For some parents and caregivers, the idea of playing with babies is a little intimidating. Just exactly what can you do with them? How do you interact with them, engage babies in play? It really doesn't have to be that hard. There are plenty of activities and games to play with babies that you can do that do not require much effort on your part. Check out this list of ideas.
From a very young age, babies are fascinated by faces. They love to look at the familiar facial features, stare back with great intensity, and simply watch lips and mouths move in conversation. This love of looking at people translates to a fascination with mirrors. There are several games to play with babies as they sit in front of a mirror, whether it be a full length mirror or smaller mirrored baby toy. Additionally, mirrors can make great tummy time toys.
If you are looking to infuse your baby's daily routine with short and sweet activities, consider how you can find common, every day actions to teach your baby about opposites. Repetitively turning the lights "on" or "off", placing a favorite toy above a table or under it, looking at "big" and "little" contrasts, and the like can turn into a game that sends your baby into giggle and snort fits. Simple and spontaneous activities such as this require no planning on your part but evolve organically out of your baby's daily life.
As your baby's physical development improves, one of the things you will notice is how her vision develops. You can harness her interest in following objects with her eyes by grabbing one of the countless baby toys you probably have around the house. These simple vision games will help her strengthen her eye muscles and increase her cognitive development by engaging her in this simple play method.
Believe it or not, mathematical concepts of number awareness begins even with young babies. You can help your baby begin to understand the most basic of number concepts through this lively game of Stuffed Animal Peek-a-Boo. Your baby will build the concept of quantity has the stuffed toy peeks out repetively. Then through a slight change in the pattern, your baby will get a surprise. Her reaction will reveal how aware she is of numbers and patterns.
Around 3 months of age, you will likely begin to see a change in how your baby interacts with toys. Where before she was only holding on to toys that you placed in her hands, she is now starting to be able to grab toys that are close to her. Capitalize on this stage of development with any of these little games that get her to show off what she can do with her grasping skills.
6. Shadow Games
At approximately 7 to 9 months of age, your baby will begin to notice shadows. More than likely, the movement of the shadows and the contrast between light and dark will capture your baby's attention. Whether you are out for a walk or you pull out a flashlight indoors, you can play with your baby using shadows as a new-found toy. The games listed here are certainly going to "light up" your baby's face.
There is so much fun to be had in the water. You can begin bathtime games as soon as your little one's umbilical cord stump comes off and will likely be playing them for many years ahead. Tub toys and baby bath bubbles are a fun element that your baby will likely enjoy. Always be sure that you follow bath safety guidelines when playing any of the games shared here.
With the start of the Back to Sleep Campaign nearly 2 decades ago, the concept of tummy time play has become increasingly more important to a baby's physical development. The challenge can be getting your baby to enjoy this time of belly play. Check out these suggestions to help keep your baby interested (and hopefully fuss-free) during tummy time.
9. Activites in the Great Outdoors
Getting your baby out and about can be a simple, inexpensive, and spontaneous activity you can do with your child. From trips to the park to walks in the stroller, getting your baby outside is a wonderful opportunity to promote development. You might also consider ride-on toys, like baby tricycles as a great item to have on hand.