With the cold weather coming upon us, many parents with
babies are looking for indoor activities. But it’s not always feasible—or
affordable—to go to Chuck E. Cheese, a bouncy house or a baby gym.
So if old toys have lost their appeal, and you’re looking for ways to entertain baby
on the cheap without resorting to TV (at least until the new toys emerge over
the holidays), here are some ideas. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to
get some housework done in before the novelty wears off.
1. Containers, pots and pans
It’s tried and true, and it works. In fact,
babies love clanging pots together so much that many parents are left
scratching their heads wondering why they just bought that $500 train set
for Junior. For an extra treat, give your baby large cooking spoons to
bang on the pots. Just make sure you have some earplugs handy and that items
don’t have any sharp edges or loose pieces.
Who knows, you may discover you
gave birth to the next Ringo Starr.
Think of it as a large,
free kaleidoscope. If you do as much laundry as I do, you’ll have plenty of
opportunities to sit your baby in front of the machine and let her be
entertained by the colorful designs made by the clothes spinning around.
3. Half-deflated mylar balloon
It’s always a good idea to choose mylar
balloons over the popular latex ones, since the latter are a choking hazard
after they have popped. You can find cheap, helium-filled mylar balloons at the
dollar store. Once they’ve lost some of their air, your little one will be
thrilled to watch them float up and down. Plus they make a fabulous crinkly
sound that babies love.