It is never too early to play with your baby (in fact you can even play in utero)! Play is crucial for your little bundle’s physical, emotional and mental development. Babies are born to learn from our sensitive, loving care – this means, you are the best teacher! Also, playing with your baby is a great way for you and baby to bond.
Here are 8 ways to play with your baby:
- Face to Face – Babies love face time (I mean, the original face time). And they respond more favorably to happy faces. So, engage your baby by looking in his/her eyes, smiling or even making some funny faces. Remember that newborns only see inches away, so you’ll have to get nice and close if you have a new little love.
- Peek–a-Boo – This game will be your friend for a long time, so you might as well get to practicing now. Hide behind a wash cloth, receiving blanket or your hands and call your baby’s name. Then… “peek-a-boo”! As your baby grows you will notice that he will become more responsive with smiles and eventually laughs.
- Reach Out and Touch Something – Many baby items come with mobiles or hanging toys of some sort and for good reason! Reaching out will help baby develop hand eye coordination (also many of these items help baby learn things like colors, shapes, etc.). Use one of these toys to play a game of reaching out. Talk to your baby as you touch the items. What color are they? What shape is it?
- Music Time – Babies love music! It’s soothing to them and it may even enhance their mental development. You can play all types of music for your little one. Sing and you can dance, too – baby will love the closeness!
- Reading – It’s never too soon to start reading with your baby (in fact, many moms do so during pregnancy). Reading is great for language development.
- Balloon Kick (1 month or older) – I found this on Pinterest when my son was a newborn and decided to give it a try after somehow acquiring a helium balloon (I think he was around 2 or 3 months). Tie balloons to your baby’s ankles, allowing her to kick and watch the balloons move. This is not recommended for baby’s that can roll.
- Sensory Play – Your little one learns through all of the senses. Use sensory play to help your baby learn. The type of play will evolve as baby gets older but even from birth you can engage your baby in touching and feeling the world around him.
- Rattle Socks – Put socks on your baby with rattles and let her kick away!
Now, I didn’t want to insult you by putting tummy time but, of course, this is a great (and doctor recommended) way to play with your little one from birth.
How have you played with your baby?