
Yes, there is no minimum age limit for infants to take them swimming. My little one was quite fond of baths and really loved splashing on the water when we went for a parent-child swimming class.
Not only is this among the most fun things to do with a baby, but this activity also has numerous benefits. It improves their cognitive functions along with aiding in muscle development. Also, I found my little one sleeping better and having an improved appetite after these sessions.
A lot of pools out there offer these parent-child sessions at times when the pool is not crowded. Just put your baby into the pool while you hold them and see their little faces light up with joy!
Things To Keep In Mind
1. Check the temperature of the water prior to putting your baby inside. A comfortably warm temperature is ideal for your baby.
2. The skin of babies is extremely sensitive. Make sure you consult with your doctor if your little one has any rashes or other skin issues, as the chlorine in the water may further irritate the condition.
3. Supervision is a must! Even if the water is too shallow, make sure you are with your kid at all times. Babies less than a year old have a higher chance of drowning due to lack of attention.
5. Play Peek-A-Boo With Them
Some games can never get boring, and peek-a-boo is one of them. My little one absolutely loves it, and I can never get enough of those delighted giggles whenever they see me ‘reappear’!
It is a universal game, parents all over the world play it with their kids, and the latter love it. My parents did it, too, when I was a kid, and they cannot help but reminiscence how thrilled I was whenever they played the game.
Plus, we adults never get tired of this game, as we enjoy seeing our baby’s look of surprise turn to joy at seeing our faces again. If this wasn’t enough to convince you to try this with your baby (although I am pretty sure that you already have tried it!), there’s even a scientific reason why this is good for your little one.
The game is a great way of teaching your child the concept of object permanence. In the simplest terms, your little one goes on to learn that even though they cannot see something (your eyes or face, for instance), it still exists.
So the next time you play peek-a-boo with your kid, be assured that it’s more than a simple game – it actually helps in their brain development!
6. A Day Out At The Beach
Yes, that’s right! You can plan a day out at the beach, even with your baby. While it may not be a carefree trip like before, as you need to go with proper planning, it will be enjoyable for both you and your baby.
Taking your baby to the beach for the first time is no less than a magical experience. Let them feel the sand beneath them and hold them tight as the waves splash against their feet, and they will fall in love with the beach in no time!
Babies can spend hours playing in the sand without even the tiniest sign of boredom. Further, one of the most enjoyable things to do with a baby at the beach is to build a sandcastle.
Or you can play a small game by burying your hand or feet in the sand. My little one really enjoyed finding my feet back after they had disappeared into the sand.
I suggest that you carry umbrellas and blankets (for spreading on the sand), just in case your baby decides that they need a little nap after all the activity!
A Few Precautions
1. Make sure that the little one stays close to where you are at all times. The wonderful waves are extremely dangerous for an unsupervised child, and it is best to take all precautions to avoid any possible accident.
2. Also, keep an eye on them while they are playing with the sand. The golden sand may look quite enticing, encouraging your child to put it in their mouth (babies are notorious for this), and the results can be quite disastrous. I am sure that you would like your baby to lunch on healthy food, not sand!
7. Dance Your Heart Out
One of the most fun things to do with babies, dancing can also help you release your stress. I find it especially helpful after a hectic day at work, as the tiredness and tension leave my body while I am grooving with the little one.
Just turn on some music, preferably a song your baby likes, and dance and bounce along all over the house with the little one in tow. Music and dance are the two top things that babies absolutely love, so they will be ready for this activity any day!
I tried experimenting with different types of music and songs and soon got to know the ones my darling enjoyed the most. Try introducing them to varied styles, and soon you and your baby may even have the same favorite song!
8. Try Finger Painting
While I am very conscious about the cleanliness and hygiene of my baby, getting messy once in a while is not a bad idea! It would require some effort on your part – setting it up, cleaning, etc., but your baby’s reaction will make it worth the labor.
Spread a few sheets of paper on the floor, put your baby on it and accompany them as they create their masterpieces. I would suggest that you make your bathroom the venue, as it will be easier to wash off the paint later.
Alternatively, you can also try it outdoors when the weather is nice. One word of caution here, some of the paint is going to end inside your baby’s mouth, no matter how much you try to avoid it. So never use any toxic or chemical-based colors, which can be very harmful.
I would suggest using edible paints – you can easily find several simple recipes online for making them! These are made from ingredients available in the kitchen and are perfectly safe.
Your little one might even decide to make you look more colorful (well, mine did), so be prepared to get some paint on your face as well! Trust me, your baby will love the art they make on your face the most!
9. Go For A Stroll In The Lap Of Nature
Babies are usually very inquisitive and love seeing new things. If your little one enjoys being outdoors amidst nature, going for a stroll should be at the top of your list of fun things to do with babies.
Exposing a baby to fresh air is good for their health, and an early morning or evening stroll is just perfect for them.
I often carried my little one on long walks, pointing out any animal, bird, or pretty flowers on the way. It helps build their observation skills and is great for bonding between parent and child.
Try showing them some interesting things on the way, and they may be able to identify those after some time. If you usually take the same route, you will soon find your little one pointing out those very things to you happily!
You could also take them on a visit to a zoo, a botanical garden, or even a butterfly conservatory. Getting exposed to different types of flora and fauna will strengthen their perception skills. You never know, a butterfly may just decide to land on your baby’s hand. Trust me- your little one will be delighted with the experience.
10. Blow Bubbles
One of my favorite things to do with babies, blowing bubbles, is also among the simplest ways to keep your little one entertained.
All parents, including me, should be extremely thankful to the person who introduced the concept of blowing bubbles! You can actually calm down a crying baby with a few bubbles – all parents would agree how incredible that is!
Bubbles and babies fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. No matter the age of your child, they absolutely love to burst them. There can be no easier way of bringing a smile to your baby’s face. Just blow some bubbles towards them and watch them look awestruck as they try to grasp them.
You would be surprised to know that this simple activity is actually good for your child’s development!
This is great for improving visual tracking skills. As the bubbles float slowly in the air, your baby can focus on and track their movement. Also, it helps develop their motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination, as babies try to catch the bubbles floating around them.
The best part about this activity is how incredibly easy it is to make the soapy solution for the bubbles at home! Just mix some dishwashing liquid or soap with water, and you are ready for hours of fun with your baby.