The activity table is a favorite toy of mine to use with babies! I love how I can change the set-up and utilize it in so many different ways to encourage play with my little guy. There are so many different ways you can use an activity table for baby. Another great feature is they are priced so much less than other baby equipment that contains baby. We got our table from Target. It is a Fisher Price Laugh N Learn Table and we love it!
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What’s wonderful about activity tables is how versatile they can be. Most pictures show them with babies standing at them but by no means is that the only way to play with them. Actually, at our house, we don’t even use it that way yet! Here are a few of our favorite ways to utilize the activity table at our house!
Activity Table For Baby
1. The top totally removed from the legs and placed on the floor. Baby C can access the table this way on his tummy. As I have stated in several of my previous posts tummy time and floor play is the ultimate in promoting strength and gross motor development in children.
2. As your baby starts to roll you can prop the play table against a stable surface allowing them to access the table on their side or on their tummy. I used this position when C was just starting to roll. It was motivational to him. He needs no motivation now! The problem with this position was that when he started getting stronger and pushing harder on the table it started falling over. Luckily I have a smart occupational therapist friend who showed me the next position. This is still a good position when your baby is younger and doesn’t have the strength to knock it over.
3. For this set up all you have to do is put two of the legs on the table and prop it on its side. It is much more stable than leaning it against the ottoman as I was doing before. I love this idea especially for when your baby learns to move in and out of sitting themselves. This is great for C right now as he is pushing up in tummy time and is able to shift weight. This is great when babies are able to perform these skills. This is the only time we even utilize the tables legs right now!
4. Propping the table up on a slightly elevated surface. You can use pillows, blankets, whatever you can find around the house just so it keeps the table stable. This is another great position that we have played with C in. Right now this is easier for him to bear weight on his hands and knees then the traditional way. When he is leaning up against the cushions his little body isn’t required to bear quite as much weight requiring slightly less core strength. He really seems to be exploring his body in space in this position right now. He will rock back and forth and pick up one hand. When the music is playing on the table my husband and I joke that it looks like he is dancing. It might be in my head but I feel like when I play like this with him he seems to move onto his hands and knees on his own more often. I would not encourage you to put your bay in this position if you notice that your baby’s back sways in. Then go back to one of the first positions it just means that the baby might now be quite strong enough.
5. Standing and playing at the table. This is what most people think of traditionally when they think of playing with an activity table. We aren’t using this position yet as C isn’t pulling to stand as of yet.
Hopefully this helps give you some ideas of how to utilize the baby’s activity table at your house. What other fun ideas do you have with the play tables?
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