Indoor Activities

I need suggestions for indoor, inside the home, activities to do with a 9 month old. - Anonymous


Jessica said...

My favorite indoor activities for a baby are reading aloud as much as you can! Get different books from the library and read as much as she wants to. I also loved singing aloud, building with blocks, making play doh, playing with a flash light, mirrors, building a fort, making drums out of pots and pans, listening to all different types of music, peek a boo, explaining what you are doing with EVERYTHING (what are you cooking, look a bird outside, mommy just called she says hi) Just having as many positive interactions as possible. Try to allow for some independent play and make sure you dont over stimulate sometimes babies just want to explore on their own!

OceanBlue said...

Wouldn't playing with a flash light be harmful to thei eyes?

I also do not reccomend play doh for infants.

If you want a sensory activity for them I would suggest pudding or babyfood that will not be eaten.


Pop up toys.

Toys that can be pushed.

Baby safe musical instruments.

Scarves the kind you can wave in the air.

A bay obstacle course that you can help them through or made of pilows they can crawl over.


Give them space just to be.

EastBayNanny said...

Bubbles! Water play with a big dish tub and towels. Bells, drums, music all day. Small amount of sand or birdseed in a tub. Be sure they have freedom to crawl and scoot the majority of their time- put pillows on the floor/ couch cushions or mattress and challenge baby's large motor skills with an obstacle course. Painting in diapers with a big piece of butcher paper- tempera paint washes off easy.

nonnie said...

I was looking for homemade play dough recipes if anyone had Abby they are willing to share that would be great. I made peanut butter play dough for the boys I watch because it's safe if they eat it but I'd like stuff we can save for mb by the way they are 18 months old (the parents feed the peanut butter and they aren't allergic so be safe with this one)

EastBayNanny said...

Just googled it for you

the cream of tartar makes it more elastic- this looks like the good old standard recipe to me.

I also like to add a couple drops (little goes a long way) of orange oil or rose or peppermint oil, etc. And having it just a tad warm when kids first use it- yummy!

nonnie said...

Eastbaynanny, thank you for the recipe i'm going to try it Monday

another brilliant reply from jessica said...

Play doh? For a 9 month old? I'm so thankful you aren't my nanny.

Wednesday said...

Corn starch and water. its a thick paste they can spread around and get a pretty good time out of it. Plus by the time they try to bring it to their mouths it's dry. They will try to eat it but it'll either drip of their hands or dry.

Becky said...

Just a tip on the corn starch and water that stuff is a pain in the butt to clean up.

Super fun and kids typically love it but if you do it I suggest yo have drop cloths that you can roll up and throw away and be ready to put the kids in the bath.

I second the pudding or baby food on a placemat or tray.

MissMannah said...

I haven't tried play dough with my charge yet. I would think 9mo is too young for it. A lot of 12-18 mo kids are still too young to know what to do with play dough.

A few times I've smeared baby food on my charge's tray and let her go at it. She mostly stuck it in her hair, so we had a bath right afterwards. (which she loves!)

Our major activities we do daily are reading books, crawling races, practicing standing and taking a couple of steps. She loves banging on just about anything.

EastBay, I thought bubbles would work for my charge but she's scared of them! LOL, I guess 9mo is still a little young.

Future nurse :) said...

Come on don't attack her just because you disagree. Your name is not nice.

Replying to this jerk said...

Yeah you're a real jerk. Babies will stick it in their mouths but if it's really salty and not made with sugar they'll hate the taste and not try again.

Gosh you're mean. What do you get out of being like that?

Lex said...

If your going to supervise the child, nothing is wrong with play dough! It's a great sensory activity- the same goes for water play and sand play, all you have to do is supervise the them.

Lex said...

Food dye painting- in high chair with some food dye and paper. Jelly play & ice play.

Wednesday said...

That's a good idea. Be careful with the red food coloring. Some people are allergic, it strains pink and refuses to come out of his clothes. I use yellow most of the time cause it doesn't stain his little hands like blue did ha

Nanny Sandy said...

Many of thesese are great suggestions, but would etter server charges older than 9 months old.

I for one would not want to ruin the experience of play doh and sand by constantly stopping them from putting in their mouth. something that they should be doing at that stage.

I think you should try a feely box, put in items of different textures.




Crawl tunnel.

Clapping games.

Any games that encourages them to mimic you.


Pots & pans


RaleighWorld said...

I take my charge outside to feel the different bark on trees, feel the leaves of bushes, and petals of flowers. I teach his silly noises, how to give high fives and we dance a lot to songs on my ipod. We do the cornstarch mix and sugar free lime Jello (mashed up real good) for finger painting. My charge at nine months was not interested in toys. We crawled around and played follow the leader a lot. We were worn out be nap time :)

Jessica said...

This site makes me laugh. I would never flash a light in a babies eyes the fact that you thought that was the only thing to do with a flash light makes me nervous. My friend is a Early intervention specialist she gave me the idea of shining a light and crawling towards it making a fun game with the baby. Also letting the baby turn the light on and off teaching cause and effect.

I stated I made play doh with the baby nothing about letting them eat it! Its interesting to a baby to see you cooking and show how you can form doh from ingredients and then add food color and show them colors mixed together make different colors (red+yellow = orange) I would then have a sensory activity where I would put play doh, paint, pudding, and water into plastic zip lock bags and let them squish it. My charges loved this and I loved interacting with them!

I should mention there are a ton of books with ideas for babies at all different stages of development baby play by Wendy Masi and Baby minds By Linda Acredolo are a good place to start.

