This is a guest blog post written by Sara Hernandez, lifestyle blogger at happilyeverhernandez.com. You can download her free printable to learn her top five travel tips so you can save on your next vacation along with five free quick and easy recipes!
I have seen lots of new moms at a loss for what they can do with their babies at different ages. So, I decided to compile this helpful guide to share different activities for infants and toddlers that are mom tested and baby approved. If you stay at home with your child like I do, the days can seem to drag along. Hopefully these ideas are helpful and educational! Remember that just because something is listed for a certain age, doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial for other ages as well!
This post may contain affiliate links which provide a small compensation if a purchase is made through them.
Activities for 0-3 Months
- Go for a walk outdoors. My baby did not like to be laid down, so I wore him in a carrier all the time. Babywearing is great for your baby to get tummy time practice and still be close to you. You can do things with your hands, and your arms won’t get tired from holding a sleeping baby in one position. You can also take your baby for a walk in a stroller. It is nice to get some exercise and fresh air.
- Can do kiddo and eat sleep and play share great ways to encourage your babies development.
- Tummy time is great for building your newborns’ neck and head muscles. My baby didn’t love laying on his belly, but most babies love to lay on their parents’ chests. You can put a fun toy in front of your baby to give them something to look at while they practice.
- Nurtured noggins has wonderful ideas for activities for infants.
- Talk to your newborn about what you are doing throughout the day.
Activities for 4-6 Months
- Build a fort with your furniture, pillows, and blankets. My baby loved doing this on the bed with his dad. It is so fun at any age to hide under a homemade tent and play.
- Lay on a play mat with hanging toys. This wooden play gym is the perfect, non-toxic set up that you can move anywhere in the house for entertainment.
- Babies love wrist rattles like the ones I put in my guest post on the best baby and toddler gift ideas. It is so cute to see your baby shake them and make their own music.
- My baby loved plastic bag painting. We put a canvas inside a bag with different colors of paint, and he kicked and hit it creating his first piece of art. We still have it in his room hanging, and he loves to look at it and feel the texture now as a toddler.
- Find some paper, and let your baby tear away! It was right around this age for my baby’s first Christmas, and he loved opening the wrapping paper more than the gifts themselves.
- Shine a flashlight in a dark room. A lot of time is spent sleeping these days, so make light of it before a nap or bedtime. Your baby will love seeing the shadows and exploring light and dark.
Activities for 7-9 Months
- Blow bubbles! This is one of the most fun and simple activities for infants and toddlers. You can find bubbles for a dollar at dollar tree or make your own. Bubbles provide amusement for days as your child will love to watch them float around.
- Look in the mirror together. Your baby will get a kick out of seeing his/her reflection. Although, at this stage he/she probably won’t recognize the image as being his/her self. It is fun to make silly faces or play peek a boo.
- Look at pictures of familiar faces. You can create your own cards by printing photos of your family members and friends. Then, I would suggest laminating them, because we all know how much babies love to put everything in their mouths. Plus, this helps keep the pictures from being torn or soaked with water. You can even take it a step further by gluing them to card stock, so they will be nice and firm to resist being bent.
- Play with the steering wheel or explore in the car. This remains one of my toddlers favorite activities. Any time we are in the car, he likes to navigate through the back seat and press all of the buttons.
- Look out the window. You can talk to your baby about what you see. They will love seeing birds, cars, people, and more! Sometimes they may even catch their reflection on the glass.
- Roll a ball back and forth. This is one of the activities for infants and toddlers that helps their gross motor skills and hand eye coordination. My toddler giggles when we play with balls as they are his favorite.
Activities for 10-12 Months
- Put balls in a muffin tin (teaches one to one correspondence). This activity can be done with any small balls you have. Most people should be able to find a muffin tin in their kitchens. If you don’t have one, children love to play with anything you have that isn’t a toy. My baby loves to play with bowls and spoons, pounding on them to make noise or rolling his ball around inside. Some of the best activities for infants and toddlers are just talking to them and involving them in your everyday activities.
- Velcro puff ball activity: I love this idea! I found it when creating this blog, and it sounds so fun and easy. You just need velcro and puff balls, and your baby can enjoy sticking the puff balls on the velcro and pulling them off.Pull your baby around in a basket. The majority of people have laundry baskets in their homes. It isn’t the most comfortable for the parent, but babies get a kick of riding around the house in a basket. If you don’t have a basket you could use a large box.
- Buy some magnets and let your baby place them on the refrigerator. My mom made DIY magnets by gluing little magnets on wooden animals from a craft store. Then, she put them in a metal container to carry for on the go enjoyment. This can be handy for road trips or while running errands to keep your child busy even at an older age.
- Stacking games are great and can be done with everyday household objects like cups and bowls. Here is a post that talks about all of the benefits of these activities for infants and toddlers.
