The COVID-19 pandemic put a hard stop to our daughter attending daycare as our state closed licensed daycare centers for over 3 months. In March 2020, our home quickly needed to become a place where a 4 month old would be comfortable, entertained, and challenged.
Below are the toys and activity centers that helped us balance taking care of our infant while navigating work from home orders. I will outline what worked well, what didn’t, and what we wish we knew.
It felt like overnight our living room became our daughter’s daycare. We created 3 main “centers” that we would rotate her throughout the day. One “standing”, one sitting, and one laying.
The “standing” center is one that she still uses today, 4 months later. It has been a true gift and one that thoroughly enjoys. The Bright Starts 3-in-1 Around We Go Activity Center runs about $80.00, depending on where you purchase, and so while it isn’t exactly cheap, I really feel you get your money’s worth. At 4 months old, our daughter could barely reach the floor when placed in the seat, yet she was so happy to experience the various sections of the activity table, the noises and textures, and conquered most all actions within a month. This table is suggested for 6 months plus, but I don’t seem harm in putting a younger infant in the seat to have them start experiencing the toys while “standing” upright. The best thing about this activity center is that the seat moves all the way around the table, and once our daughter could reach the floor this absolutely strengthened her leg muscles as she would push up on her tip toes and eventually learn to move her legs to get herself around the table. Our daughter’s favorite spot on the activity center was the “piano” and to this day she loves hearing the music.
The Fisher-Price® Owl Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat sitting center was also one that our daughter could spend quite a bit of time in. Personally, I love that the colors on this are not too extreme. The grey and green are a relief to the bright colors of the standing center I mentioned earlier. On one side of this sitting center’s toy is a mirror which our daughter loved staring while “ooo’ing and aah’ing” at herself.
As I mentioned, our living room quickly became a place that our daughter would spend the majority of her time in due to daycares being closed. Besides an area rug, our living room has hardwood floors. Yet, we wanted her to be comfortable when spending time on the floor. Our quick solution was to throw a few plush blankets on top of each other so she could learn to sit on her own and practice crawling. While this was acceptable for what we wanted, I would have much rather purchased something like the Roam Free Play Mat. These play mats basically look like rugs and have lots of colors and designs to choose from that could match with your home decor. I really love the Dusk neutral shade and just might purchase soon for another area in our house!
I hope this helped you decide on activity options for your little one. Feel free to ask me any questions or leave comments if you can!
Written by Adam Stango, Father via Surrogacy