Entertaining Ages 0-2

The first few days as a babysitter or nanny can be thrilling and exhausting. But as you settle into a routine, it can be difficult to plan fun and educational daily activities. At the beginning of each week, consider making an activity plan for the children so that your days will be well-planned and the children can be well-entertained. Here are some activities to consider for children aged 0 to 2.

There are huge differences in capabilities and interests between a three month old and an eighteen month old, so not all activities will be good for all children. Babies and toddlers are learning about the world around them and are often thrilled just to touch and see new things. A few activities to consider:

Indoor

  • Simple one-step craft activities like finger painting, coloring with jumbo crayons on an easel, drawing with soap, and making things out of paper plates
  • Playing with finger puppets
  • Playing with blocks and identifying basic colors and shapes
  • Counting fingers, toes, animals, toys, etc.
  • Learning about animals and playing with family pets
  • Infant massage
  • Play that helps babies learn better muscle control, particularly reaching for objects while laying on their back, short supervised time spent on their stomach, rolling a large ball, stretching with a large ball, and pulling up on furniture
  • Practicing vocabulary by talking about the day, naming objects, and being exposed to new objects and their names daily
  • Playing with anything that has buttons-calculators, play phones, etc.
  • Reading aloud
  • Singing and dancing
  • Playing with rubber forks and knives as a precursor to good table manners
  • Singing nursery rhymes
  • Identifying colors, numbers, and shapes in books
  • Playing in the bath with tub toys
  • Blowing bubbles
  • Reading
  • Looking at pictures of family members in a photo album or on the computer

Outdoor

  • Simple one-step craft activities like playing with sidewalk chalk
  • Trips to puppet shows, playgrounds, zoos and parks. Going for walks around the neighborhood
  • Going on "bug hunts" outside
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