21 fun indoor activities to keep your 4-6 month old baby happy and entertained while they explore the world around them. None of these activities require any special gadgets and preperation, so no excuse not to get started rigth now.
Time disappears so fast – especially when you have a baby. One day you wake up and realize that your little newborn is no longer so tiny. The little blob that use to just lie there is really starting to move around and is becoming so curious about the world around him. And if your baby is anything like Anton, he is probably also starting to crave new and fun things to do.
Anton is now 6 months old – that ½ a year that has just gone by – and I have a hard time believing that he was not just born yesterday (I sure do feel like I just gave birth yesterday when I wake up in the morning). For the last two months he’s been very busy practicing getting around and has lost all interest in his otherwise beloved play gym. No time for lying still when you can move around and explore.
21 indoor activities to keep your 4-6 months old baby happy and developing
To keep this little fella happy we’ve had to expand the daily activities we did with him when he was 2-3 months old. So we’ve added in a lot of movement and a lot of exploration activities and he’s been one happy baby. Looking back on the past two months I’ve gathered the top 21 things that I’ve been doing with Anton to make him laugh, to keep him entertained while I’ve had to do some important thing (like catching up on my coffee addiction) and to help him develop in the areas he’s been interested in. Some have kept him entertained for a few minutes and others for longer.
I’ve also added a few activities from when Eva was the same age which Anton has not been nearly as interested in. It’s amazing to see the differences between these two little people are already starting to show at the ripe age of 4 months. He an explorer and doesn’t mind doing so on his own whereas Eva was a cuddler that demanded company for most of her activities.
1. Balloon bashing. There’s just something with kids and balloons – and babies are apparantly no expection. Anton loves trying to grab a balloon and will move around trying to catch it. And when he finally gets it into reach he will pound at it making it fly away from him. He usually plays with balloons whenever Eva has gotten one, which makes it a fun thing for them to do together.
2. Catapulting toys. Anton will laugh his little heart out whenever Ben makes a small catapult out of Eva’s kitchen tools and a brick and then catapults it away. There’s just something very enjoyable about the counting down and then the sudden movement of a soft(-ish) toy being hurdle through the air. Ben of course aims it away from Anton. Eva who is 2,5 years old love to help and participate in this activity – she especially loves picking out the toys which mean a not so soft toys has been seen flying through the air in our house followed by the sound of a squaling baby and cheering toddler.
3. Talk face-to-face. Just pop your wee one on your knee and have a good chat. Try to pronounce the words carefully, repeat what your baby says and generally engage with everything you got. I like giving Anton and me turns to talk to immitate a real conversation – and then I just love to repeat his babbling sounds. Right now the big hit is “bababababa”.
4. Play peek-a-boo and let your baby pull the scarf off. Anton loves when I put a scarf over his face and let him try to pull it off himself, while saying “oh no, where did Anton go? Anton, where are you?” and when he has success pulling it off I will always say “there you are!” with excitement and a big huge smile and it always make him get all gitty. You can make it slightly more advanced and try to hide a favourite teddy or a toy under a scarf (or flat old fashioned cloth diaper) and see if he wants to try and find it.
5. Shake noise makers. Whether it be a storebought egg shaker or a recycled water bottle filled with rice, I’m convinced your little one will love it. Anton is very fond of Eva’s mini maracas which she got when she was a baby.
6. Tieing a ballon or noise maker to your baby’s foot. Babies love to kick and though this activity might be aimed for newborns, it can still be fun for older babies. Loosely tie a ballon on a string to one of your babies feet and watch him have fun as he realizes that he is the one moving the balloon around. I think a helium balloon would be even more fun, but since we didn’t have a helium tank sitting around our house, we just went good all fasion air from the lungs and he was still entertained.
7. Diaper free time. No matter if you are using disposable diapers or cloth diapers your little one will gain a lot from being free of his diaper. They get to move around more freely which is a huge help in developing their gross motor functions. If you are worried about the pee and the poop then I recommend reading these 8 tips to minimize the mess when letting your baby be naked.
8. Explore all the corners of your home. Even babies can become bored of the same sourroundings and the same stimuli. Especially if you have a tendency to put them down the same place for them to play. Anton spends a lot of time on the carpet in the living room, which can become a bit too much of the same. I therefore often either bring him new things (usually things from the kitchen) or just bring him with me where ever I go. Often I’ll let him play with new items from that place like measurements cups in the kitchen, clothespin from the laundry room or his toothbrush in the bathroom.
