Along with some cosy attachment toy, everyday objects usually keep babies happiest for the longest stretch of time. A set of measuring spoons was a favourite in our house. And toes are best of all because you can catch them, grab them, and even put them in your mouth if you try long enough. And they never get lost!
One of the most fascinating books I've read recently was How Babies Think by Alison Gopnik. Although a scientist, she writes in a fresh understandable way. The discoveries she and her colleagues made through neuroscience correspond with any observant mother’s or practitioner’s experience of how babies learn and the amazing things they do like playing with their toes or their tongues. Alison describes babies as true scientists, constantly conducting experiments, testing their ideas and building their understanding. She writes, “The most interesting thing about babies is that they are so enormously interested; the most wonderful thing about them is their infinite capacity for wonder.”
P.S. For baby room staff training, request a free copy of What happens in the baby room?