Babies find out about the world, and their place in it, through play and exploration. Play is fun, but it’s also vital for your baby’s learning, development and wellbeing. Here are some fun, stimulating and safe baby play ideas and baby games for you and your baby to try together.
What to expect from baby play
For babies, play means you. Your face, touch and voice are your baby’s most exciting and interesting playthings, and your loving relationship with your baby is the foundation of her learning and development.
Babies love moving their arms and legs and they’ll reach out to touch everything – toys, pets and brothers and sisters!
When babies shake a rattle it shows them that they can make things happen. This makes them keen to see what else they can do.
As your baby grows, play becomes more active. Your baby might start pulling out drawers, dropping cereal onto the floor, pushing any button he can find and putting toys where they don’t belong. This is how he figures out how things work.
Sometimes your child wants to be in charge when she’s playing and likes you to follow her lead. It’s fine to encourage her to take the lead, but you’ll need to take control if the play puts her in danger or at risk of injury.
Baby play ideas and baby games
The best toy for your baby is you, and the best baby game is playing with you. This means that baby play is simple – it involves looking at each other, gently touching, talking, singing and responding to your baby.
Here are some fun play ideas for you and your baby:
Dangerous things look like fun to a baby. Now’s the time to think about making your home a safer place for a baby on the move.
Video: Play and learning with babies (7-17 months)
Watch this video and learn tips on how to engage and play with your baby.
Play is a great relationship builder. Spending time playing with your child sends a simple message – you are important to me. Help your child learn about who she is and where she fits in the world.