At-Home Learning Activities for Babies
Times of uncertainty like these disrupt the schedule you’re trying to establish for your baby, and that can cause some anxiety. But times when you rely on each other for support and form stronger bonds as a family can also be rewarding experiences. We’re here to help you keep them in the learning mode with educational fun play that makes for great quality time together.
Physical development and wellness
Slowly move it in their line of sight. Watch as your baby follows the rattle with their eyes. Shake the rattle and see how they respond. Give your baby the rattle and ask them to interact. “Can you shake the rattle? You are really shaking the rattle!” With an older baby, try hiding the rattle behind another toy and shaking it. Again, ask them to interact, “Do you hear the rattle? Where is it? Can you find the rattle?”
Screw on the lid, then wrap masking tape around the lid a few times to secure. With your baby lying, sitting, or standing, hold the bottle just beyond his or her reach. Encourage your baby to reach for the bottle. When they reach for the bottle, celebrate and show them how the objects inside move when the bottle is moved.
Show them how to stack the blocks. “Let’s try stacking these blocks. To stack blocks, we put them on top of each other, like this.” When the block stack is two or more blocks high, invite your baby to knock it over. With this activity, it’s hard to tell if the party is more in the excitement of stacking, or in the thrill of knocking down!
Language and literacy
Mimic the sound the animal makes and see if your baby tries to imitate it. “What is this animal on the cover of the book? This book is about a kitty. Where is the kitty in the book? What do kitties say? Kitties say, ‘meow, meow!’”
Find a comfy spot to sit near them on the floor. Place toys within reach. When your baby chooses a toy, have a conversation about it. “What toy do you have? You have the blue car. I have a little person. Will my little person fit in your car? Let’s see.” Rich language experiences like this help expand the number of words your baby gets to hear in a day, and that really gets those language neurons firing!
Social and emotional
Make a game out of it by putting the animal back in again and having them take it out again. “Can you take the animal out of the container? Can you put it back in?” Show your baby how to take the animal out of the container and put it back in, if needed. This activity sets the stage for completing more challenging tasks later on.
Say, for example, “We are putting your pants on, so your legs stay warm. Would you like to help?” Continue dressing your baby, talking with them about different clothing items.
Memory and focus
Invite your baby to reach into the water and explore the toys. “How can you make the animals (or toys) swim?” This activity works with sand, too!
Try imitating those sounds with them. “Listen. What is making that sound? It’s a bird! Do you see the bird in the tree?”
Help your baby explore items from around the house that are soft, smooth, and scratchy, such as a blanket, table top, and sandpaper. “This is your blanket. How does it feel in your hands? Your blanket is soft.”
Play a game of copycat by performing actions such as clapping hands, making faces, or making sounds. While you play, talk with your baby about the game. “I am clapping my hands and you are clapping your hands. I see you are patting your legs, now I am patting mine!”
Give your baby a rattle or other noisemaking toy to shake and move while you sing. “Let’s sing a song about animals. You can shake your rattle and move your body while we sing.”
Show your child the colors and patterns and talk about their characteristics while you explore. “You are holding a piece of fabric that has black and white stripes. What does it feel like?”