Play is important or children’s development and for children to bond. It offers a chance to connect with your child. You are your child’s first teacher and much of that teaching happens through play. Play helps your child learn the rules of your family and what is expected of him or her. As children grow, play helps them learn how to act in society. Parents need to make time to play with their children. You start to play when your child is an infant. When your baby starts to smile and you smile back, you are engaging in play. Play is directed by the child and the rewards come from within the child. Play is enjoyable and spontaneous. Play helps your child learn social and motor skills and cognitive thinking.
Read– A lot of people wait to get started reading books until their child is older, but the best time to start is right away! Board books are made to be chewed on by babies and have bright, contrasting pictures that will catch your baby’s eye. Read slowly, using voices if you like, or just putting a lot of emotion into your words. Let your baby chew the book or bat it around. You only need a small number of books, because your baby will love seeing the same pages over and over again
Sing– Here I’m talking about singing as a casual, regular activity that can enrich your lives. Say your baby’s name in a singsong voice. Make up songs to talk about what you’re doing, “Now we go down the stairs, and here we go to the kitchen, – it’s breakfast time!” Your songs don’t have to rhyme and they don’t have to have a snazzy tune. Just setting things to a beat and adding the lilt of your voice makes things interesting for your baby and can help lift both of your moods.
Dance– If singing baby songs is starting to bore you, turn on the radio. Hold your baby in your arms or use a carrier and get dancing. Your baby will love to sway side-to-side, bounce up and down, and dance for your baby!
Take a Walk– Going for a walk is a guaranteed way to sooth your baby if they’re cranky or tired. If your baby is heavy consider using a papoose.
Bubbles– All babies seem to like bubbles. Whether they like to try to catch the bubbles or just sit and watch, babies love bubbles. Most of the time it’s a really soothing activity, making it perfect for the afternoon or early evening.
Hiding Objects– Take a small object and place it under a cup (or bowl, box, etc). Encourage or help your baby to look under the cup or push it over, and then you can act surprised and talk about the object. You might say – “Look! A red block!”
Mirror– Looking into a large mirror is a fantastic activity with a baby. The motions and expressions catch the eye and hold their interest. Take a mirror off the wall and lean it up on the ground to look into. Babies will often spend a long time gazing at themselves trying to work out who is in the mirror!
Bouncing On Your Leg– Baby games don’t have to be complicated. Bouncing your baby on your leg while telling a story or singing a rhyme adds another dimension and encourage the use of all their senses.
Out of Reach– Take an interesting item and set it down just outside your baby’s reach. After a moment be helpful and hand the toy over if needed, but you may find that your baby soon loves to scoot, crawl, and wiggle around to get things
Bath – Babies love baths! You can have them on your lap, and let the water fill up around you. They enjoy the sound of the rushing water, and settle into a very peaceful state when the water starts to get higher. As your baby gets older they will learn to splash.. Watch out!!