Your baby will develop faster during the first 12 months than at any other time in her life.
Everything is new to her, and she will spend her days soaking up her surroundings.
Everything you do and say will be helping her to learn about the world around her. Even watching you sort out the washing can be fun as they learn about different textures, colours and clothing items.
Here are some fun ways to entertain and teach your baby with baby games:
Baby Games Idea #1: Peekaboo
Peekaboo is an easy and inexpensive game that will provide hours of fun for your baby. With younger babies, try hiding your face behind your hands, that way they she still knows you're there. You can use fabrics and materials to cover your face too. In time, your baby will learn to pull back the fabric to find you. As she gets older and begins to understand object permanence, you'll be able to leave the room and jump back in shouting “Peekaboo!”. Funny faces and voices add extra layers of enjoyment to this game.
Baby Games Idea #2: Where Has Monkey Gone?
This game can be played with any toy, it doesn't have to be a monkey. Take the toy and display it for your baby, then take some material and cover up the toy. Then try and find it again. This game teaches your baby about object permanence. As your baby grows older, she will begin to understand that objects still exist, even if she can't see them. When she has worked this out, she will start to pull back the material herself to find the missing toy. She may even hide the toy for you to find too.
Baby Games Idea #3: Sensory Time
This game can be altered and repeated as many times as you like. All you need is a muffin baking tray, and a handful of objects to put in it. Be careful not to choose anything small that could be a choking hazard. You don't need to buy any fancy objects for this game, just everyday items from around your house will do. Empty toilet rolls, dried pasta, frozen peas, large beads, leaves from the garden, washing up sponges, ping pong balls and plastic spoons would all make great items for this game. Simply divide your chosen items amongst the muffin tray, and let your baby explore. Your baby will enjoy mouthing, touching and moving the items about.
Baby Games Idea #4: Splash Time
This game is suitable once your baby can sit up unaided, or you can play it earlier with the assistance of a bath seat. Firstly you need to set up a splash station, the easiest location for this is in a bath or paddling pool. Make sure the water is the correct temperature for your baby.
Provide a selection of pouring containers and water toys. You may have some bath stackers and pourers already, or you could use empty plastic containers and bottles. Teach your baby how to fill and empty the containers, how to splash and how to enjoy the water. Make sure the water stays warm so that your baby doesn't end up miserable because she's feeling chilly. If using a paddling pool, make sure your baby is adequately protected from the sun (preferably by being shaded).
Baby Games Idea #5: Feel This
This game is great for younger babies, and can be adapted for older babies who might like to hold the objects themselves. Babies love exploring new things, and this game focuses on their sense of touch. You'll need a selection of different textures for them to feel. Feathers, silk scarves, sponge and bubble wrap are all suitable suggestions.
For younger babies, gently drag the fabrics across her body and talk to her about what you're doing. Explain that things feel soft or squishy, so she can start to understand the meaning of different words. For an older baby, explore the objects yourself and let her copy.
More Baby Games Ideas?
Find out what baby games BellyBelly forum members love in our thread, what baby games does your baby love? or you can share your own ideas in the comments section below.
“Since about 8 or months old, our baby has loved playing with a box full of recycled items. We have a cardboard box in which we put recyclables (safe ones, like empty tissue boxes, boxes from food items, washed plastic bottles) and our baby thinks its the best fun. She pulls them all out, and sometimes puts them back in. But we’ve kept the box for her because its so much fun for her for ages!”
“Our daughter has a big toy box which she likes to dig through, but often she gets bored with the same old toys. We’ve taken some smaller ones out of the box – ones that feel and sound different – for example a tennis ball, a crinkle toy, a feather etc., and put them in a smaller box, so she can sit down with the box between her legs and sift through them all. She loves it!”