Now that the girls are staying awake more we have a lot of playtime! I wanted to document some of the games we play both for myself as well as for other parents who have young children and are looking for new things to do. Some are the standard games everyone has heard of, but some are random little things I’ve made up, myself.

  • Smelling game. I try to come up with “games” that stimulate the girls’ various senses. Not surprisingly, the smelling game invokes their sense of smell. We generally play this game when I’m trying to cook something in the kitchen, but sometimes we’ll play just for fun. The game includes me taking various spices/seasonings from our cabinet (usually ones I’m actually using to cook) and holding them under the girls’ noses for a few breaths so they can catch a whif. They’re too young to intentionally smell things, but they still get the scent if its held under their nose. I’ve also done this with fresh flowers when we have them around, as well as other random items (e.g., freshly cooked bacon – mmmmmm!!!!!)

  • Peek-a-boo. Instead of “normal” peek-a-boo where the parent covers their own eyes, I play where I cover the girls’ faces. Generally I’ll take a small blanket and throw it up, allowing it to waft through the air and land on their face. Then I’ll grab it up and say “Peek-a-boo!!!!!!!” It’s more interactive than if I just covered my face and they seem to enjoy it more this way.
  • Baby babble. Now that the girls are vocalizing a lot, we’ll have little baby-babble conversations! Whatever noise they make, I’ll mimic it back to them. It teaches them how to converse (i.e., the back-and-forth dialogue), and they get all smiley, like we”re sharing some big secrets!
  • Feeling game. Similar to the smelling game, I made up the feeling game mostly for the purpose of invoking their sense of touch. For this game I’ll raid the closet and pick out clothes/blankets made from various fabrics – cotton, silk, wool, canvas shoes, fuzzy scarves or socks, etc. I’ll drag the fabric across their hands or their cheeks and let them feel the texture of the material. They seem to enjoy it!

  • Working out. Sometimes we’ll “work out” together. I’ll put the girls in tummy-time position on a big blanket and I’ll get in push-up position. Then we all work on doing push-ups together (the girls are really more doing head-ups than full push-ups, lol). It really makes you realize how hard they’re working when you’re working out at the same time! : )
  • Sing & dancing. The girls looooooove when I’m being silly. Singing and dancing is a prime example of this! If one of them is being fussy for no apparent reason and I can’t seem to get them to calm down, I’ll swoop her up, hold her close, and sing and dance around the room. Sometimes singing, alone, will do the trick. If not, the motion from dancing seems to be a favorite of theirs. Don’t worry – the other baby (the one not being held) still enjoys it, too! It’s a lot of fun to watch Mom dance around like a goof!
  • Tickle wars. Unlike me, the girls seem to really enjoy being tickled. Crazy, because I hate it! But sometimes we’ll engage in full-on tickle wars and they just smile and laugh and its the cutest thing ever! Right now their “laughs” are really more of giggles. I can’t wait until they start the full-on belly laughs that I’ve read starts occurring in the 5-6 month range.

  • Play mat time. An old favorite. Their aunt Brittany got them a fun play mat where they love to spend time. It’s fun to see them start really getting into it the more they develop. At first they would just lay there and look around. Now they bat at the hanging toys and make it light up and play music. Laying on the play mat is one of their favorite ways to spend time. They’ll lay there for up to 10-15 minutes before they start getting bored!

  • Story time. To be honest, they’re still not big fans of story time. Whhhhhy???? It makes me quite sad, because there’s nothing like snuggling with a baby and reading them a book, plus I was a HUGE reader when I was young!!! I just keep trying and I’m hoping that one day they grow into it. It’s just not holding their interest yet at this point so they get bored and fussy and we have to put the book down.
  • Cooking show. This is my all-time favorite “game.” For this game, I’ll bring the girls into the dining room area and lay them down on their little mats, propped up on a mini-boppy pillow so they’re facing me in the kitchen. I’ll then act as if I’m teaching them how to make whatever I’m preparing in the kitchen (anything from a turkey sandwich to a full-on dinner). I explain every step to them: “First, I’m going to prepare my baking area by making sure everything is clean. Next, I’m going to take all of my ingredients out of the refrigerator and place them on the counter. Lets see, we’ll need cheese, lettuce, turkey, mustard…..” and so on. It’s a great way to get them involved in the process and still manage to get some things done in the kitchen. Bailey tolerates it, but Brooke really seems to like it. I’m hoping she’ll be my little sous chef one day!

(couldn’t find a good photo of the show, but this is how they get propped on their boppy pillow. Only, I’ll put the girls side-by-side so they are next to each other while they’re watching me.)

 

And that’ it! There are definitely other forms of impromptu play, and we do other activities (e.g., walks), too, but these are most of the core games we have relied upon as entertainment throughout their first few months of life. I’m so excited for when they get a little better head/neck control so we can introduce things like the exersaucer and other “big girl” games : )

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