Pram Jam with Beth – Summer Days

Arrghh, it’s hot this week. My baby is teething, and between his lack of sleep, school holidays, and this heat, I am struggling. The words are not flowing and the cogs in my brain are barely moving, but, it’s Pram Jam blog day and my turn to write, so here goes!

What are you favourite indoor activities with your baby? We try to have a few standby ‘too hot for outside’ activities up our sleeves, because there’s only so many library visits and shopping centre trips that one family can handle over the summer holidays 😉

My older boys will quite happily spend a day reading novels, playing playstation, and drawing/crafting (my 8 year old is learning to write with a feather quill, lots of fun and rather splodgy!) But the baby, that’s a bit more of a challenge. He doesn’t have the concentration span of the bigger kids and is more likely to tear their crafts than help, so we need alternative distractions.

1. Playdough

Google is your friend when it comes to recipes for long lasting playdough. Remember that these can be super salty and if your bub is anything like mine, straight to the mouth, supervision is key! Use some of your everyday kitchen utensils rather than special playdough toys, and do some role play! Your songs from Pram Jam come into play quickly –

pat a cake rhyme5 fat sausages rhyme

2. Ice play

Ice blocks from the freezer on the highchair tray is a simple idea, add some corn flour and maybe some food colouring and presto! Glorious Goo! If your baby likes the texture then perhaps a session of finger painting is in order – see this link for some ideas

We seem to have created a family tradition of entombing various mini figures in cups of water in the freezer, then banging and smashing them free. My 14 month old squeals in delight when Darth Vader is finally chipped out of his frozen prison! Perhaps a mini dinosaur for archaeology practise, or a little horse?  Icecream containers work well for this task if you have bigger toys, we once found a missing Schleich dolphin in our freezer unexpectedly!  Another great idea is to freeze blueberries or other small pieces of fruit in ice cubes.

Ice stars

3. Audio books

We forget about this option so often at our house! If it’s too hot to lie still and listen to a story, or baby’s got some wriggles to shake out, why not combine storytime with some active packing away, or even cleaning and sorting. Audio books are a fantastic way of increasing your repertoire as a read aloud presenter, giving you clues and ideas about expression and tone as well as insights into what your child engages with. My kids love the voices I use to describe the three billy goats gruff trip-trapping over the troll’s bridge, and the silly song that I sing when telling them the Gingerbread Man story, and I only have these voices because I listened to audio versions of these stories. This Tony Ross compiled selection is a wonderful starter:

My first nursery stories cover

Or, the other one that we’ve borrowed again and again (and again) is What the Ladybird heard and friends / Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (with the lovely bonus that the stories are read by the likes of David Tennant and Julian Clary!)

What the lady bird heard cover

So there it is, a rather higgledy piggledy version of a Pram Jam post by Beth.  Please let me know how you cope on these hot summer days when the thought of going outside scares the freckles on your skin but your baby needs entertaining 😀

Pram Jam starts up again in just 4 weeks time, Monday, 2nd February at 10am (new time!) for Coolbellup Library, Wednesday, 4th February at 10am for Success Library and Thursday, 5th February at 10am (new time!) for Spearwood Library.


Author: Beth

I present the Pram Jam sessions at Coolbellup Library on Mondays during school term, and have worked with Cockburn Libraries since 2003 (with a few breaks here and there to look after my brood of boys). I have a special interest in early childhood development and the practice of attachment parenting - if you are curious I can always point you towards my favourite books in the parenting collection.

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Pram Jam with Beth – Summer Days

by Beth time to read: 3 min




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