This is a space where we share our favorite play ideas for babies. The youngest kids can have fun while learning through play at home, too!
Babies are such an amazing miniature human. They are developing at a rapid pace and taking in the senses of our world with wide eyes. Simply holding and talking to your baby is such a wonderful sensory experience. Then there is the sensory overload of bath time. We’ve got some easy play ideas for babies and young toddlers here, as they take on and take in the world around them.
This spatial awareness for babies post shares tips and tools for promoting child development through play, especially tummy time for babies.
For more information on development, check out this development of eye-hand coordination information post to better understand how fine motor skills and visual processing develop in babies and toddlers.
Additionally, the baby stage and development is an important time for the integration of primitive reflexes. Check out some of these books on primitive reflexes to read more on child development.
Also important in the baby stage is the development of oral motor skills. It’s through the mouth that babies explore their world around them and gain the skills needed to progress from liquid feedings to more complex foods.
Typical Baby Development:
Baby development begins before birth and continues to evolve into functional skills each and every day. From birth, a baby typically demonstrates random limb movements and a rounded back with drooped head. Asymmetrical postures dominate and no weight is bared through the legs when a baby is held up. By one month, baby is able to rotate their head and lift their head momentarily. Asymmetrical postures continue to dominate At three months, baby holds their head mostly in midline and is able to bob their head in supported sitting. At three month, baby can visually follow a dangling toy from side to side. Baby may roll to either side from their back. At 4-5 months, baby kicks and waves arms and shows excitement with movements. They are unable to typically manipulate or purposefully grasp items. However, baby will demonstrate a strong grasp when an item such as a rattle is placed in their hand. They are unable to let go of an item in their hand. By six months, baby will demonstrate a greater variety of gross motor patterns. You will see movements of elbows and knees and they follow objects with their eyes in all directions. At 6 months, object exploration begins with crude manipulation. At 7-8 months, baby will take objects out of a container and drop them with crude manipulations and exaggerated movements. Baby is typically able to sit up by leaning forward for support. At 9-10 months, baby will explore more of his environment and will show isolated movements of fingers as they poke and explore items. They can pick up small items and begin to demonstrate purposeful play.
Note: This is not a complete list of Baby’s development. There are stages of typical development and changes in each skill area, as well as positional developmental changes. Watch this space for more baby developmental play and information.
Beyond this, baby is continuously developing in their gross motor, fine motor, hand dominance, language, and visual perceptual, skills. All of these areas can be built on with stimulating and encouraging play environments. Try some of these play ideas with your baby:
Baby Play Ideas
New Baby Wreath Gift | Sensory Shaker Bottles | How to make sensory bottles | Water Bead Sensory Box
Favorite Baby Shower Games | Books for Siblings | Books for a New Baby | Sensory Play for New Big Brothers/Sisters
More ways to play with your baby…
We’re adding new and older posts every day to our collection of baby and toddler play ideas. Be sure to stop back and see what’s new! As always, keep a close eye on little ones while playing with babies and toddlers with any activity. Children should always be supervised while completing any of these activities. Some children may be able to participate in a particular activity, while others are not developmentally appropriate. Please use your judgment and adjust the activity to meet the needs of your child. Or, pull out these ideas in a few months when it is safer for your child to participate.
Looking for more Baby Play ideas? Stop by and follow along on our Baby Play Pinterest board for creative play and learning for babies.