Share Your Load
You may be tempted to burn through chores like laundry while your baby is napping, but she loves to watch you in action. "Some people call this the couch-potato theory of instant learning -- just by observing, babies learn a lot," says Emily Bushnell, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University.
If you're tickled that your tot plays peekaboo behind a towel, cheer and grin so she'll do it again. When babies get results, they're more likely to repeat an action.
"Knowledge is reinforced if babies get a chance to do something themselves," says Bushnell. So when you're wiping up a spill, try putting your baby's hand on yours so she can get a sense of the movement. Then you can give her a clean rag and let her go to town.