Stuck inside on a dreary day with your little one? Racking your brain for ways to pass the long afternoon ahead? Fear not! Take advantage of a cloudy day with flashlight fun for your little one. Perfect for baby Tummy Time, toddler fun, mixed age groups, wobbly sitters and parents desperate to find something to entertain the kids!
Make Your Own Light-up Container Toys
I'm a huge fan of making simple baby toys from household items. Not because I'm so darn crafty (I'm not), but because I'm so darn cheap and don't want a house overflowing with kid stuff. I like toys that can go right back to their original purpose after my kiddo is done playing!
Here's how to discover toys that will blow your little one's mind in your kitchen cupboards! Start with colored, lidded containers - tupperware and water bottles are perfect!! Then round up some mini-flashlights. You know, the kind that companies give away with their logos. The kind that go on your keychain. The kind that usually live in the junk drawer (start your search there!).
Turn the flashlights on and drop them in the containers. The harsh light of the LED's will be diffused for little peepers while any loose or removable parts will be safely away from baby's mouth. And, of course, colored lights of different shapes and textures are way more fun to play with! Here are your supplies...nothing too fancy, right?
Yours may look a little different, depending on the supplies you have around your home. But you get the idea of the key ingredients.
Tummy Time Play In The Dark
If you've got a baby in the house, this is a great activity for Tummy Time play in a dark room. Closely supervise as your little one grasps and turns, bangs and rolls the containers. If your baby is too young to reach while in Tummy Time, place her chest-down over a Tummy Time pillow or nursing pillow to free her hands up for exploring the colorful lights in front of her.
*if your baby has a flat spot on the side of her head, position her in sidelying with the flat side pointing up for this activity. If your baby has flatness across the whole back of the head, place her on either side facing the wall to follow the light. Learn more about Flat Head Syndrome / Plagiocephaly.
Playing With Your Newborn
If your little on is only a month or two old and not yet ready to reach or grasp, you'll have to step in and play with the lights. Babies are careful observers when in a "quiet alert" state. Move the lights 6-12" from baby's face to encourage head lifting and turning in Tummy Time.
Baby and Toddler Visual & Language Play
You may also interest your little one in some spotlight action on the wall. Take the flashlight(s) out of the colored containers, place your baby on her side* or back and simply move the light slowly on a dark wall. Pause on objects and talk to or with your child about what she's seeing. Language development, eye movement skills, sustained attention, socialization and bonding, freedom to wiggle and move - I could go on and on about the benefits of this activity. Dig a little flashlight or two out of the junk drawer and have some fun today!
If you've ever wished babies came with instruction manuals...
"Begin With A Blanket" walks you through 45 creative ways to play with your baby and sheds light on important concepts to promote healthy infant development and help prevent common problems including Flat Head Syndrome, Torticollis, motor delays, sensory processing difficulties and more.
What other parents are saying...
"This book is perfect for a new mom!"
"I plan on buying many more as gifts for new parents."
"Fantastic ideas and well written."
More posts you might enjoy: