The way babies learn is through play! They touch, taste, experiment, and take in their environment by interacting and having fun. In case you’re not sure where to start with your baby or need a couple of fresh ideas, I’m sharing some of my baby’s favorite toys and activities today!
My youngest daughter is six months and she absolutely loves everything that I’ve listed below. Most of these ideas we started when she was just a few weeks old, but use your judgment and see how soon you’re comfortable introducing them to your baby. All babies develop at different paces and have different preferences.
Lay small babies on their back and they can watch the bubbles fall or start reaching for them. Place older babies on their tummies and they can pop the bubbles that land on the ground.
As your baby watches the bubbles and tries to catch them, eye tracking and hand-eye coordination are being promoted.
What’s more fun than making noise?
This Melissa and Doug set has lasted us through two babies and shows no signs of wearing down.
Tunnels are a fun way to encourage your little one to scoot or crawl. They also help your baby to develop spatial awareness as they judge how their body fits in relation to the space of the tunnel.
Toss a few small toys in there in case your baby needs some motivation or wants to stop and play. Now that my baby has mastered the army crawl, I love celebrating with her each time she makes it from one end to the next.
My baby would probably stay in her jumper all day if I let her, but we only use it for about 15 minutes at a time. This is my secret weapon when I need to take a quick shower or run the vacuum cleaner unencumbered. We can still see each other, but she’s happily bouncing away and building lower body strength.
Make sure your baby has good control of their head before using a doorway jumper and check that it’s secured safely. We didn’t start using ours until closer to five months and our baby could sit up almost unassisted.
These soft blocks provide a basic introduction to building and engineering. Start by making short stacks and giggle with your baby as they knock it down!
My baby giggles each time she sees herself in the mirror. I would, too, if I had such cute, squishy cheeks!
Mirrors teach self-awareness and body awareness as babies study their appearance and movement.
I started reading to our first daughter the moment she was born and now, at two-years-old, she loves grabbing a book off of the shelf and curling up on her bed to “read” by herself. I’m mindful of reading with our second baby so that she’ll have the same love for books as she gets older.
Reading with your baby is also important because it introduces them to vocabulary they may not normally hear and teaches them basic literacy skills.
No special toys or equipment needed to play on the ground with your munchkin!
We started by having side-by-side tummy time between naps when she was a month old. Now, we hold her carefully around the center of her body and take her in all different directions.
Make sure you never pick up a baby by their wrists or ankles and that no pressure is put on their head or neck.
Playing on the floor helps your baby develop overall strength and coordination and encourages mobility.
Playing With Our Cat
Having a pet at home is perfect for introducing the concept of animals and being gentle. My baby is always interested in what our cat is doing and loves touching his soft fur.
If you’re thinking about getting a pet, I encourage you to visit a local shelter and adopt a new family member from there.
How does your baby like to play?
Tell me in the comments!