VALENTINES DAY PLAY IDEAS
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love, and what better way to celebrate than creating some extra special moments with your little one. While your baby may not understand what on earth is going on, you can still make the day fun for you both.
In this blog post, we'll explore super-sweet and age-appropriate ways to play and bond with your baby this Valentine's Day - but don't worry if you don't have the time, energy or enthusiasm, it's certainly not all roses and playing with a baby!
ALL THINGS RED
At Etta Loves, we understand the importance of sensory experiences for your baby's development, and lucky for Saint Valentine, red is a highly visible colour, even from birth. So pop on a red jumper, find a red scarf or rose (if you've been treated that morning) or even any older sibling's red toys, and take baby on a valentines wander to see all the red things in your house and town (postbox anyone?)
Babies love peekaboo! Cut out a heart-shaped piece of card or colourful fabric and play a little game of peekaboo with your little one. Watch their adorable reactions as you reveal your face from behind the heart. This simple game supports their visual tracking skills, aids with their understanding of object permanence (that when something disappears it doesn't mean it's gone forever) and adds a dash of Valentine's fun.
What baby doesn't love a little sing-song? Create some magical music using shakers made from rice in a plastic water bottle to introduce your baby to the joy of making music through movement. Sing and dance along to your favourite love-songs and enjoy having a good sing along - and even if you don't have the voice of an angel, your baby won't care one bit and will think you're the best thing since slide bread (or should that be milk..)
For slightly older babies, you can prepare a sensory tray filled with safe and age-appropriate items for your baby to explore. Incorporate heart-shaped objects, textured fabrics, and soft toys - think dyed red rice or homemade red salt dough, perhaps you have red sensory scarves or can cut hearts out of different textured fabrics - the sky is the limit with this (or your utter exhaustion more like). This hands-on activity allows your baby to engage their senses, promoting cognitive development and providing a playful introduction to Valentine's Day themes.
JUST CUDDLE & READ
There is absolutely nothing wrong with snuggling up with your baby and enjoying some quiet story time, in fact we encourage it! Choose books you love to read, as they'll love to hear your voice. What's better than bonding with the tiny love of your life.
For you, not them! Hopefully you don't need an excuse to treat yourself, but take a moment this Valentines to know how loved you are and how brilliant a job you are giving your tiny human so much love and care.
IT'S NOT FOR EVERYONE
Themed fun isn't for everyone and that's okay. I was always the parent who had the best intentions but rarely managed to find the energy to get organised in time. And much as I beat myself up some days comparing myself to other perfect sensory play tray parents, it didn't actually matter one bit looking back. So you parent your way, as it's the best way, and enjoy the looks of love from your little one all year round.