Times are tough financially right now for many Australian families, but that doesn’t mean that your baby has to miss out on any fun. Spending quality time together doesn’t have to cost a cent, and it not only strengthens your bond but also contributes to your baby’s growth and development.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or indoor playtime, we’ve compiled a list of 30 free activities to do with your baby. So, let’s dive in and make the most of these precious moments!
Exploring nature and the outdoors
1. Nature walk: Discover the wonders of the outdoors by taking a leisurely stroll around your neighbourhood or a nearby park. Read about the benefits of walking with your baby.
2. Cloud gazing: Lie down and watch the clouds drift by, sparking your baby’s imagination.
3. Nature sounds: Sit outside and listen to the soothing sounds of nature, from birdsong to rustling leaves.
4. Outdoor picnic: Pack a simple snack and enjoy a cosy picnic in your yard or at a local park.
5. Nature hunt: Collect leaves, twigs, and flowers during your walks to explore different textures and colours.
Indoor play and sensory experiences
6. Dance party: Put on some music and groove with your baby in your arms or using a baby carrier.
7. Bubble play: Blow bubbles and watch your baby’s eyes light up as they try to catch them.
8. Mirror exploration: Introduce your baby to their reflection in a baby-safe mirror for endless fascination.
9. Sensory bags and bottles: Create tactile sensory bags with safe materials like rice or fabric for tactile exploration.
10. DIY sensory toys: Make homemade sensory toys, such as a rattle using a plastic bottle filled with beans.
Bonding activities for special moments
11. Cuddle time: Embrace the joy of simply cuddling and talking with your baby, creating a strong emotional bond.
12. Baby massage: Gently massage your baby using baby-safe oil for relaxation and connection.
13. Storytime: Share the magic of books by reading stories aloud, even if it’s just looking at the pictures. Your local library will probably host free baby storytime sessions as well.
14. Singalong: Snuggle up and sing to them, no matter what your voice is like or what your choice songs are.
15. Family photo session: Browse through family photos together and narrate stories about the people in them.
Learning and growing together
16. Baby gymnastics: Encourage movement by gently moving your baby’s arms and legs in different directions, or for the mobile bubs, pile up some cushions for them to crawl over.
17. Counting fingers and toes: Count your baby’s fingers and toes while singing a cheerful counting song.
18. Colour exploration: Introduce your baby to different colours using objects around the house.
19. Funny faces: Make silly faces and exaggerated expressions, bringing smiles to your little one’s face.
20. Nature smell adventure: During walks, let your baby smell different flowers, leaves, and herbs.
Musical moments and creative play
21. Taste-safe messy play: Messy play isn’t just fun, it’s important for promoting brain development, enhances fine motor skills, reduces picky eating, and helps to build sleep pressure. You can find plenty of things in the home to use, or even just play in water.
22. Homemade taste-safe playdough: Here is our recipe, of which you will probably already have the ingredients.
23. Texture book: Craft a touch-and-feel book using fabric, bubble wrap, sandpaper, felt, or anything else you have, for a multi-sensory experience.
24. Gentle swings: Gently swing your baby in your arms while singing soothing lullabies, or head to your local playground.
25. Baby drums: Spark your baby’s interest in music by letting them play with pots, pans, and utensils.
Playful games and interactions
26. Peekaboo: Play peekaboo with your hands, a blanket, or by hiding behind furniture for endless laughter. It also helps to ease your bub’s separation anxiety.
27. High-five game: Teach your baby to give high-fives for an engaging and interactive experience.
28. Soft toy parade: Set up a ‘parade’ of soft toys and let your baby watch them march by.
29. Puppet show: Create playful shadow puppets using a flashlight to captivate your baby’s attention.
30. Bathtime fun: Hop in the bath together, along with some of their toys. Enjoy some splashes and giggles!
Creating joyful and engaging experiences with your baby doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. These 30 free activities are designed to spark laughter, exploration, and connection as you navigate the wonderful journey of parenthood. Remember, it’s the simple moments of shared laughter and wonder that create lasting memories and deep bonds between you and your baby. So, embrace the opportunities to learn, grow, and play together—making cherished memories that will stay with both of you for years to come.