If you don't know what books to read aloud for a small baby I suggest the read a loud America book list.
they have an infant an toddler section I found very helpful.

Good Luck and have fun!

EastBayNanny said...

About sand and babies- yes they will try to taste it and other things in the sand - like leaves and pine ones etc (thinking about the park). Germs are everywhere but it's the chokables that keep me vigilant. I personally have no issue allowing babies to taste sand. Once they do, they often don't try it again- yuck! Though I have known a few sand eaters over the years who shovel handfuls into their mouths ;)

With an indoor activity a teacher has more control of the environment and having maybe some plastic animals and other objects to taste helps redirect those urges a bit. Still a worthwhile sensory activity IMO

EastBayNanny said...

Watch out for cat poo etc. in sandboxes though! (And as I once had to deal with repeatedly) homeless folks who use them as a comfy place to sleep...

Bethany said...

Oh My East Bay!

That reminds me of a time I took my preschool class for a field trip to the beach and one of the little ones found a pile of human poo.

Thank God we were able to stop him before he grabbed it.

One of my favorite sources for indoor games for babies that doesn't involve mess is Gymboree Play & Learn books. Lots of ideas for songs, fingerplays, and active play games.

Very disturbing!

Manhattan Nanny said...

Playdough tip:
Store home made playdough in a plastic baggie in the fridge or it will dry out. This quick drying out is an advantage when you have little pieces on the floor. If you wait until they dry out you can dust bust them, which toddlers love to do themselves.

Others have pretty much covered activities. One thing I like to do is rotate toys. Put some away and switch them out every few days, and Tada, new (to infant) toys!

Misty said...

Flashing lights can cause problems even without being shone directly in the eyes.

Causing overstimulation at the least and triggering seizures at the worst.

As far as the plsy doh there is something called developmentally appropriate activities color mixing is not a developmentally appropriate activity for an infant.

Fun activity? Sure, but more appropriate for a 3 year old maybe a 2 year old.

So yeah said...

They aren't expected to mold a dog out of it. Just hold it and squish it. Totally ok for a 9 month old. They taste it, they hate, they don't do it again. Then they can play with it. Simple as that. You don't have to keep deterring them to not put it in their mouths. They know it tastes terrible and they won't want to.

Misty said...

Squishing would be developmentally appropriate.

Naming the colors of the dough would be developmentally appropriate.

A color mixing activity for a 9 month old is not developmentally appropriate.

Also many infants don't stop tasting because something tastes bad, and that's assuming they won't actually like the taste of the play dough.

lol said...

@Another, if you spent less time @ work & more time with your children, you would know at nine months the adult would be supervising & play doh would be a perfectly safe option.

How does it feel, smartass?

Misty said...

As both a mother and a nanny I am well aware ALL chilren should be supervised when using play dough.

The issue is not just the playdough or eating the playdough but how the play dough is being used.

Using play dough as part of play for an infant can be fine.

Color mixing is a concept an infant has no use for and should not be suggested as an appropriate activity for an infant.

Misty. said...

You should also have a little more respect for working parents.

Jessica said...

Again laughing. Any talking to an infant is a positive activity. When we make the play doh we are talking about it. When I mix in colors we are talking about it. When I put two colors together it is just talking. Im not giving an infant a test I am having a positive interaction with a baby.

What she said said...

Agree talking to a baby is always developmentally appropriate.

Misty said...

Yes talking to baby is very important,

but that was not the emphasis of your original post.
The emphasis was on the color mixing which is not appropriate.

Learn to accept critcism. It will help you to learn and become a better, more knowledgeable and effective caregiver.

flashlights??? Talking good idiots bad said...

Babies whose parents/care givers frequently speak to them know 300 more words by age 2 than babies whose care givers rarely speak to them. Obviously Jessica is using color mixing as a talking activity, show and tell if you will. I see nothing developmentally inappropriate about talking to a baby about what you are doing if anything it touches on all the different learning styles: auditory, (talking about the colors) Visual (seeing the colors) Tactile (touching the play doh)

Can someone share a link to the dangers of a flashlight? I have never heard of this and cant seem to find any links supporting the claims made on this thread. I would think if a flashlight is dangerous a camera flash would kill.

Bethany said...

I forgot to include it it my other post, but play games with sound and finding and uncovering objects.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Re color mixing:
I don't think anyone expects to teach an infant the difference between violet and mauve. There are ways of entertaining them by swishing paint around and seeing it change colors. I've learned a lot trying to keep a younger sibling stimulated while doing an "age appropriate" activity for an older child. You put the ECE book down and use a bit of imagination and creativity. It can be surprising what they can do. Of course all my charges are precocious, LOL.

OceanBLue said...

What do you gys think of using shaving cream for an activity with infants?

I have a can and I have been debating using it as an activity.

I've used it with toddlers before , but not infants.

My charges ar 10 months old.

MissMannah said...

I wouldn't do it. Babies that age put everything in their mouth and shaving cream is one thing they do not need to taste. It can poison them if they ingest too much. It is actually illegal here in Okie to let children play with shaving cream in daycares. I think that's a little extreme because older kids (3 or 4 years) know better than to put it in their mouths.

OceanBlue said...

That was my feeling. I kept hesitating for the fear of ingestion.

I guess I'll shelf that idea until next year.

OceanBlue said...

I thought of another my little charges like, and they are just a little older than your's

They love it when I make faces in they mirror and they try to copy. So cute!

They also like airplane rides. I lay on my back and hold them up in the air and kind of do a bench press with them. Up is take of and coming down is the landing.

I also do pullups with them sitting on my knees and say peekaboo their name when I pull them up. They think it's hilarious.