Keeping a baby busy and out of mischief for a few precious minutes is a difficult but wonderful thing.
Whenever our 13 month old is awake, she wants to be right in the middle of whatever activity we’re doing. Most of the time we welcome our littlest learner into our work, but sometimes it’s best if she plays independently for a few minutes.
That’s when we use the Baby Busy Basket.
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The Baby Busy Basket is simply a small basket filled with little toys to keep baby’s attention. The items in our “baby basket” are different almost every day. Usually, whenever we pick up toys, we make sure to put some little (but not too little) toys in the basket for the baby. Since the toys are haphazardly rotated out our daughter doesn’t seem to lose interest in them.
Here are some of our daughter’s favorite little toys:
wooden peg people ~ apparently the heads on these guys are perfect for chewing
wooden cars that the people fit into ~ we reviewed this one from A Summer Afternoon two years ago and we still love it (although we have lost one of the people)
wooden peg people and little wooden pots ~ Amelia likes to stick these little wooden people into the pots which is a great fine motor skill (both were purchased in the unfinished wood section of Hobby Lobby)
baby combs ~ our baby girl already likes combing her hair
stacking cups ~ she hardly ever uses these for stacking, but she loves to place things into them and then pour them out. She’s recently started nestling them inside each other, too.
small shaker toys ~ we were given egg shakers when Emahry was Amelia’s age, all of the kids still play with them
other small instruments (or noise toys, like we call them in our home 🙂 ~ we recently found metal triangles in Target’s dollar spot, definitely not a quiet toy, but it keeps her entertained
an old phone ~ Amelia likes to press the buttons, I like that it doesn’t make the annoying noises that toy phones do, it’s a win-win!
small board books ~ we’ve collected quite a few over the years and rotate them out just like the other kids’ books
How do you help your baby play independently? We’d love to hear your suggestions!