Every new mommy knows how their newborn baby is curious about everything that happens around them. Their little brain is creating connections between a lot of different things. It's classifying and categorizing information received from outside. Games play a major role for children. They help put the pieces together into one unit.
Fun baby games that can boost your child's skills and development don't need to be complicated. In fact, they shouldn't be. You may even find that many of the best games you can play with your child to help her learn about the world around her are what you already do naturally. To help you and your baby get the most out of playtime, make sure you recognize the signs your little one is sending that indicate when it's time to play.
As the child grows, games become crucial elements of their social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Furthermore, it brings us closer to our baby and makes the time spent together much more enjoyable. Many games might not take effect immediately, but if we keep repeating, a child will ultimately seek to play with what we give them.
To help your baby have fun, bond with you, and learn about the world, try playing the following 10 development games. You may also want to come up with your own variations or combine games when you sense your baby is ready for an additional challenge.
15 Dance With Mommy
So you’ve been working hard all day, be it at home or at the office (or in your bedroom, sitting in front of your computer, furiously typing away) when the afternoon arrives. There’s nothing more you’d want to do than to just fall on your bed and go off to sleep. Many times you succeed but since your baby has a mind of her own, she decides to wake up you with their wailing. Or worse, she doesn't let you fall asleep, let alone give you five minutes of peace. So, what do you do?
Simple. Take five minutes out and entertain them with music and a few dance moves. You can take them in your hands and swing gently or just hold them while the music is playing. A slow lifting might also be cool. Just make sure to support their neck and not to shake. When your hands get tired, get the baby back to bed, and continue dancing.
14 Watch Objects With Them
When playing with your baby at an earlier age, you'll spend the most time on showing them objects. Books, windows, teddy bears, flowers, glasses, mugs, clothes and what not. The list is practically endless. The good thing about this game is that you can use many household items and you don’t have to venture out of your home (a very good option for lazy mommies). Just make sure whatever objects you’re showing to your child are safe.
For example, while forks and knives are good to look at and point at, imagine what would happen if you turned your back on your child for one second and the next thing you know is that they have those items in their hand!
Stick to safer objects. Babies love toy helicopters, spoons, picture books, bottles, fruits, and pretty much anything that’s colorful or moves. If you feel you’ve shown your baby every object imaginable in your home, make sure you keep yourself supplied with objects that can entertain your infant.
13 A Trip to Your Closet
Ladies, you didn’t spend a half of your lifetime in vain accumulating casual clothes for nothing. Now that you’re mothers, you can put that accumulated wealth of yours to good use. Taking your child to your closet can be a great source of entertainment for them.
Rummage through your closet and show off your light green, cashmere sweater, favorite jeans, or beautiful plaid skirt to your child. Let your child explore and have all the fun in the world. But, of course, keep them away from those expensive sweaters and cardigans. There’s nothing you can do once they’ve been ruined by the innocent hands of a baby.
And after some time, your child will naturally want to play with various kinds of materials, particularly those that are decorated. This game doesn’t have much of an educational value, but it sure keeps your child entertained.
12 Show Off Your Vocals
If you’ve always dreamt of being the next American idol but lacked the means, confidence, or the sheer singing skills to make it through, now’s your chance. Maybe you have a terrible voice but your child doesn't know that! It's time to give yourself a vent and start singing out from the depths of your soul. Or not. Go ahead and sing a Britney song, for all you care. Your baby’s not gonna understand a single word of what you’re singing but it sure is going to entertain them.
But if you’re still not sure about it (because of the lack of time, confidence, or simply have a lack energy, go ahead and play some baby songs on your laptop. They’re made especially for babies. If you’re smart enough, you’ll opt for the bedtime songs that will immediately put your toddler to sleep!
11 Make ‘Em Smell Herbs
You're just getting ready for dinner but your baby starts crying. What do you do (apart from packing or cursing the heavens above)? The solution is right there! Take your child to the rack with herbs and spices, and introduce them to the scent of cinnamon.
But there are some things to keep in mind first. Make sure that you don’t make them sniff directly from the jar. That’s a big no because some of these spices can be really strong and you don’t want your child to be sneezing all day because they got some up their noses, do you? Just rub a little bit on your hand and place it near the baby's nose. Be very careful that it doesn't get into the eyes or mouth. In addition to cinnamon, try vanilla, peppermint, cumin, nutmeg and other plants with an unusual smell. Please avoid peppers and chili powder!
10 Bubbles Everywhere
There is something magical in bubbles, so let your baby focus on them! Blow bubbles whenever your child is fussy. It will surely entertain them because all children are fascinated with bubbles. Blow them in the park, in the bath, and on the porch when your infant becomes sullen. Bubbles are incredibly cheap, portable, and an endlessly fascinating game for babies for their visual tracking skills. Follow where the bubbles go. Some are fast and some are slow. And some will even glow!
And did you know that not only is this game easy on the pockets of parents, but it helps in the development of your child’s motor skills? Particularly their sensory processing skills. Bubbles are wet and delicate. The physical act of blowing them (for older children) and catching or popping them for babies) has proven to be effective sensory-based way to calm children down.
9 Put Them on Your Tummy
Laying the baby on the tummy can be a great exercise and game for your baby. Lying on his front helps your baby to strengthen his back and shoulders, as well as giving him a chance to move his arms and legs in a different way.
