My little man is 5 months old today, I can hardly believe it!  It is such a great age, because they are in the initial stages of socializing (smiling, babbling) and they aren’t mobile yet so they stay wherever you put them.  Obviously, baby growth and development benefits most from one-on-one time with you e.g. singing, talking, reading books, and so forth.  So while I don’t actually recommend you stick them aside for hours uninterrupted, it’s nice to have a few activities to entertain them while you are tidying the house.

Please note that all of these activities are supervised play activities.  If you are wanting time to shower, it’s best to wait until they are tucked into a safe sleep space for a nap.

1. Tummy Time

Always start with tummy time as it is critical for baby development.  Gabe plays on his tummy as long as he will tolerate it – somewhere between 20-60 minutes –  before switching to another activity.  I focus on tummy time earlier in the day rather than later, so he has the most energy and doesn’t tire too quickly.  Make it more interesting by placing interesting toys and books in front of them.  There are plenty of tummy time activity toys and play mats on the market, which are nice to have but not necessary.  A regular blanket with a few baby toys will work just fine!

2. Jolly Jumper (with stand)

If you want to use a Jolly Jumper with a stand then this is the perfect age!  Gabe loves his Jolly Jumper!  I started him right at 3 months to get the most out of it before he starts crawling and loses interest.  They are expensive brand new, so good-condition used is a good option.  I purchased mine from a Mom of twins, and it was only used by them for a few months.

Note: I do not recommend the jolly jumpers that use door clamps, as I do not believe they are safe.  Some people modify these by screwing them into the ceiling or wall.  This is fine if you are certain it is secure.  Keep in mind that babies really bounce on these things!

3. Beach ball

This was my Mom’s idea!  High value baby entertainment that costs almost no money.  Buy a cheap beach ball and hang it from the ceiling, just within arms reach while baby is on his/her back.  Gabe will hit and spin it until he’s hungry or needs a nap.

4. Rocker and/or floor mat with hanging toys

I hang toys just within reach of Gabe’s rocker so he can fiddle and practice his finger dexterity.  There are also lots of baby activity centres with toys just within reach to keep them occupied.

5. Activity Centre

Activity multi-centres and saucers are great for this age.  Gabe is small for his age and didn’t grow into his until 4.5 months.  They are a good investment because they grow with baby.  Ours rotates 360 degrees so he can play with the various items and it also glides on rails so he can move more as he starts to walk.  The seat can be taken out completely so it works for toddlers too.


Please share your own baby activity ideas in the comments below.

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