Bit of an unusual post for me this. But I’ve been thinking about it all week and thought…do you know what, I just need to ‘fess up!
So a couple of weeks ago I was asked by a few lovely followers (after my last post on activities and games for babies 1-2 years old) if I could post some ideas and games for even smaller ones of 0-12m. So I did a poll and there was an overwhelming response of ‘yes please’ to this request.
And I thought about it. I drafted a few basic but not particularly clever or insightful ideas, bashing my brain to try and remember back to Ewan and Flo being that little. What did I do then? How did I entertain them? Myself? Usually ideas just pop into my head. “This would be good”...“oh we did this”...“and this is excellent fun” etc. etc. But not this time.
So I thought hard about why not? And now I know the answer. I didn’t do much of anything when they were babies that little. And if I am perfectly, brutally honest I found it more difficult than I ever imagined. Especially with Ewan, my first born. I just survived, day to day, in a tired, cake-shovelling, weeping, foggy haze. I had no creativity in 2014, it was all blunted by this sleep-resistant baby and an overwhelming urge to ask…why am I getting it all wrong? Aren’t I trained for this? Don’t I love babies and kids? Isn’t this what I’ve always longed for? To be a Mum?
I battled through the first year with Ewan, and although Florence’s first year was much easier, I also had a potty training, busy toddler to contend with so activities were focused on him to allow me to feed, change, cuddle my new-born. The play was limited to singing nursery rhymes, reading stories, playing with baby toys, and the daily struggle of just trying to keep everyone, including myself, clean and fed. This was when I started reading The WONDERFUL Unmumsy Mum’s blog and stopped beating myself up and tried to remember I was just doing my best, and that’s all any of us can do.
It wasn’t until Ewan turned 3 and Florence turned 1 that I felt a little spark of my old self start to creep back in. Fun games and activities started to bounce into my brain. Let’s try this, I thought…or what would happen if we did this? Slowly, slowly, the stuff I’d been trained for and adored as a Teaching Assistant began to come into its own. I started writing ideas down for games and playing them with the kids at every opportunity. Flo napped in a routine so I had time to set things up, then watch and see what happened. The games began.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is this. I’m sorry. I won’t be writing up games and activities for 0-12m because I was pretty hopeless at it. Instead I will direct you to the wonderful Claire @Play.Hooray who has lots of ideas for this age group and even play prompt cards also @beckys_treasure_baskets on instagram has some fab sensory activities too. And I hope, that when your wee bubbas are a bit older, you’ll swing back over to me. A few of my ‘1-2 year old activities’ or QUICK IDEAS are also suitable for those very little ones.
And if you are a Mum beating yourself up for not “doing” anything exciting with your 6 month old…DON’T. I didn’t. I watched box sets and fed Ewan to sleep just so I could sit on the sofa for half an hour. There is PLENTY of time for play to come. I promise.