That's why experts recommend doing this frequently. It is harmless, even though your child might sometimes protest loudly. Lie on the floor with the baby and look them in the eyes while you're positioned on your stomach. Lay the baby on a towel and gently rotate them from one side to the other until they get used to this game. Start by giving your baby just a couple of minutes of tummy time. Do this two or three times a day, and gradually build up the amount of time your baby lies on his front. Always supervise your baby's tummy time, and never put your baby on his tummy while he is asleep
8 Fly Away!
Now that your baby can hold their head up, it's time to start some fun and raise them in the air. Don’t you remember your childhood days when you’d put your arms up in the air, imagining to be Superman or Wonder Woman, who could just fly away wherever they want? Even today, millions of children across the globe love to spread their arms out and pretend to be airplanes, such is our fascination with flying. Your newborn isn’t any different. You can either stand or sit to play this game.
Take the baby with your hands placed under their arms and make sure you hold their body very tight so they're not able to fall. Now lift them and pretend like they're the plane flying above you. At the same time, try to produce “whoosh” sounds from your mouth.
7 Toys That Make Sounds
If your newborn is growing quickly, you’ll know this scenario all too well. If they have one thing in their hand, they'll hit the table with it. If they have two, they'll start hitting each object with each other, hold them up to the light, hit the table with each one of them, hit the table with both of them at the same time, and so on. Of course, it’s all fun and games and mostly, it’s the squishy toys that babies adore the most.
But what if we told you that you can add a bit of fun to this already fun game with squishy toys that squeak? This small addition makes no difference to us whatsoever, but it will make a world of difference to your child. Watch their face light up with joy when they realize the toy can “communicate” with them. Of course, they don’t know it’s just a toy that’s incapable of dialogue but that won’t stop your child from being delighted nonetheless.
6 Turn It Off
Babies are interested in causal relationships from their earliest stage of life. We, of course, mean their relationship with objects, both tangible and intangible. As already explained in the beginning of this article, babies are extremely curious creatures. They want to know what exactly caused a particular action to happen. Most of the times they won’t understand it, but it still won’t stop them from constantly trying to figure out how something works, or for that matter, doesn’t work.
For example, you can use your room’s lights to your advantage. Motion your baby to look at the lights and then just switch them off. After a second, switch them back on again. You can do the same with fans, music systems, and TVs as well. Pressing it again will turn off the light. Show your baby how specific things work, starting from the light switch, remote control, mobile phone, etc. They will be delighted.
5 Roll a Ball (No, Really!)
Did you know that the response of a newborn's eyes evolves rapidly as they grow? They can make out color, yes, but not unlike adults. They are most attracted to contrasting and bold colors. So, if you want to do an out-of-the-box exercise to develop your newborn’s eyesight, how about playing ball?
A ball and its movements are one of the greatest fascinations for babies (as well as dogs). Juggling or tossing the ball in the air will bring a smile on your child's face, not to mention give their eyes reason to develop better! Give the ball to your child and see how she catches and squeezes it. If she’s too young for it, don’t worry. Do it for her!
4 Rearranging and Remixing
If you thought we were talking about home decor, you were wrong. We’re talking about things in general. Once your child understands the connection between things in their environment, they'll accordingly want to participate in their deployment. They'll tend to accumulate and organize things, as well as charge and discharge them.
So, give your little one a box and show them how to put things inside of it and remove them out. Next, bring plastic cups to your baby and show them how to pour water in those cups, overflow, and so on. By 3 months of age, infants can look directly at and follow objects. Around this time they are also particularly attracted to the human face.
What is this good for, you may be asking? Well, for their cognitive development, which helps them to think, learn, and remember. Your newborn's brain develops very quickly, and so does his senses. So, every time they interact with something new, they learn and, thus, develop more.
3 The Imitation Game
Children naturally like to imitate other people, especially their parents. Newborns do this subconsciously, of course, so make sure you use this to your advantage. Encourage this behavior in your baby by producing funny noises and then asking them to do something similar. To make it more fun, include a variety of facial expressions and body movements in this game. Slowly, you will understand your baby's signals to know when to play baby games. And this game can be played in a different manner as well: by you copying what your child does.
Copy the sounds that they make. This will immediately make them take notice of you and will simultaneously help create a foundation for conversational skills. Smile when they smile, laugh when they laugh. Point at things together, extend your hands forward. There are so many things you can do that your child already is doing by now. This will also improve their self-confidence (even though this may be hard to believe for a lot of you).
2 Bath Time With Toys
This one’s for newborns, as well as for when your baby gets a bit older. If you have a child, you know they won't ever sit down in the bath and wait for you to wash them. No. They always have to make things as difficult as possible. They'll want to move, pull your hair, etc. This activity always ends up with you taking a bath alongside your child. So, how can you use this opportunity to make things less tedious for yourself?
Simply bring lots of toys and put them in the sink (or wherever you’re bathing your child). You can also bring any ordinary item that you find in the house, which can be interesting for your baby, such as plastic cups, an empty cup of yogurt, plastic bottles, and so on. At the end of the bath, simply drain all the water and store the toys in a safe place!
1 Circling Through the House
Now this one isn’t exactly for newborns but for when they grow a little older--old enough to crawl, at least. And if they’re old enough to crawl, they’re old enough to walk. And then it's time to stimulate their legs by encouraging them to walk. But how? Most children just stumble during their first few steps and then refuse to get up if they fall.
Here’s where you have to get smart. Pick up their favorite toy (the bigger and flashier it is, the better). You can even use one of those toys that make noise, just to catch your child’s attention. Then place that toy on the other end of the sofa, or on the coffee table. To encourage them, you can also put one personal object of yours at the other end of the house and then walk after them, or with them. Either activity will be fun for your child. You can also encourage your baby to push objects through the house, such as empty boxes.