To help your baby have fun, bond with you, here are a few baby games that can boost your child’s skills to help them learn language, develop problem-solving skills, crafts, and discover more about the world around them.
Use the spinning wheel to help you choose a game to start with or come up with your own variations or even combine games when you sense baby is ready for an additional challenge.
Shake, rattle and roll
Fill empty water bottles with interesting things — rice, buttons, jelly, water mixed with washing up liquid or soap, food colouring or oil. (Be sure lids are tightly secured with packing tape and that your child can’t chew through the bottle.) Crawlers will love chasing after a two-litre pop bottle half-filled with coloured water, as it rolls along the floor.
High (chair) art
Once your baby can sit comfortably in her high chair, try placing safe, edible play materials on her tray (not that she should eat them, but if some gets in her mouth, it’s OK!). Let her explore homemade finger paint, or playdough made with ingredients from your cupboard, or simply put blobs of thick pudding or jelly on the tray so she can slide her hands around in mess-making bliss.
Water has such a joyful, relaxing effect on children — feel free to take advantage any time of the day. Your baby can go right in the tub (with you, if you’d like!) as you use your hands, sponges and funnels to splash water on different parts of his body. When your baby can sit up, spread a vinyl tablecloth on the floor and set out a shallow pan of water with lots of cups, sponges, spoons and maybe his own baby to wash. (Even with small amounts of water, never leave your child unattended during water play — not even for a second.)
One for you, one for me
Perfect for younger toddlers, this game teaches sharing . Set out a pile of objects like crayons or buttons and ask him to distribute them between you while saying “One for you, one for me.” Make sure you each have a container to hold your growing collections.
Odd one out
Place a series of blocks of the same colour in front of your toddler, making sure to add at least one block that’s a different colour (you could also do this with small fruit or veggies). Once she’s had a chance to look at all the blocks, ask her which one is the odd one out. You can make this game harder by using flash cards of shapes or plants, then ask her which ones are similar and which ones are different.
Is there anything more fun than a scavenger hunt? Send your toddler hunting for objects around the house based on commands, such as “find me something round” or “find me something red.” Or, you could ask her to choose a bunch of random objects and ask her questions like “Which one is blue?” or “Which one is longer?