Keeping baby entertained will be a breeze with these three DIY activities. Encourage your baby to touch and manipulate each learning “toy” while he or she expands on the ability to play independently.
These DIY activities to entertain babies are designed for little ones 12 to 18 months. The baby in your life may be ready to enjoy these activities at a younger age or enjoy them well into the toddler years. You know your baby best and will be the most important judge of when he or she is capable of enjoying the DIY baby activities safely.
3 DIY Activities For Your Baby
Pom Pom Sorting
This DIY activity will help introduce color identification and sorting skills to the baby, while he or she enjoys the texture of the pom poms.
- 1 or 2 dozen felt, foam, or fabric pom poms – or a combination of all three. Packages of pom poms are typically sold at dollar stores and in the craft aisle at your local big box store.
- An empty toilet paper or paper towel roll. You can also use a piece of cardstock paper, poster board, or part of a food box to make you own cylinder-shape sorting device.
- Plastic bowl or container
- Paints or markers – optional
- Paint or color the cylinder-shaped sorting device if desired.
- Tape the sorting device to a wall, cardboard box, kitchen cabinet, any place you want to keep baby entertained. You could use velcro strips to hold the cylinder-shape sorting device if desired.
- Put the pom-poms in the chosen plastic container and place it under to the sorting device.
- Place the baby next to the DIY activity and demonstrate how to put a pom-pom inside and watch it fall back into the container.
Non-Messy Finger Paint
- Craft Paint
- Gallon Ziplock bag
- Packing tape – optional but highly recommended.
- 1 sheet of paper – 8X10 typically fits inside the gallon bags nicely.
- With your baby sitting next to you and watching, squirt little dabs of paint all over the sheet of paper.
- Carefully slide the paper inside the plastic gallon bag and seal it firmly together.
- Place a piece of tape over the sealed bag opening for increased protection from it coming open during play.
- Place the bag in front of the baby and show him or her down to press down on the paint through the bag.
- Smiles and giggle soon should fill the room as baby figures out how to push and move the paint around in the bag, mixing it all together and forming new delightful colors and shapes inside the bag.
Texture Discovery Board
Finally, there is something useful to do with all of those empty baby wipe tubs! Introduce baby to a whole new world of textures, colors, shape, and discovery with these DIY activities for infants.
- Plastic baby wipe tubs
- Screw driver or power drill and screws
- Felt, fabric, or paint to cover board – optional
- Textured materials of your choosing – velcro, velvet, sand paper, bubble wrap, corduroy, denim, polyester, fleece, plastic, foam, felt, etc.
- Craft glue or hot glue
- Cover the felt in fabric, felt, or paint to decorate it and help prevent baby from getting hurt on rough edges, if necessary or desired.
- Cut your textured material so a piece is cut to fit the box lid and the bottom of the box. You can cut enough pieces to also be glued upon the other inner side panels of the container if desired.
- Glue a different textured material onto the lid of each baby wipes container.
- Allow the textured panels to dry thoroughly.
- Turn each empty baby wipe box sideways, so the bottom is facing the board, and screw them into place.
- Place glue onto the textured panel cut to fit the bottom of the container and affix it firmly into place and over the screw.
- Glue additional textured panels onto the inside of the box if desired.
- Once the inside panels are completely dry, place a toy inside each container before presenting the DIY activity board to baby.
- Demonstrate to the baby how to touch each textured box lid and how to open them and find a surprise inside.
- Baby will likely spend many hours opening and closing all the lids, placing many items inside, and touching all of the textured materials that are now delightfully at his or her fingertips.
All of these activities could be easily adapted for homeschooling, daycare center, and for use by small groups of babies during play dates. Each infant could be given his or her own DIY activity set to enjoy, or each set be expanded so it is large enough for multiple little ones to explore at the same time.
The non-messy finger paint DIY activity could be made using clear contact paper or plastic sheets affixed firmly together and placed upon a tot-sized table for group enjoyment. Instead of lining the protective covering with a standard size piece of paper, use poster board cut to fit or butcher paper.