Games To Play With Your Baby
Experts agree that the best way for babies and young children to learn is simply by playing.
Through play, our little humans can find out how to communicate, how to move, how to process thoughts. What things look, feel, sound, smell, and even taste like. Here’s some fun games to play with your baby:
• Water games – baths aren’t just for getting clean! Use funnels, cups, ladles, sponges, anything you can think of to explore the wonderful world of water. If the weather is right, head outdoors and set up a splash zone or on rainy days, rug up and find some puddles.
• Peekaboo – An old favorite for good reason! Mix things up a bit by popping out from behind the couch or through a doorway rather than just from behind your hands. Toys can be brought into the game too, by covering them with a blanket only to be revealed with gusto seconds later.
• Make-a-mess! – We’ve all seen the delight babies take in creating a mess with their food, so why not set some playtime aside for mess-making so mealtime can hopefully involve more eating? Set baby in their high chair or other comfy, contained area and let them go wild with slippery, sloppy foods or homemade dough or slime.
See Also: The Importance Of Play
• Sensory bottles – Some of the things we see every day are amazing to babies, including things inside clear bottles. Colored water, buttons, rice, etc in a securely closed bottle can entertain for ages, especially once baby is mobile and can chase it as it rolls.
• Nature play – Head outdoors and explore together while your baby learns what their world is made of. Take your time and pay attention to the things they take an interest in. Pause underneath trees that are swaying in the breeze. Spend an age feeling a leaf or a flower petal. Lie on the grass together watching the clouds go by.
• Dancing – Not being able to walk shouldn’t keep anyone from dancing! Put on some beats, sashay across the room holding your baby, and spend some time helping them to wiggle and bop around; not only is it loads of fun for you both but it’s also great for baby’s mental and physical development.
• Up and down – Learning should be fun so make a game out of teaching your baby directions and names for their body parts. With your baby lying on their back, lift them to a seated position or to their feet while saying ‘up’, then lie them back down while saying ‘down’. Lift an arm and say ’arm up’, lift a leg up and so on. Your baby will likely find this hilarious and they’ll be learning some simple directions and words in the process.
• Copycat – Most babies love mirrors and when you play a game together in front of one, their day is made. Try to mimic your baby’s facial expressions and noises as best you can and watch as they realize what you’re doing!
These games are a great place to start but every interaction with your baby is a chance for fun and learning. Keeping simple things like diaper changes light and fun. Talking through your actions, singing, and smiling will not only entertain and pacify your baby but it can help to keep your mood up too. Life should be fun for everyone!