- Create an obstacle course for your baby with pillows. He/she can have a great time just crawling over and around the mounds.
Activities For One Year Olds
- Read board books. In my opinion this is one of the most beneficial activities for infants and toddlers, better yet children of all ages. We love to borrow books from our library. At this age I’ve found that board books are best, so you don’t have to worry about the pages getting torn. My toddler loves reading this book.
- Play on the playground. Children need to spend time outdoors and get all of their energy out. This is one of the essential everyday activities for infants and toddlers. You should be able to find a playground near you that you can visit for free and your toddler can climb to his/her heart’s content!
- Go on a walk in the stroller. If you don’t have a stroller, find a trail near you and let your toddler run around! They will love to explore nature and have the freedom without being told not to get into things they don’t belong in.
- Dance! Put on some music and sing along. You can even dance without any music. Make up motions and sing nursery rhymes.
- Make animal noises. My toddler is obsessed with all things animals. He loves to say the noises and sing old mc donald. These cards include amazing photos of animals.
- Talk about body parts and get your child to point to them. It is never to early to practice naming different body parts. Toddlers love to show their smarts. Some of the best activities for infants and toddlers just require you being present, interacting, and engaging with your child.
- Water play outside with bowls, spoons, and things to scoop. They can also have a fun time playing in the bath tub or sink with water. We got our toddler a water table that is great for all kinds of sensory play.
- Tape streamers across the hallway. This is such an easy activity that you can throw together in a minute. Perfect for long rainy days stuck indoors or if you need to keep your toddler occupied for a little while. If you want to live on the wild side give them the streamer roll.
- Poke a hole in a box and put ribbon through it for your toddler to pull. It will be exciting for them to see how much ribbon continues to come out. Have fun with these activities for infants and toddlers creating new games.
- Create a DIY felt peekaboo house. This is such a cute idea. Similar to the familiar faces book I discussed earlier, except this plays on how much children love peek a boo. Your toddler should enjoy getting to open and close the felt flaps.
- Make a ramp out of a book. We need to try this activity. I’m sure my toddler would have a lot of fun watching different toys roll and slide down differently. As you can see, a lot of activities for infants and toddlers don’t require that you buy a ton of toys.
- I’m not sure how this DIY ball drop would hold up to my rough toddler. I tried creating something similar before, and he just ripped it off the wall. Ideally this would be a fun activity where your child can drop balls down a cardboard tube.
- My toddler loves to just play in giant boxes that we get deliveries in. He drags them around, crawls inside, and has pretend play for days. This is one of the easiest activities for infants and toddlers.
- We got this butcher paper and these non-toxic crayons. You can tape the butcher paper to the floor or a table. It is great to use for all art activities and coloring. This is a great open ended option on this list of activities for infants and toddlers.
- Another activity I plan to try with my toddler that I think he would enjoy involves construction and contact paper. Your toddler can tear the construction paper and stick it to the contact paper to create their own work of art.
- Here is a list of amazing montessori activities that are perfect for toddlers.
Activities For Two Year Olds
- I plan to make this gluten and dye free playdough with my toddler. Clay is also great for molding and building your child’s fine motor skills. I love the activities for infants and toddlers that you can do with everyday items you have on hand at home.
- This DIY feelings board book is so helpful for children at this age when they are dealing with so many big feelings frequently. It will be fun to make and get your child to pose for the photos. Then, you can refer back to it to help your child be able to recognize and label their feelings.
- Create homemade nontoxic paint to finger paint with. My toddler would love the sensory experience. Your child will also have the piece of art that they make to cherish and be proud of.
- Practice counting things around you. The more you expose your child to number the more comfortable they will be. This teaches them basic math skills through their natural environment. This is another one of the activities for infants and toddlers that can grow with your child.
- Help clean up and organize. At this age children love to be involved and mimic what the adults around them do. Use this to your advantage and make cleaning a game.
- Look at family photos. Children love to see themselves and look back on family memories. These activities for infants and toddlers are fun for the whole family. It’s nice to remember the past and review photos together.
- Sticker sorting is your go to quick and easy activity for toddlers. You just need paper and an assortment of related stickers. This allows your child to practice classifying and grouping colors or whatever you choose to sort the sticker by.
- Sticker line up is a fun activity for your toddler to hone in on their fine motor skills placing the sticker in a line.
If you enjoyed this post make sure you check out my post on the best gifts for toddlers and Marta’s post on gift ideas for kids. Share this with someone who would appreciate these activity ideas. Comment below if you have any other activities you enjoy doing with your baby or toddler. Make sure you check out my lifestyle blog and subscribe for more content on non-toxic living, minimalism, mom life, DIYs, veganism, travel, and more. If you have older children you should read Marta’s guest post on Indoor Activities for Kids.