Playing with your little one is fun! Yes…. we both know he is very small…. but it’s a wonderful time of smiles, laughs, fun explorations and all those ‘first times – first time laughs, first time kicks, first time giggles, first time tiny bumps!!!! It’s so exciting! You’ll make so much of memories and most importantly, you’ll bond with your baby.
Babies need entertainment too. Babies who are not stimulated often end up getting cranky and can grow up to be kids who are unable to connect to games and often are unable to be stimulated by learning and educational toys.
I know as a mum of a newborn, there’s a lot of things that need your attention – washing up of diapers, housework and of course chores. However, playtime with your little one is just a few minutes at a time and is very rewarding.
Bonding with your baby with play and fun activities will have a host of benefits that include not only the start of a good relationship but will also help him develop his vocabulary, spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination and help him develop a happy psyche.
Here are some happy activities that you can do with your 1-12 month old baby!
Remember, these wonderful months is so precious and comes by only once. So here are a few playtime activities that you can start of with!
Play with a rattle or his favourite toy – Make sure you give age appropriate toys to your little one. These toys will help him develop his awareness of the outside world. It will help him explore sight, sound and touch. As a very young baby, playing with a rattle or a particular favourite toy will help him with his hand eye coordination. As he grows older, playing with age appropriate toys will help increase his gross motor skill functions and much later his fine motor skills.
Rubber Duckies – bath time can be especially fun. Small babies, bath times toys that squirt water and make noise is an equation for lots of laughs and giggles!
Roll a ball – When your baby is able to sit down, sit him on a mat and roll a ball. Make him sit with his feet apart and you can sit a foot or two away from him with your feet apart. Roll the ball to him and get him to roll it to you too. These develop gross motor functions as well as help improve hand eye coordination. It’s simply tons of fun with your baby laughing and is a good way for Mummy to relax a bit too!
Baby pool time – if you have an inflatable baby pool at home, this can be lovely fun and a wonderful way for baby to cool off in this heat! Get some baby friendly bath time bubbles and you’ve just doubled the fun time. Remember to never leave your baby unsupervised whenever he is in the pool no matter how short the time is and no matter how ‘safe’ it might seem.
A walk in a park – apply some mosquito repellent, get your little one into a stroller and head over to a park. A morning time walk is good for the baby as he gets his all important Vitamin D and it’s a wonderful excuse for Mummy to get some exercise too.
Sing – introduce your baby to nursery rhymes from as young as possible. You’ll be having so much of fun while your baby tries to join along. This will help with his vocabulary too.
Read to baby – reading to a baby is very important. From the time your baby starts to be more aware of what’s going on around him, start reading to him. This can be before bedtime or you can have a special reading time during the day. Make it a habit and you won’t regret it. Always make sure that you buy age appropriate books so that it engages your baby.
Peek-A-Boo – little ones love playing peek-a-boo and it’s oodles of fun and distracting when they get crotchety.
Play with Play dough – let your little one enjoy different textures as he plays with play dough. He’ll enjoy the squishy squashy feeling of it.
Paint – Yes painting is possible. It is very important to get non-toxic, age appropriate paint. Lay a paper and let your little one ‘mess’ around with some colours! You’ll have some lovely hand prints that you can frame up later!
Jump around – get yourself a baby jump-about door bouncer. Your baby will have lots of fun, plus it’s very good for strengthening your baby’s leg and lower back muscles. Never leave your baby unattended in a bouncer and it’s not recommended to let him bounce for longer than 30 minutes.
Sensorial Activities – there’s loads of other sensorial activities that you can try out, like playing with coloured pasta or coloured rice. Check out our posts here on colouring rice & colouring pasta.
Educational toys – There are many age appropriate educational toys that can help your child’s development. Check out our list here.
Play time with your baby helps engage your baby and it’s also a time for you to bond with your little one. Remember, playtime actually helps your child’s development. From hand eye coordination, strengthening eye muscles to helping gross motor skills, playtime is rewarding, stimulating and developing – so go ahead – play!!!!