One of my Mom friends who used to work as a daycare toddler teacher gave me an amazing suggestion when I shared my struggles of not keeping Riley entertained. (Good parenting advice is worth its weight in gold) She suggested toy rotation with the use of “activity baskets.” I was so grateful for this logical, simple solution and dove into Pinterest for inspiration.
Whether your goal is to assist their developmental learning or to just keep them busy while you get something done, it’s helpful to have a game plan for effortless entertainment. Toy rotation is key to keeping their attention once they hit around 3-6 months, which is why I skipped the 0-3 age group (eat, sleep, change, repeat). Create few different baskets and keep them out of sight until it’s playtime. Swap out different toys weekly to keep it fresh and fun. Keep reading to see what our baby liked at different ages!
- Favorite: Plush Stuffed Animals-Carter’s stuffed animals are our favorite for size, price, & softness. Plus they’re freaking adorable.
- Sound/Light Toys-Riley loved the lights, colors, sounds, & that it moved across the room.
- New Books to Read
- Favorite: Bead Maze– We love that it suctions to a flat surface.
- Block Shapes
- Ring Stackers
- Sensory Bottles (DIY Inspiration)
- Felt Shapes (numbers, letters, animals, etc.)
- Favorite: Touch/Feel Books- Great for quiet play and sensory learning.
- Flash Cards- For visual fun or sorting- Target always has a variety of educational ones in the Dollar Spot.
- Play Dishes– This one comes in its own container so you already have a pre-made activity basket!
- Sticker Books– We had one with faces that you could add eyes, mouth, accessories, etc. Great for learning basic facial features.
- Activity Cube– We like this one because of the blocks that come with it.
- Favorite: Magnetic Tin Play Set– This has been a LIFESAVER for traveling in the car and overall quiet play)
- Fridge Magnets– These wooden magnets are perfect size for toddler– stick on the fridge or cookie sheet)
- Handheld Mirror
- Makeup (tightly sealed, non-breakable)
- Toy Phone– We loved this one because it has a remote and option to record voice
- Keys- Either their own, or ones you don’t mind getting misplaced!
- Handheld Dolls- Little People, Chelsea Doll Barbie (nothing with choking parts.)
Aaaannndddd when all else fails, movie time always works like a charm!
What tips/tricks have you learned keeps your baby happy and entertained? I’m always looking for new activities!