Here are some creative and cool ideas that will help you get that cute baby smile when you need it, where you need it.
Fun on a rainy day
Before most of us have their own kids, they simply are of the view that keeping an infant engaged is a piece of cake. After all, these little bundles of joy are only attracted to crumpled paper and empty boxes.
Having said that, with the passage of time as you become more and more experienced in the art and science of parenting, you will get to know that while babies may not be choosy when it comes to their favorite toys but they certainly have a very little attention lifespan. This means that they get bored super-fast and if you do not employ some imaginative techniques to keep them occupied, you will have a hard time while shopping in the supermarket or scurrying your way back home on a rainy day.
Here are a few tricks that will keep your baby engaged in any situation and get a cute baby smile. You won’t even have to purchase a lot of toys to pull them off!
1 – Pass the Cookie
Once you are forced to spend a streak of rainy days lurking inside without your restless baby, you will understand how hard parenting can be. Gloomy weather and the same old toys can make your little one bored cranky fast and that is exactly the time when you let go of all the other distractions that you had been employing to keep your baby stimulated and try a few out-of-the-box solutions. A game of “pass the teething biscuit or cookie” is a way of swinging the mood of an angry infant and getting the elusive cute baby smile. Let’s see how it can be done: Put half a cookie in your mouth and lean towards your bundle of joy. The baby would take the other end of the cookie in his or her mouth. Then move away and take the cookie back in your mouth. Repeat this process again and again until the baby bursts into laughter.
2 – Crawling race
The author of 365 Games Babies Play, Sheila Ellison, recommends parents to trigger on a musical toy and hide it somewhere close to the baby and ask your baby to find it at his or her earliest. It keeps the kids engaged as well as physically active.
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3 – Discover the pantry
Louise Jones, mother of two and founder of an indoor play space in New York City believes that pantry can be a brilliant source for some eccentric stuff. She is of the view that children love to sense and feel those varying textures such as a bowl filled in uncooked rice and dried up peas.
4 – Messy crafts
Crafts that indulge a baby in some joyful learning activities on rainy days can work out well and get the elusive cute baby smile. You can tint the yogurt with some artificial food color, lay butcher-paper block on the floor and ask your kid to paint and eat, of course. And when you think that there nothing much to do, a bathroom beach party is the way to go. Kids love to get wet when it is not a time to take bath and it can get you a nice and getting the elusive cute baby smile. You can race bath toys in the tub, blow bubbles or use the baby bath to make plenty of soap foam.
Fun in the town
Do you remember when you were a kid, how frustrating it could get when you had to accompany your mom and dad to the supermarket? Well, your baby is pretty much like you. While your infant might never end up fancying the dry cleaner but you ought to have lots of tricks up your sleeves to calm him or her down whenever they get restless in the stroller.
5 – Free spectacles
You should endeavor to run errands in areas where there are a few visual distractions for your kids. It may not be fascinating for you to watch the pizza guy complacently throw dough in the air or peeking through the pet shop window pane but these are exciting things for an infant and can keep him calmed down for some time.
6 – Planned fun
You will enjoy the day more along with your bundle of joy if there has been some planned fun to break things up. If a story hour has been arranged in a certain book store, you should try to visit that place and use the story time as a much needed respite along with a cute baby smile.
7 – New playthings
More often than not, you will be hampered by your busy routine and won’t get enough time to make so many stops. That is exactly when new toys such as the supermarket brochure, plastic spoon etc. can come to your rescue. These new playthings can be really helpful, believe us!
8 – Junk shops
The 99 cent store can be your way to heaven when nothing is working out for you. These shops are littered with so much attractive stuff that your kid won’t be able to keep his or her eyes off them. And if they want to get their hands on something, then what! It’s worth only 99 cents! There is nothing that can go awry here! Hey, it will even get you the rewarding getting the elusive cute baby smile.
Music, playgrounds, dancing and more
9 – Music class
You can find out a group music class for little fellows anywhere in your neighborhood. The best of these music classes are not meant to train the future Beethovens but they are about singing, dancing, playing different instruments and having a nice time. Your kid gets to learn about rhythm and counting, builds up his or her language skills and gets to socialize with other kids in the block. Hey, it does not matter if you are not music savvy!
