Once babies are able to start moving around, they can be quite the bundle of energy. Isaiah certainly is! He never stops moving until he just crashes for a nap. Over time, I’ve discovered some random and fun ways to keep him entertained and moving without putting forth constant effort. This is really nice to be able to do after an entire day of chasing him around the house and keeping him out of trouble!
Here’s my list:
1. Chasing the Dog: Isaiah absolutely loves our dogs and the dogs are constantly on the move, just like him. The best thing about having two dogs is that, when one dog tires of running from Isaiah, the other is happy to take his place! The dogs aren’t in any way bothered by Isaiah’s endless chasing. In fact, they think it’s all a wonderful game! Isaiah, of course, just wants to get close enough to pull their hair, but for now, he isn’t fast enough to catch them.
2. Chasing the Cats: Much like with the dogs, Isaiah gets quite the thrill out of trying to catch the cats. The best thing about the cats is that, while the dogs stay primarily on the floor (where they belong), the cats have the freedom to jump onto chairs or the couch. This adds a new dimension to the game, requiring Isaiah to pull himself into a standing position and stretch toward the “laughing” cats.
3. Follow a Remote-Control Car: This is one of Isaiah’s favorite games. My dad and brother both have remote-control cars that they can drive around the living room. They drive the cars in random directions with Isaiah crawling closely behind. Sometimes, if he moves fast enough, he catches one for a minute. The car gets taken away pretty quickly to avoid drool-damage. Isaiah actively chased a car, changing his approach from time to time for close to an hour a couple days ago.
4. Walk Between Two People: Isaiah is just learning to walk. Right now, he mostly walks holding someone’s hands, but has taken a couple steps on his own. He absolutely loves when two people face each other on the floor just close enough for their hands to touch and allow him to walk back and forth between them. He’ll stay entertained and happy for long periods this way!
5. Chasing Cat or Dog Toys: I discovered this one accidentally. I would never just try to play with a baby with pet toys, but when I play with my pets, Isaiah often joins the game. He loves to chase Thomas’s feather toy and any dog toy that we throw, preferably balls, which look like his own toys.
6. Following a Toy Sometimes, my brother will keep Isaiah occupied by keeping a toy just barely out of reach. (Isaiah doesn’t find this to be at all mean, he laughs the entire time!) Isaiah pulls himself up at the coffee table and walks around it trying to get within reach of his toy. Sometimes he’ll walk all the way around it a couple times before he gets bored with the game and my brother hands over the toy.
7. Following a Robot My brother has a toy robot that works by remote-control. He’s had it since he was about three and has kept it around for visiting children. He brought it out recently to show Isaiah and soon discovered that it was to be the new favorite toy. He spends long periods trying to catch the robot. A fun twist on the game is to have the robot hold one of his toys in it’s claw-shaped hands. When Isaiah is able to catch up and remove his toy, he gets so excited!
8. Have People In Two Rooms If I’m in one room and my mom or someone else familiar is in the next one, Isaiah will crawl back and forth between rooms to see what we’re doing in the room he can’t see. He stays pretty busy following us all around the house. It’s getting pretty common to hear someone hollering after you “he’s coming with you!”
9. Chasing a Ball Isaiah has recently discovered that balls are good for something other than eating. If he finds one of his balls on the floor, he shoves it with his hand and chases after it. This can keep him busy for long periods of time, especially if someone is either talking to him about it or rolling the ball with him.
**Please note, not all these games work with all children because all babies are unique in what they find enjoyable or frustrating.
**More activities will be added later as I discover them!