The little guy is easily amused. Smile at him and he’s already gushing back at you, bashfully burying his face only to look up again and smile. How awesome that the most effective “toy” is simply a face smiling at him.
But since we like variety around here, we play all sorts of games with him.
We take his arms and legs and move them to a tune, stretching them this way and that. For instance, we’ll sing “The wheels on the bus go round and round…” while rolling his arms in a circular motion. He especially loves “The wipers on the bus go side to side…” where I take his legs and move them left and right. Other tunes he likes are “Patty cake, patty cake…” and “Row, row, row your boat…”
We also invent our own songs. One that he really likes is when I take his hands and touch them to parts of my face and sing “These are mama’s cheeks. These are mama’s cheeks. These are mama’s cheeky cheeky cheeky cheeky cheeks.” And repeat with mama’s nosy nose, eyes-y eyes, mouthy mouth, and chin-y chin.
And what baby doesn’t love his tummy being kissed? You get bonus giggles when you build in the suspense and slowly make your way to kiss his tummy before giving an all-out kissing attack on it.
There are other activities he likes which don’t always generate huge squeals but will keep him engaged for a long time. He loves playing with this toy that my cousin gave him, which we call Fred. I don’t even know what animal it is, but he loves holding it and smiling at it.
He loves this crinkly book that came as a part of a book set my sister gave him, shoving it in his mouth and making plenty of crinkly sounds.
He’ll also give this polite smile at the zebra animal attached to his swing; it’s the smile you give someone when passing them in your office hallway: “Hi Zebra, how’s it going?”
And his books. He can be the crankiest baby, but lie down next to him to read a book and the boy will shut up fast. We even read him long books, which I was scared he’d be bored with halfway through, but he keeps right on reading. The cutest thing is when we let him “turn the page.” We loosen up the next page and he takes his right hand and moves the page to the left. His favorite book is a Thomas the Tank Engine book that plays a tune when you press the cover.
I’m sure months from now he’ll require more complex toys and activities, but for now we can be flattered that a smile and hug is all he needs to have fun.