Lee Stern, a lyricist and Music Together teacher in New York City observes that some parents hesitate to sing even to their kid. He is of the view that such music class assist them in breaking the shackles and realizing that music is an inherent trait and children love to share music with their loved ones.
Here are three national programs:
- Music Together
10 – Hit the Swings
Whenever you consider yourself at the brink, think of the playground as your mighty savior. However, there are not many playgrounds that are designed for kids under three years of age. Here is how you can identify a playground that is suitable for babies and toddlers.
- Keep an eye at playgrounds with separate areas for younger kids
- Ensure that the playground has baby-centered equipment such as swings or a low slide or a small hobby horse
- Look for a playground that has a bathroom nearby, a canteen or even a pharmacy in the neighborhood
- Have a look at the kids who are at the park. If you find older kids getting frenzied while playing, this is not the location for you.
11 – Make it up
Sheila Ellison believes that in order to keep your kids engaged, you need to transform the everyday trivial moments into fun-oriented moments of sheer joy. For instance, if you are planning to make sandwiches for lunch, you may ask your baby to zippered sandwich bag with jelly in it to squish with his fingers. A great recipe for a cute baby smile!
12 – Dancing Royal
Experts are of the view that dancing to songs can be great fun and physical exercise. Moreover, you do not need to purchase special kid’s music in this regard. Here are some numbers that you may already have in your repertoire or you could get them downloaded from the internet.
- Headquarters by The Monkees
- Grease Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- The Beatles Greatest Hits
- The Sound of Music Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
13 – Make a Play Gym
Sometimes the weather is not suitable or it is not easy for you to get outside with your kid along with his or her gear. Louise Jones of Sydney’s Playground has a number of tricks for you that can help you transform your boring living room into a place of fun and entertainment.
- Opt for a cushioned, baby-safe area that has ample crawling and walking space
- Children love vibrant textures. So, opt for pillow covers or couch throw pillows with bright colors to attract kids
- Stack couch or chair cushions so that the baby can climb onto them
- Try different things out such as letting your kid use an outdoor toy for some nice indoor fun
- Kids love to toy around with real stuff. You can get the batteries out of your smartphone or TV remote controller and let your baby play around with it
- Find out old toys that your kid may have forgotten and place them in his or her play space
Tips from the Readers
We asked our ever-so-vigilant readers about how they used to keep their kids engaged. Here are the best of the lot.
14 – Stuff on the Refrigerator
Kimberly Kurtz Ryan from Spencerport, New York says that she has a black triangle on a white paper taped to the black refrigerator and her two months old baby can keep looking at it for hours.
15 – Nursery Rhymes
Our reader from Crestwood, Illinois, Jenny Hogan, says that she sings his son the popular nursery rhyme “Moses supposes his toeses are roses” quite often. She then adds that when he is cry his throat out, bits from Singin’ in the Rain do well to pacify him and get a cute baby smile
16 – Stroll in the park
Jeana Luberger from Cleveland, Ohio shares that her one year old daughter Juliann loves to for a ride in the stroller in the local park or in the neighborhood. She says that the weather rarely lets you take a stroll outside in Cleveland. So, whenever an opportunity throws itself up, she grabs her baby’s umbrella stroller and out they go!
17 – An Affectionate Walk Up and Down the Stairs
Tina Thompson from Carrollton, Georgia says that she entertains her six month old bundle of joy by holding him close, cheek to cheek and walking up and down the stairs. She says that the boy gets an opportunity to have a look at the pictures on the wall and the motion of a slow walk on the staircase helps soothe him down.
18 – Painting the back
Melissa Massengill from Monroe, Louisiana has her unique way of keeping her two and a half year old boy, Nicholas, engaged. Every night she draws pictures on his back with her fingers while the toddler keeps guessing what her momma is drawing.
19 – The Farting Game
Michelle Rose from Eagan, Minnesota and her husband have come up with an imaginative way to pacify their three month old son Josiah whenever he is fussy or gassy. They have developed The Farting Game song and sing it while gently bouncing the baby and working with his legs to help him pass the gas. It even makes the couple giggle for a while.