Keeping a baby entertained

Last Wednesday night my son laughed for 15 minutes at the spinning Lazy Susan on our kitchen table. He belly laughed as he watched our napkins spin round and round and round. It was delightful.

Babies are just delightful, aren't they.

Babies are many things.

They are fun (most of the time).

They are charming.

They are delightful.

But keeping an infant (or toddler) entertained is not always fun, delightful or charming. And while puffs can buy you a good 20 minutes before the screaming starts, food is not always the answer. (I know, even I gasp as I write that.)

So how can you keep a baby entertained on a weekend, or how do you fill the day if you're a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Or how do you keep that kiddo happy on a long car ride? And how do you keep all of this entertainment stimulating and engaging?

Here are five tips from the experts. (Notice I am not an expert.) Best of all- these ideas are either free or can be made from things you already have around your house!

Photo credit

1. Water Sensory Bottles Sarah Eleanor over at Spoonfed Baby shared this idea on her Facebook page. It's brilliant and Little Bits and I will be trying it this week. She combined oil and water with food coloring and all sorts of shiny things in a water bottle for endless infant fun.

2. Baby Core exercise. Okay, the first time I saw this I thought, "this woman is crazy." But when I tried it with baby boy, he loved it. I mean LOVED it.

3. Edible Sensory babies love two things, putting everything in their mouths and then trying to eat whatever it is they just put in said mouth. Why not try a little Edible Sensory Activity?

4. It keeps going and going! Let's add a third thing babies love- pulling on things. Hair, jewelry, food bowls. Why not engage them in some pulling that won't hurt your head or leave your floors a mess. I Can Teach My Child (my sister's favorite blog -other than this one of course) had this great pin worthy idea of putting scraps of fabric in an old wipe container for hours and hours and hours of fun.

5. Touch book. If you love to craft this one is up your alley. I found this idea on Pinterest. It's a sensory book you can make yourself. Out of scrap materials. Think: soft, smooth, rough etc. etc.

Do you have any ideas to share? I want to know how you keep your baby engaged.

5 Kitchens Gadgets I Love, Love, LOVE

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1. My cast iron Dutch oven.

I have to be honest. At first I wasn't crazy about this one. I asked for a Dutch oven for Christmas. My husband bought me one. But I had wanted one of those fancy, shiny, enamel ones. Or so I thought. Turns out this regular, classic, Dutch oven and I were made for each other. It is practically indestructible. It can go from stove top to oven to sink. I love it. And it caramelizes onions like a dream.


2. My rice cooker. One time I saw this on a list of kitchen gadgets you don't need. Clearly the writer of that blog is insane. 

I love this thing. Seriously. Is cooks rice, quinoa, grits, even orzo. (I am hearing the foodies flexing their little fingers now. "You can't cook orzo in a rice cooker exclamation point, exclamation point,  exclamation point!!!" Well I did. Get over it.) I struggle with rice. I always make too much or it sticks to the pot but with this - wow, it's easy. My mother gave it to me. It made me love her even more.


3. Silicone whisk. This cost me $1. It's possibly the best investment I ever made. Things don't stick to it or inside it. I love it. Go thee to Target and purchase one!


4. Bread pan. I am now making my own bread. I made this with it. It comes out crisp and gorgeous. (Bonus, I bought this pan with an Amazon gift card I earned through Swagbucks.)


5. Pyrex glass containers for left overs. I am scared of BPA. Seriously. I lie awake at night and think about it. (Should I consider therapy???) My sister gave me a set of these containers for my birthday. My husband carries his lunch in them. I don't worry about heating up plastic and I don't have to deal with tomato stains.

So, do you have any favorite gadgets?

What are some you don't like?