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Babies Play Too! Simple ways to play and connect with your 0-6 month old






Play is not just for toddlers and bigger kids! Babies love to explore and learn through play too! Here are a few super simple ideas to engage your baby in playtime:



 

Reading books: Reading to your baby is a great way to help them learn new words and sounds. It also helps to develop their concentration and imagination.


Expand it further: You can incorporate voices and sounds, use lift-the-flap books and invite some puppets or soft toys.




 


Singing songs: Singing to your baby can help soothe them and get them excited. Not only will it help your baby learn new words and sounds, but it can also help to create a strong bond between the two of you. It doesn't matter if you don't have a good singing voice, your baby will be too mesmerised by you to notice!


Extend it further: dance around to your favourite playlist with baby in arms, alternate the levels of your voice from really high to really low, sing nursery rhymes and touch baby along to the rhythm to develop brain-body connections.





 


Playing peek-a-boo: Peek-a-boo is a classic game that babies just love. It helps to stimulate their cognitive development and makes them laugh. It also helps to develop object permanence (the understanding that people or objects still exist even when you can't see them)


Extend it further: Use a clean tea towel or blanket for a quick game of peek-a-boo. Cover a toy and uncover it using a silly magic word to generate some giggles, and play peek-a-boo in a mirror as you're passing. Place a toy in a box and encourage baby to reach in and pull it out.




 

Water play - babies LOVE water! Kicking and splashing in water helps them to develop coordination and gross motor muscles. Water can also be very relaxing and calming for babies.

Extend it further: Place a clean baking tray or other shallow tray of water on a towel. Hold baby over the tray and watch them dip their toes in and out. Alternatively, place baby on their tummy and encourage them to pat the water with their hands. Fill a plastic zip-lock bag with water to about a quarter of the bags size, let the extra air out and seal it well with tape. You now have your very own "pat-mat!".






 

Tummy Time: Placing your baby on their tummy and giving them different toys to explore is a great way to help develop their motor skills! Babies are born with limited head and neck control - a few minutes of tummy time a day helps to build these muscles.

Extend it further - Place a rolled up towel under babies chest and armpits to help make tummy time more comfortable. Place a toy or object in front of baby for them to watch and interact with. Lie down on your tummy facing baby and sing songs or pull funny faces!




(Side bar - don't force tummy time if your baby is getting stressed out! Lots of babies hate tummy time on the floor but love it on their Mom or Dad's chest. Do what works for you and your family)

 

Bubble play: Blowing bubbles for your baby to watch and try to catch is a great way to help them develop their coordination and sense of wonder. Watch as they reach their little hands up to try to grasp the bubbles and track them with their eyes-bubbles are fantastic for hand-eye coordination!

Extend it further: Blow bubbles in the bath for extra bubbly fun. Talk about where the bubbles are popping with your baby (On your cheek! On your knee! etc)





As always, ensure your baby is fully supervised when playing together. Have fun playing with your little ones!

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