That moment you bring home a new baby is full of joy and love, with all the feel-goods that make you ever so giddy inside.
But then you remember the task ahead of you is real: dividing your time and attention between the baby, toddler and other kids. This is especially true when it comes time for entertaining the little ones ALL AT ONCE.
It’s not always easy to find activities that both baby and toddler can partake in. Typically babies and toddlers don’t have the same interests and aren’t quite on the same skill level. That’s when life calls for a little creativity.
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Read at home or visit the library
Reading to children of any age is one of the best activities you can do together as a family. You can read at home with the kids any time or when you’re ready to brave it and head out the door with more than one kid in tow, the local library makes a great destination. Story time in a public setting like this, however, works best if your baby isn’t incredibly mobile yet. Sit the baby on your lap, or put that baby sling to use while you take in the story with all your children.
Get your groove on
Don’t underestimate the power of some fun tunes when it comes to keeping baby and toddler entertained! Simply find a way to incorporate music into whatever activity you’re doing. Turn the music up and start dancing, find a show with their favorite music, or make your own beats with musical instruments!
This is a favorite for children of all ages, especially little ones! Toddlers will get a kick out of chasing and popping bubbles and even practicing the art of blowing, while babies will love to track bubble movements with their eyes and feel the sensation on their face. Such a hit indoors and outdoors, any time of the year.
Play with toys on the floor
You don’t always need a fancy pre-planned activity to get the kids involved. Occasionally, it will suffice to simply grab a bunch of toys, arrange them on a blanket and let imaginations get to work.
Babies can explore the different textures and sensory stimulation around them, while toddlers enjoy some pretend play with mommy nearby!
Make food art
Not afraid of a little messy play? It can be super beneficial developmentally to both kids. Strip down your baby to the bare minimum: diapers and bib and set some pudding or applesauce in front of them to explore. Have your older child explore other foods like fruits and vegetables and help them create funny faces and practice their color skills.
Chat up a storm
Have you ever just sat down to talk to your baby and toddler? Ask your toddler questions and then help him start a conversation with baby. This is a great activity to help your little one learn fundamental language skills, even if they can’t yet talk!
Take a walk
If you are blessed to live in warm weather year round, this is an activity you can add to your list every day. Consider a walking trail or even taking a nature walk around your property, if you have it. Walks are great for everyone, but especially toddlers and babies when it’s time to wind down.
Go to the local zoo
Find your nearest zoo, animal farm or aquarium and make a day trip with the kids (and bring a friend to help too!). Toddlers will love to see their favorite animals in real life, while baby can enjoy the new sights and sounds.
Try sensory play
We are big fans of sensory play for a number of reasons, but mainly because of how much our kids love sensory-based activities. Exploring different textures and objects with favorite toys tends to have a calming effect on our rambunctious toddler and helps baby with sensory stimulation and development.
In need of some fresh air? The kids will surely appreciate it. Getting outside for some seasonal fun can do wonders for children. Whether it’s jumping in leaf piles, splashing in the kiddie pool or playing in the snow, toddlers are bound to crave some outdoor time! As for that little baby in your arms? They can join in the fun by watching their big brothers/sisters and mimicking what they see.
What is your favorite activity that baby and toddler can do together?
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.