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I have rounded up some fall-themed infant activities. It can be hard to get crafty with the littlest ones, but this list will allow some seasonal exploration. Only do what you know your infant can handle with your supervision. Next to each one I noted what ages I think are ready to explore that activity. This list covers infants from birth on up! Many of these ideas can be used as toddler activities as well. Multi-functional is good for us stay-at-home-moms! Check out these ideas…
Contrast Card Pumpkin Faces
(birth and up)
Contrast cards are a great visual exercise for young infants. I posted a few ideas for making your own on the Infant Activities page, but why not make some with a pumpkin theme for Autumn? Here are a few bold shape contrast cards that you can download for free. Just print them out, cut them out and laminate or cover with clear contact paper and you are set!Watch your infant focus on the images and talk to them about what they see. You can introduce the words: pumpkin, stem, and the names of the shapes in each picture. It is never too early to talk to your child and introduce new vocabulary. Of course an infant will not be repeating the words, but you are still building connections in their brain! Each card has a primary shape to help expand on this activity and make printing it out more worth your time since they can be used later on as a toddler activity as well. (How about making them into a simple book for toddlers?)
Nature Walk and Sensory Exploration
Real Fall Produce Sensory Bin
1.) I bought 3 different varieties of apples, washed them, and wrapped each in a piece of tin foil.
2.) I placed the wrapped apples into a baking dish and baked them in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Check the apples by pressing them carefully after 30 minutes and just keep baking until they feel soft and a bit squishy in the foil.
Pumpkin Guts Sensory
Cut open a pumpkin and let your infant see what is inside. Place the opened pumpkin in a dishpan or baking dish so your child can get their hands into it. Children love playing with pumpkin guts! Be careful with little ones who are still mouthing everything, but they can touch too. My infants never were able to pull seeds out of the pumpkin. They just felt the texture of the insides.
If you prefer a clean exploration, scoop out some of the pumpkin guts and place them in a zip top bag. Seal the bag and your infant can press and touch the bag to move the orange guts around without any risk of mouthing it.
This is a sensory activity for infants, a fine motor exercise (using those fingers to pull at the guts and seeds), and a science exploration. This is a great diversion to keep infants (and toddlers) occupied while the adults take care of the carving if you do this around Halloween.
Pumpkin Outline Finger Painting
Flashlight Fun Visual Sensory
One more activity that I did not create myself but found on the website What to Expect. It involves a great visual sensory experience. Since the days get shorter providing us with darkness earlier, this would be an easy activity to work in before your infant’s bedtime. Not a bad way to ease their nerves about being in the dark either! To view it click here.
More posts about infants:
Crash Course in Child Development: Infants
Patterns for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and Up
Looking for some direction for your quality time with baby?
This post is linked up here: http://intentionalhomeschool.com/teaching-tuesdays-a-weekly-linkup-for-parenting-kids-teaching-and-lessons-learned/
Enjoy your time at home!
Cheyenne Lee Brumfield says
Fantastic list! I am so excited to let my boy play in pumpkin guts. We also never tried finger paints. He just turned 7 months so I think these will be great for him! Thank you for compiling a "littler one" list; too often they focus on toddler+ like you said. Thanks again!
This list will be great for your 7 month old! My twins are 9 months and fully interested in these activities. All of my kids have really benefited from trying them out as infants. I wish you the best-enjoy your little one.
These are great for the really little ones! I wouldn't have thought of the 'pumpkin guts' sensory play – that kind of oozy & squishy is right up their alley!!!
Thanks, Anne! Glad that this little list gave you some new ideas to try. I hope you and your little ones enjoy it all!
Laurie Studley says
What kind of paint do I use for my 8 month old
Hi Laurie! I have always used tempera paint with my kids. I find that with it being non-toxic I do not have to worry about it being hazardous and I don't use edible paints because I like to teach my kids that paint does not go in the mouth so they are always safe . Tempera can stain clothes, so just be sure that you have your child wear something that can be stained, or undress them to their diaper so they are easy to wipe up or get right in the bath after. I wish you well!
These are really great activities, actually I'm thinking it's perfect for my twin toddlers as well, lol! I think they will particularly love the nature walk. They really think outdoors is such a whimsical place, haha, I'm glad they do think so.
Thanks, Marian! They are really great activities for toddlers too. Toddlers can be much more active on the nature walk for sure! Enjoy! (You'll have to give me pointers about twins…mine are due in a couple of months.) 😉