Friday, September 28, 2012

Entertaining The Baby... Activity Time For A 13 Month Old

Every other week or so I start worrying that I am not doing enough to challenge Cora or help her develop. So a-googlin' I go. I try to find activities that will keep her interested and involved. 

Cora is 13 months old now. What entertains her changes by the day. 

Here are some of the activities Cora and I have been doing lately:

  • Boxes! I have been trying desparately to make this box entertain her to no avail. Boxes used to be the best thing in the whole world when I was little. But it doesn't seem to bring the same excitement for Cora. I'm going to let this box decorate our house for another month or so in hopes that she will warm up to it.

  • Hide and seek. Cora is a hide and seek machine. She gets the hide part. She is always hiding and then laughing about the fact that I may not be able to see her. She kind of gets the seek part. Usually, she just runs after me as I hide and then thinks it is hilarious when I smoosh myself up against a door or under a chair.
  • Body part naming game. When Cora is in the right frame of mind she loves showing off her body part knowledge. For some reason she especially loves to show you her hair and head. Eyes are the hardest. Nose ALWAYS results in one finger up a nostril- sometimes the double nostril trick.
  • Reading books together. This is the most exciting thing for me! Cora has just started reading books and not eating them! She hardly ever holds still. But, these days if I get a big stack of books and put her in my lap to look through them SHE WILL STAY PUT! She loves pointing to things and trying to tell me what they are or the sound they make.
  • Photo albums. We look at photos all the time. I will name all the people in it and talk to her about each one. She loves to stop on photos of people she knows best. She points out "Dada" over and over and over!
Here she is looking at a photo album of my awesomely-mulleted school photos that my mom made me. Cora found this in a cabinet recently and carried it around with her for a while. I'm pretty sure she was confused and embarrassed that I ever had such ridiculous hair.
  • Helping with the laundry. AKA taking everything out of the dryer and throwing it onto the floor. She may not exactly help but she definitely enjoys it. When she hears me say the word, "laundry" or when she hears the dryer door open she comes a-runnin'.
  • The park. Outside. Walks. Cora just loves to get out of the house and see new stuff. The swings are an added bonus. Anytime I mention the words, "outside" or "walk" she is at the door wagging her tail and panting like a dog.

  • Playing with kitchen items. Cora LOVES spoons, bowls, tupperware, etc. Mainly, she likes to carry them around the house with her- trying them out in different spots. She likes to put things in containers and put lids on and off. She just became fascinated with zipper bags and is constantly trying to open them.
  • Watching everyday things. Post Officer deliver mail. Trash pick-up. People riding bikes and walking dogs. Whatever is going on she wants to see it.
  • Dancing. The girls has got moves. She has a fancy bounce move and a terrific arm flail.
  • Smell time. Last week, I busted out a big bowl and filled it with all sorts of different smells. Cora was pretty interested. She understands the idea of smell. If you even mention the word, "flower" her nose goes sniff-crazy. She has a couple home-made building blocks that have pictures of flowers. She is constantly smelling them and then holding them up to your nose to make sure you've had a chance to sniff them sufficiently. The hardest part of the smell-travaganza was making sure she didn't eat everything she smelled. Getting things back from her after she had had a good smell was not an easy task either.
Let's get this smell party started!
Checking out some lavender lotion. Scott kindly told me that it makes me smell like a grandma.
Smelling the azalea. I did not tell her to smell it. As I said earlier, she loves smelling flowers. She thinks that trees and plants deserve the sniffing attention too!
Minced garlic. Her sniffer better get used to this one because it is a common one here.
  • A few more... Bubbles, shape sorters, story time at the library, coloring

Well, there you have it- a sneak peak of what Cora and I do to have fun these days! 

Here are some that we will try soon:

  • Sidewalk chalk.
  • Pet store. We did this when Cora was really little but it didn't mean much to her. Now, when she sees an animal she goes running after it. A pet store is going to blow her mind!
  • Music freeze. I am ready to play anything that involves music. I am not sure that Cora has quite mastered the idea of holding still though.
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Painting. Take a cup of water and a paint brush outside and let your baby get to work.
  • Fun with flashlights. There are all sorts of flashlight games in the baby game books I have. Flashlight freeze, colorful scarves on flashlights, etc
  • Snuggle Time. This is always on my list. Unfortunately, I do not have a snuggler on my hands.

Here are a few great resources to help you find some more ways to entertain and challenge your baby:

Baby CenterBaby ZoneBaby Centre UKBubhub, The Bump

365 Games Smart Babies PlayBaby Play

Do you have some more suggestions for BabyToddlers? Mama, I know you were the queen of fun activities when we were little. What were you doing with us around this age? Dad, is this a good time to start playing "Troll under the bridge?"

REMEMBER... All babies/toddlers are different. Do not worry just because your baby may not have reached a milestone yet that another baby has. (Remind me of that when Cora  is still eating crayons at 3 years old).


  1. When they are old enough to not eat all the marshmallows (or stick a toothpick up their nose)- toothpick/marshmallow creations provide hours of fun.
    Also when they are around age 4, hammering nails into pumpkins (with close supervision of course) is absolutely fascinating to little ones!

  2. Well....since you asked!
    This about the right age to work on puzzles. I spent many an day working with Kelly helping
    her slide the puzzle pieces into place. Finger painting was always fun...this looked like a good site for helpful hints on finger painting: . I actually
    used a mixture of Detergent powder and water but Cora might eat this and that would not be good.
    I have to give you my play dough recipe (the one that your Father thought I was cooking for dinner and tried some of it). I also had fun with you & Kelly making birthday/valentine/halloween/christmas cards. I would cut out lots of pictures, have lots of stickers/ribbon and anything else you can think of, then you would glue them onto pre-folded cards. You could also make a small pebble box (instead of a sand box) and have lots of plastic
    containers in it for measuring. Maybe the wadding pool from this summer could be used. We also played lots of make believe games.

    1. Excellent ideas. Come on down and let's get them started!

    2. and I must say it was one of your better dishes!

    3. ohhhhhh triple snap! boo ya to your fabulous and very extravagant cooking, mama!

    4. Woa! Just saw this post, that is a major boo ya!

  3. You are doing a great job exposing Cora to different experiences. I love the photos of her
    taking the 'smell' test.

  4. You're such a good mom! Cora is so lucky. And I'm lucky because I got to see photos of that little cutie and read about how she spends her day.

  5. Great Cora pictures! I got to see Cora in action on naming body parts yesterday when I skyped. She was a perfect 100%. I also got to see her in action with the box. She would just barely go in and only stay for a few seconds. She did not want to look out the window. I thought that was pretty strange because you and Kelly used to love the big refrigerator boxes and such that I would bring home. Great toy value for the money.