My baby is basically obsessed with anything to do with water (except taking a bath..so weird, right?!)... Naturally when she watches me do the dishes she wants to join the fun. It took me a few tries to fine tune how we went about this activity together. A few tips: devote one side of the sink just for the baby to play in, place clean dishes on side of the counter you are standing on and then put them in the dishwasher afterwards (if you use one), have a little mix of your baby's dishes and a couple "grown up" dishes for them to play with. Oh, and you might want to make sure to have a new shirt for them to change into close by because things can get wild! ;)
Babies want to be little helpers and when they "help" you cook they are also more likely to want to eat what you made together! This doesn't need to be super hands on the entire time, a simple assisted stir here and there can make them feel more involved and important. I would also suggest some parallel play style cooking by giving your baby a bowl with a couple inches of water and a spoon close by where you are cooking. Bonus points for asking them what they are making and so on, might as well have a chat at the same time! :)
My baby likes to start the party! She puts any music making device on the ground, and then we stand in a circle (or across from each another) and dance to the song. I also like to include follow the leader dance moves.
Play with a Projector
My baby loves this owl projector! She points to it and wants me to turn on the stars every morning. She also loves when I move it around and put the stars on her hands, my arm, a wall, her blanket, etc. She also enjoys pressing the buttons herself that change the songs and sounds. This is a "game" I can play with her for a good 15 minutes or so... totally worth it!
This is probably my favorite activity with my baby these days! She makes up various scenarios, and I pretty much just follow her lead. For instance, lately she's been having me tie a shoelace around one of her stuffed animals like a leash, and then we walk it around the house together. Getting down on her level and engaging with interest seems to make her day, and mine too! ;)
A QUICK LOOK AT TEN MORE IDEAS...
Playtime on the Couch
Visit the Aquarium
Listen to a kids Podcast
Make "Busy Bags"
Rainy Day Walk