Your one-month-old waves their arms and grasps at nothing while trying to focus on anything with their weak baby eyes. You can totally feel the love and adorableness. But it lacks a little entertainment value.
You know what else lacks entertainment value? Your bored-ass face while you’re hanging out with your baby waiting for them to learn to talk. Why don’t you do yourself both a favor and start making things interesting? It’s not like your kid can do it, they’ve only been on the planet a single month. You? You’ve been here at least a bazillion months. It’s time to use that experience for play.
2 Great Games
The term “game” is used loosely here. Obviously your kid has no idea what rules are, and even if they did you’d probably cheat anyway. Instead, think of what follows as activities meant to build on their already booming new abilities. Yes, you’ll be doing most of the work. But your kid will be getting all of the benefits. And you’ll both be a bit more entertained.
The Human Mobile
How It Works: You’ll be using your ears for this one. Not to listen for anything, but to hang stuff from. The steps:
- Find any 2 light, small, loopy toys.
- Raid your partner’s craft bin (or shoelaces) and cut enough string to make a pair of 5-to-6 inch loops.
- String a single loop through each toy and tie to secure.
- Now place the loops around your ears and position yourself so the toys dangle down in your baby’s face.
- Make like a mobile and let your kid bat at the toys (and your face) while you make noise every time the connect.
Why It Works: Right now your kid is interested in your face. But you have to get close. Pretending to be a mobile is a great way to get close. It’s also cheaper than buying a real one. Right now your kid is discovering their hands and how to use them. Giving them a dangling target to hit allows them coordination practice. Making sounds when they connect with your face or the toys, helps them work out cause and effect. It also helps you work on your mouth noises, an essential skill for any Dad or Police Academy recruit named Michael Winslow.
Tarantino For Baby
How It Works: You know pretty much all of the good Tarantino movie dialogue. You’ve memorized The Reservoir Dogs tipping conversation, the Pulp Fiction “watch up my ass” speech, and even Bill’s Superman musings from Kill Bill Vol. 2. It’s never to early for your baby to start hearing the McDonalds scene, even if they don’t know what the metric system is.
This game is super simple. Just re-enact the best Tarantino dialogue while you and your kid are in the same room. The catch? You’ve got to use a higher-pitched, sing-songy voice. Bonus: You get to keep in all the bad words. They’ll never remember it.
Why It Works: Developmentally your kid is starting to work on concentration and the ability to listen. Sing-songy voices are the most attractive to them. If you do your dialogue while walking around and performing other chores, they will likely try to track you. That helps them work on their newly developing neck muscles as they turn their head from side to side.
Note: Sure, Tarantino isn’t necessary. You could also call this game Coen Brothers for Babies, or Scarface for Babies or whatever. Just make sure that it’s animated and sing-songy. They’ll be saying hello to your leetle friend in no time, oh yes they will, ohhhhh yes they will, boop boop boop.