9. Tumbling and roughing around. So your baby might not really be ready for the big gymnastic or wrestling session just yet, but safely tumbling about with him (no shaking) is both fun and beneficial for him. It helps your little one get familiar with his own bodies and its boundaries and helps build skills like balance and coordination. Both me and Ben love to play flying machine with Anton (support under body and head), use him as a big stirring spoon while holding him under his arms, moving him up and down and from side to side or bouncing him on our legs. Anton loves it so much and it’s a quick way to make him all happy and gleeful.
10. Look at the cute baby in the mirror. A quick little activity that will always make Anton smile and become all gleeful is putting him in front of a mirror. Either his baby floor mirror for tummy time or now when he’s more secure with sitting up, our big mirror in the bathroom. He might not know it’s his own reflection – but he sure do love what he is seeing.
11. Time for chores. I like to bring Anton along to every household chore I do and try to include him as much as I can, though it’s rather limited at this time. He loves observing and sometimes engaging in it though he’s really not a very big help. His favourites is eating Eva’s socks as I try to match them up and generally just being in the way when I’m trying to vacuum or wash something on the floor. But I try my best to talk to him about the things I’m doing, though I sometimes get the feeling that I’m nuts for talking to myself.
12. Sing songs. I’ve become so much better at remembering children songs than when I had Eva. But I have to admit that I often still end up making my own songs as I quickly grow tired of singing “old McDonald” over and over and instead just sing about what I see and what we do. And ever so often you lyrics like these will be song for a longer period of time “please go to sleep now. Mommy is tired. Please sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleeeep”.
13. Dance and run around. Anton loves it and will squeal when we run around the house and when we gently twirl him around, swing him from side to side and lift him up in the air as we dance to music. Other than having fun it’s actually a great way to get some body and eye contact, help improve balance and perception of movement and get a feel for rhytems and moods. Just remember to spin slowly and – as I was once told by Eva’s baby swimming instructor – always spin both ways to help the fluid in the inner ears reach equilibrium again.
14. Blow bubbles. I will put my head on the block and proclaim that every kid loves bubbles. I for one have never met a child who didn’t – and babies are no exception. Anton might not be able to blow them himself or really comprehend what is going on, but he will focus really hard whenever I bring bubbles out and try to grasp them. He gets all quiet and the concentration is almost leaking out of him. You can find a simple recipe for bubbles that just works right here.
15. Practice that grasp. An easy “I need ten minutes of time to reheat my coffee for the third time and drink it” is to put out various objects in different size and shapes around your little darling and just let him have at go at it. Eva’s toys (she is 2,5 years old) is a huge success with Anton, but beware that toys for older children can be dangerous for babies, either because of the size or because of the material, as they do love to put everything in their mouths.
16. Body contact. Touch is so important for humans – especially little babies. So other than all the body contact Anton gets from me wearing him in our baby carrier and from breastfeeding, he gets a daily visit from the tickle monster. It’s really just the easiets way I know to get a good laugh out of him and to squeeze in some extra touch. Other than that I like to gently massage his limps, rub his tummy and try to cuddle and hug him, though he’s become quite the squirmer.
17. Put on sunglasses, a hat and other fun object. Anton loves trying to grab it and pull it off – especially glasses and sunglasses. It’s like the glasses are begging him to pull them off and then shake them like crazy.
18. Play with textures. By letting your little one touch and play around with a variety of materials with different textures you can stimulate their sense of touch. I’ve let Anton play with felt, with a towel, with scarfs made with various materials, books, wooden blocks, yoga mat and whatever you have lying around. And I’ve must admit that he’s played with a ton of other texture from stuff Eva’s forgotten to put away, so big Lego Duplos has found their way into his hands as well as Eva’s beloved rainbow coloured scarfs.
19. Drumming. Or well, “hitting things on a surface to make noise” might be a more suitable name for this activity, though a drum and a xylophone are included in some of the items Anton have liked to bang on. The xylophone has actually been a much bigger success with him than I thought it would. I’ve just handed him the little stick after I played a few notes for him, and just let him have a go at it – and he’s enjoyed it. I’ll be honest and say, it’s not pretty, but he seems to like the sounds that he makes.
20. Make silly faces and noises. That will usually get Anton to laugh. Or at least smile all over his face. Sometimes he’ll try to imitate us and sometimes he’ll just stare like we’re insane.
21. If your wee one haven’t mastered it yet keep practicing rolling around. Some babies might have learned this by now, while others first will perfect this later, so no worries if your baby is not there yet. They’re probably focused on learning other things. Eva fx learned to roll much quicker than Anton, while he on the other hand is a bigger talker, than she was. Encourage your little on to roll over by putting a favourite toy close by, but just slightly out of his reach, and wait to see if he will roll over to get it.
So that’s it. 21 activities that has kept my (not so little anymore) baby entertained for the last two months. Now he is on to even more new things, though some of these activities have not lost their appeal. A few of them has actually become even more intriguing for him.