Play ideas; Entertaining a baby under 1!

Hey and welcome back to another blog! So something I get asked a lot on my social media channels is how I entertain Arthur at home, particularly now while we are in lockdown and what he enjoys to “play”. I am by no means a baby expert and I have no qualifications in childcare, but here are some of the ways I entertain Arthur on a day to day basis.

1) Sensory play!

Arthur loves nothing more than sitting on the floor in the lounge or outside in his paddling pool (which we use for shade as well as a pool) and playing with his sensory basket of toys which was a present when he was born.

This basket full of sensory treats has entertained him from being a newborn to now (8 months old).

Here’s what’s in Arthur sensory basket – I am sure you have plenty of things around the house you could use for yours!

  • Two beautiful ribbon rings (a colourful one and a black and white one)
  • A sponge
  • A wooden caterpillar
  • A metal whisk
  • A nail brush
  • A variety of wooden rattles
  • A wooden egg and cup
  • A wooden disc
  • A wooden sewing reel
  • A wooden square
  • A foil blanket

My lovely friend who made us this sensory basket has her own page where she shares loads of lovely ideas (and is a qualified teacher) so if you’d like more ideas, check out her page; Smiles & Rainbows

2) Messy play!

If you follow my page on social media, you’ll know that Arthur and I LOVE messy play. We usually go to Splish and Splosh Messy play every Monday (you can check them out here) but due to the lockdown we obviously can’t go, so I have been attempting to make our own version of messy play at home. Here are a few of the fun things we have been getting up to so far;

Messy play with rice and water!
Messy play with paint!
Tubby Custard! (Literally just custard and red food colouring)
Jelly fun!

We have lots more to come so be sure to follow us on Instagram or Facebook for more messy ideas!

Also, as you’ll see I started off with using some cake tubs for messy play and then when lockdown was announced, I decided to invest in something more durable. But, unfortunately a lot of the tuff spot trays have gone up to a ridiculous price! So we have a garden tray instead and it works perfectly. I have linked it here (please note this is an affiliate link) – we paid £15 for ours, but have seen people selling tuff spot trays for £50+ because demand is obviously high.

3) Water fun!

Arthur loves his baths so much that on days when we can’t get outside, we have “play baths” in the middle of the day! He loves sitting playing with his bath toys and then soaking me with a good old kick! (This is also my favourite play time when I am desperate to tire him out ready for a nap!)

However, if the weathers warm enough we go outside in his paddling pool, we got this paddling pool from JoJo Maman Bebe and it’s great because it fits into a bag so we can take it on holiday with us or even just to our parents houses etc. It also comes with a UPF 50+ cover which as I said above, provides shade and protection from the sun so we also use this as a play area.

And sometimes we just play in washing up bowls – although I don’t think Arthur will fit much longer!

Even a washing up bowl can be fun!
Rainy water fun!
Sunny water fun!

4) Sandpit adventures!

One of the best things Arthur has outside is his sandpit. He absolutely loves it. Unfortunately, it seems everyone had the same idea so he only has one bag of sand in there currently but even with just one bag of sand, he spends ages in there… I bought a bundle of toys off Amazon and he has already learnt how to fill up his truck with sand, so it is great for him at this age to learn some fine motor skills.

Even if you can’t get a sandpit, i’d recommend a bag of sand in a tray or on a shower curtain even? He loves it in there… Maybe a bit too much though as he does occasionally try to eat it. But his dummy helps prevent that (sometimes)!

5) YouTube saviors!

I know everyone will have their own opinions on this but when you are a chronically ill mommy, you need a break. I imagine even if you’re not a chronically ill mommy or daddy you will still need a break?! But anyway, here are my three go to YouTube channels to cheer up a teething baby or to distract him while I sit down and have a break!

  1. Dancing Dots… He has loved this since being a newborn. When he was really little and used to cry relentlessly this would always be our go to video which would calm him down in seconds. I also still put it on now when he’s having a bad day with teething, the classical music always helps him fall asleep! If you want to check it out yourself click here!
  2. Dancing Fruit… Yep, you read that correctly, Arthur loves watching fruit dance to really addictive music. I warn you now, if you watch this you’ll never get the song out of your head again…. Click here for Hey Bear Sensory Disco Fruit Party!
  3. Little Baby Bum… And finally we love a little bit of little baby bum. This is a YouTube channel which is full of nursery rhymmes with bright and colourful videos… The only thing is (if you’re from the UK) you’ll go from singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round… All day long” to “the wheels on the bus go round and round… All through the town”…. It’s american english so some songs seem a bit odd… I have linked their channel here!

I hope you have enjoyed this little blog and it gives you some ideas on how to entertain your baby while at home! I’d love to hear if you have any other suggestions or ideas for us to try! Feel free to contact me anytime!

Thanks again!

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