Fun games to play with your baby

Enjoying fun and safe physical games with your baby is a great way to spend loving time with them while encouraging them to explore how their little bodies function.

We’re sure that you’ve already figured out plenty of different ways to play with your little cherub. Keep experimenting with ways to have fun together and never stop playing – it’s how they learn! And while you’re doing so, you’re creating precious memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Here are some play ideas you might not have tried out yet:

Cycling 'round and 'round

With baby lying on his back, hold his feet and carefully guide them in a cycling fashion. Speed up and slow down to add variety, sing a little ditty to accompany the game and tickle his feet. Babies love having their legs and arms moved for them before they have proper control over them. Make sure to dress them in nice stretchy leggings or rompers for the exercises.

The big stretch

Once baby is able to hold her head up independently for a few seconds while lying on her tummy, try rolling a small, soft ball across her line of vision to entice her to stretch out and grab it, giving her arm, leg and neck muscles a good workout. If it's a good day out, why not try this on a blanket in the garden?

“Play is essential for physical and emotional growth. Babies are naturally playful as play is their ‘work’. You can start engaging playfully from early on – just in short doses between sleeps. As your baby gets to four months, her wakeful periods will get longer so you can play more.”Meg Faure, well-known occupational therapist, public speaker, parenting author and mother. 

Empty and full

Fill a large plastic bowl with a variety of objects or toys (choose different colours, sizes, shapes, textures and weights) for her to empty out onto the floor one by one. Once done, let her put everything back into the bowl. Repeat ad infinitum for never-ending enjoyment.

Baby be nimble

From about five months, bounce baby gently on one of your knees while safely supporting him with your hands under both of his armpits. Sing “Baby be nimble. Baby be quick. Baby jump over the candlestick!” and move him across to your other knee just as you sing the last line. Once he’s got the drift, the final motion will invariably result in a good giggle!

Baby drums

From about nine months, your baby will love banging on an assortment of household containers. Raid the kitchen cupboards for pans, pots, boxes and plastic bowls, turn them upside down on the floor around your sitting baby, hand her a pair of wooden spoons, stand back and enjoy the concert. This will improve her coordination while introducing concepts like loud and quiet, fast and slow, and hard and soft.

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