Good Things: free printables

Saturday, March 28, 2009
Staying home with Lincoln can sometimes be an exercise in creativity.  How to entertain a 3.5 month old who is sleeping less and less during the day?  A typical morning:

"Good morning, baby!  What would you like to do today?"
"ee-eerr" (means diaper change and get some new clothes on).
"Great!  Now what should we do?"
"Good idea.  Let's hit the gym--the floor gym, that is."
-20 minutes pass-
"I can see that you are getting tired of the gym.  Let's try out that bouncy chair of yours!"
(I find if I say things in an exciting voice, I can pass them off as novel activities instead of the same thing we do everyday at 9:15...)
"Sure, let's get that rattle!  Good grip, buddy!"
"Um, diaper, check.  Floor gym, check.  Bouncy chair, check.  Rattle, check...I am running out of ideas here..."

Surely, he would eat a snack at any time, but at those rare instances when he isn't hungry but merely bored, I was running out of ideas.  And who wants to spend tons of money on toys that he may not even like?  Not me.  When I say I want new ideas, I mean I want new free ideas.  And so, I began looking online for free entertainment for babies.  Hulu came to mind, as I am sure there are some TV shows I am behind on, but we are doing our best not to let Lincoln watch TV (that's right, no Baby Einstein for Lincoln.  Sorry, buddy!).   

I remembered that babies like to look at high contrast images as their vision develops--things with thick black and white lines, and sometimes red contrast.  We didn't have any of these for Lincoln to feast his eyes upon, and I am not the artist, so a quick internet search produced some great "infant stimulation pictures" that I was able to print out, thus arming me with another good 30 minutes of entertainment for Lincoln.

If you would like to get some of these pictures for yourself (or your baby, whichever), you can find some at the following websites:

1.  Oh Baby! offers a set of abstract graphics that can be downloaded in .pdf format and printed off to mesmerize your little one.

2.  At Right Brain Kids, you can choose from black and white stimulation cards, math dots, musical notes on the C-scale, and colors.  These again can be downloaded as .pdf and printed.  

3.  Babystrology offers a .pdf of 6 smaller, abstract images.  Lincoln really likes this one because of the variety on the page.  It is fun to watch his gaze move from image to image.

4.  Fun Baby Games Online This website offers bigger pictures of actual objects/animals along with abstract art.  You do need to enter your e-mail address to receive a password to get to the pictures, however.  Also, at least on our computer, the pictures show up as question marks until you click on them.  AND, the entire first row of pictures takes you to an error page when you click them.  All the rest work, though, if you can ignore those few annoyances.  Lincoln really loves the dragonfly and bee from this website.  They are great pictures if you don't mind sharing your e-mail!

Hope you (and your baby) enjoy these pictures!  We do, especially since they are free =]

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