___ Construct an indoor sandbox. Fill a large shallow tray or pan with cornmeal. Provide scoops, spoons, and strainers.
___ Create your own smell-o-vision lab by placing lavender, mint, fresh basil, and citrus rinds into washed-out baby jars. Puncture a few holes in the lids for a "scent-sational" sniff.
___ Assemble a miniature obstacle course with pillows and hula hoops for baby to crawl, climb, and step over.
___ Play recording studio with baby. Tape record baby cooing, laughing, and babbling. Then watch her face as you play back her voice to her. Tape record your voice and play it back for her, too. Invent funny sounds and giggles together.
___ Play hide-and-seek with baby. Choose a spot that's close by and allows you to "peek" so baby can see where you are and crawl toward you. Keep peeking and ducking out of sight, all the while calling out his name or "Where's Mommy?" until he reaches you.
___ Let your baby feel different temperatures by handing her a cup of cool yogurt, a warm, wet washcloth, an ice cube, or a blanket fresh from the dryer. Don't forget to test the temperature first.
___ Take out a new toy or book to discover together. Some parents reserve a stash of gifts in the closet for quiet days.
Excerpted from the AmericanBaby.com Ages & Stages weekly baby newsletter, Week 43.
Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, June 2006.
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