What can I play with my baby?
It can be hard to think of some new ways to play with your baby. Many parents find that they get stuck in a bit of a rut repeating the same games over and over again. That is why I have created this activity alphabet with a wide variety of ways to engage with your little one. All of these activities help to promote different areas of development whilst also strengthening the bond between parent & baby.
The activities for your baby:
- A – Animal tape rescue – secure some toy animals to a surface with 1 piece of tape so they are easily removable. Let your little one figure out how to remove all the tape and rescue all the animals.
- B – Use bottles to create sensory play. Fill an empty plastic bottle with glitter, water, rice, pompoms (anything you like). Securely place the lid back on and let your baby play!
- C – Paint with cars! Give your little one a large space, some paint &some toy cars. Let them drive the wheels in the paint and mark make with the vehicle. I’d suggest doing this before bath time!
- D – Dancing! Put some feel good songs on & have a dance party. Your little one will enjoy not only being held by you whilst dancing but also listening to the rhythm. This is also a great way to unwind and bond wiht your baby.
- E – Make & play with edible finger paint. There are many simple recipes online containing only natural ingredients. Let your little one get messy & enjoy the sensory experience. I suggest placed a shower curtain or table cloth on the floor to contain the mess!
- F – Use finger puppets to help tell stories to your little one. This will encourage fine motor skills & provides you with an oportunity for close physical play with your baby to help strengthen your relationship.
- G – Gardening – give your little one their own patch in the garden to dig, bury & explore. As they get older you can change this into their own little vegetable patch!
- H – Hanging activities. Provide your little one with some pegs & odd socks. Let them practise the fine motor skills involved with clipping clothes ready to go on the line. This is a great occupier for them if you are also hanging up the washing.
- I – Ice play. Freeze some flowers or toys inside ice cubes. Place them in a shallow bowl of warm water & let your little one try to get the toys out of the ice block.
- J – Let your baby explore texture by creating some sugar free jelly for them to play with. This is a fun activity where you can sit your little one in just a nappy and let them explore. To further the experience you can place some toys or inside the jelly.
- K – Balloon kicking – fill a helium balloon & tie it to a piece of string with a loop at the bottom. Let your baby grasp this string and enjoy watching the balloon move as they move their hands. This should only be done under supervision due to the hazard of string getting tangled around your baby.
- L – Light play – set up a lamp in a dimmed room with & a number of objects to create shadows in the room. Show your baby how to manipulate the shadows by moving the objects. For added fun also use some fairy lights among the objects.
- M – Enjoy some baby massage with your little one. I suggest using natural oils such as coconut oil for some relaxing bonding between you and your little one.
- N – Nursery rhymes are a great way to build the foundations of speech. Studies have found that parents who sing frequently to their children tend to have babies who learn to speak earlier.
- O – Being outside in nature. Dress your baby appropriately for whatever weather is happening & get outside. Let them feel the rain on them, crawl on the grass in the sunshine & feel the gust of strong winds. Children thrive in nature. It promotes not only development but also sleep!
- P – Pompoms! Give your baby some pompoms & a baking tin. Play with them and encourage them to place the pompoms into the baking tray to help develop fine motor skills. You could also try pushing the pom poms through empty toilet rolls!
- Q – Spend some quality time with your baby. Whether reading a book, having a cuddle or doing some baby massage your little one will thrive from having quality time with you.
- R – Play with rattles. Rattles may seem slightly irritating to grownups but for babies they provide great enrichment, teaching them that they can create changes in the environment/world… they can make noise by shaking the rattle.
- S – Create salt dough with your baby. This is super easy to make and you can use it to creare moulds of your little ones hands & feet. It is also a lovely sensory experience for babies.
- T – Tummy time! Tummy time is great for physical development & to help your baby to begin to gain the skills for crawling. Start off small doing 30 seconds-1 min a day & gradually build on this.
- U – Under the cloth games. Place your baby’s toy under a tea bowl. Pick it up and show them it’s there, then cover it again. This is a variation of peek-a-boo & can create lots of laughter between you and baby.
- V – Take videos both of your baby & for them. Not only as a special memory to look back on but also to show your baby different members of your family whilst practicing name recognition.
- W – Try some water play with your baby. Either do this in the bath or on a warm day set up some shallow water. Simply add in some plastic cups to the water & let your little one explore.
- X – Make music – get out a xylophone, symbols, mini keyboard. Anything that makes noise that you don’t mind your baby ‘boshing’. You will both have so much fun creating sounds together & enjoying some quality time.
- Y – Enjoy some baby yoga together. Either find a local class or simply put on a YouTube video. This will help you and your baby both bond & relax.
- Z – Get some zzz’s together. Contact napping & bed sharing can be really beneficial for babies with sleep issues as long as safe sleep is followed. Check out my blog post on safe sleep before giving it a go!
If you need any other inspiration for activity ideas I highly suggest looking at Play Hoorays website. It contains lots of great ideas & products to give you inspiration when playing with your baby.
If you think you may need any other support with activity ideas for your little one or any advice on how I can help your families sleep use this link to book in your free introductory call https://diddidreamers.co.uk/appointments/
Sending sweet dreams to you and your little ones