Games – Baby Care

Games

Games to play with your baby

Your baby will develop at an amazing rate in her first year. At times, she may seem to acquire new skills overnight.

It won’t be long before your wriggling, helpless baby works out how to roll over, sit, crawl, stand and walk.

The games below will help you encourage your baby to make the most of her new abilities as she discovers them. You should both have a lot of fun along the way.

0-3 Months

0-3 Month Information

During the first three months of life, baby is learning many new skills. Although all babies develop at different speeds, there are some key milestones your baby should accomplish during these early months. Explore the tabs below to find developmental milestones, learn fun games to play with baby. Also watch videos and download print materials to track baby’s developmental progress.

It’s never too early to start playing games to help your child reach their sensory, communication, feeding and motor milestones. Below find ideas for babies up to three months old.

Motor Games and Activities

  • Place baby on their tummy to play for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day
  • Lie down and place baby tummy down on your chest so you’re face-to-face
  • Hold baby’s hands and clap them together while you play music and sing
  • Nestle baby close to you while you gently rock and sway
  • Hold baby on your lap and encourage them to reach for toys nearby
  • Change the direction that baby sleeps to encourage head turning and build strength

Sensory Games and Activities

  • Hang a colorful mobile above baby’s crib to provide visual stimulation
  • Encourage baby to hold or shake an age appropriate rattle
  • Gently touch and tickle baby to make them giggle
  • Play with baby in a variety of positions
  • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver
  • Smile at baby, touch her hands, feet and forehead. She how she wiggles , reacts to touch and voices
  • Play or sing songs with baby to help enhance baby’s listening skills
  • When changing baby’s diaper touch different body parts and say “beep” baby may begin watching your hand and anticipating touch.
  • Hang a mirror on the wall. Tap the mirror and say baby’s name. Over time baby will begin to understand who the baby in the mirror is.
  • Show baby family photos or flip through a magazine. Point out the smiling faces to baby

Communication Games and Activities

  • Speak in a high-pitched, sing-song voice to help get and keep baby’s attention while you talk
  • Describe your actions as you dress, feed, and bathe your child. Talk about where you’re going and what you’re doing.
  • Give baby frequent face-to-face time
  • Shake a rattle up and down while singing to baby
  • Show pictures of family and friends and point out smiling faces
  • Hold up a doll or stuffed animal and point out the different body parts

 Feeding Games and Activities

  • Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer

4-6 Months

Months four, five, and six are an exciting time in your baby’s development. The tabs below show milestones, games, videos, and tracking materials.

Here are fun games to play with your four to six month old baby as he starts to explore and communicate.

Motor Games and Activities

  • Place baby on their tummy to play in short spurts for up to an hour over the course of the day
  • Place baby tummy down on a blanket and move the blanket slowly around the room
  • Allow baby to explore age appropriate toys with their mouth and tongue (be sure that the toys are large enough so that baby does not risk choking)
  • Promote baby pushups, by holding baby’s attention with a toy and encouraging baby to push up on hands and hold position for a short period
  • Encourage baby to practice repeated rolling from back to tummy. Place toys around to encourage pivoting

Sensory Games and Activities

  • Encourage baby to touch fabric with different textures such as wool, corduroy, and velvet
  • Lift baby up and down and play in different positions to help develop their sense of movement and balance
  • Find balls with different textures and colors. Teach baby how to roll, drop, and bounce them.

Communication Games and Activities

  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Use a variety of facial expressions while you talk
  • Read with baby. “Reading” can simply mean describing pictures without following the written words.
  • Encourage two-way communication. When baby coos or babbles, be sure to respond and take turns in “conversation”.
  • Hold a doll or stuffed animal and point out all the different body parts
  • Play with rhymes and songs
  • Encourage baby to play with toys that make sounds

Feeding Games and Activities

  • Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer

Safe play

Follow our baby & toddler proofing tips for your home, and hygiene advice so they can play and explore safely.

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7-9 Months

Find a list of the milestones you can expect your baby to reach between seven and nine months old. Experiment with the games suggested to help baby reach those milestones. Watch the videos and download the print materials for additional information about your baby’s motor, sensory, communication and feeding development.

A seven to nine month old baby is increasingly curious and active. Encourage curiosity through playing games. Ideas to help promote motor, sensory, communication and feeding development are listed below.

Motor Games and Activities

  • Put a toy or book inside an empty cardboard box. Wrap it with colorful paper or newspaper comics. Clap your hands when baby yanks it open then announce what is inside.
  • Encourage movement by placing toys around baby where they must move to reach them
  • Encourage baby pushups during Tummy Time by raising and lowering a rattle over baby’s head
  • Engage baby in activities like reading or playing with a ball while in sitting
  • Gently push baby back and forth on a swing in the park, but make sure baby can sit up and hold head steady with no problem
  • When baby is holding a toy in each hand offer a third toy; watch as baby figures out how to grasp the new toy without letting go of the other two
  • Punch holes in lid of empty food container and fill with water to make a fun bath time toy
  • Get an empty plastic bucket and have baby throw toys into it
  • Use different household items , like squeeze toys or newspapers to make different noises for baby

Sensory Games and Activities

  • Use your hands to make shadow puppets for baby
  • Gently touch baby on the feet and tummy to make them giggle
  • Play with a jack in the box or windup toy with baby to show motion
  • Use animal sounds when playing with or reading to baby; point out an image of an animal then associate the sound that animal makes with the picture
  • Walk with baby in a carrier or baby backpack
  • Play with baby in many different positions
  • Take baby on a walk in a stroller or jogger
  • Use slow, rocking motions for calming and more vigorous motions for play time
  • Give baby space to explore environment, while staying close to supervise
  • Introduce new textures while baby is eating, sleeping, dressing, or playing outdoors, use a variety of sponges, soaps, and lotions during bath time
  • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver
  • Encourage baby to play on the floor with toys of various colors, sizes, and shapes
  • Allow baby to grab and explore items within reach

Communication Games and Activities

  • Draw a picture of baby’s face and then point out the different parts
  • Play with a pretend phone; talk into phone as you would a regular call, then offer it to baby to do the same
  • Read short stories with baby
  • Start using hand movements along with associated words to teach baby to communicate withgestures
  • Describe your actions throughout the day as you dress, feed, and bathe baby. This gives baby an opportunity to listen to the sounds and rhythms of speech
  • Respond to baby’s sounds and encourage two-way communication
  • Play music throughout the day – lively, upbeat music during playtime, and quiet melodic music for naps and bedtime
  • Read picture books together to help baby connect words and images
  • Give baby frequent face time
  • Point out objects while you walk and talk with baby

Feeding Games and Activities

  • Try introducing pureed foods to baby. Puree a small amount of whatever you are having for dinner in a food processor, but be sure to avoid honey, cow’s milk, salt, and artificial sweeteners
  • Introduce new foods gradually and watch for baby’s response
  • Do not force food or show stress over a baby’s dislike for certain foods
  • Change the texture of food if baby refuses food
  • Provide baby with a healthy diet – avoid artificial ingredients, sugars, and preservatives

Starting school, day care or nursery

Getting your little one ready for pre-school is a big step, follow our tips for battling those back to school bugs and keep them and their play-mates healthy.

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