10 Baby Games & Activities for Playtime
Like most kids, my son Cab is quite active with a very short attention span. From the time he was a squirmy newborn to now as a full-fledged toddler (with his own opinion!), my husband and I have made an effort to make our time together full of excitement and learning. Here are a few of our favorite activities for babies:
Activities and Games for Babies
- Tummy time: This is a classic in our family for sure. To mix it up, I loved lying down face-to-face with Cab, making funny faces for him to focus on to help pass the time.
- Follow the leader. Did you know that imitation is an important way to help babies learn? It is quite entertaining to make a funny face, or shake your head and try and see your child imitate you. Now that Cab is older, we use this a lot when we need a quick distraction.
- Treasure baskets: This is a fun baby activity we learned about after seeing it in our son’s infant classroom at daycare. Babies are given everyday objects that are rich in texture, color, or shine like brushes, spoons or safe outdoor materials to explore. We loved the idea of treasure baskets and so adopted the philosophy at home. Before he was very mobile, Cab and I would spend hours playing with the different toys and separating each item into the different baskets.
- Nursery rhymes: Something I love to do is to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to Cab as I lay him in his crib at night. Singing together is something that I cherish. Now that Cab is older, I am finding that he will even sing along – our current fave is “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
- Baby sign language: Cab’s child care teachers started using baby sign language with him early on as part of their curriculum. My husband and I agreed that we would follow in Cab’s teachers’ footsteps and use it at home too. Now, we try to all learn the signs for different animals, numbers, and letters.
- Water play: Life wouldn’t be complete without stepping on a tub toy in the bathtub a few times a week at 5 a.m., and it goes without saying water play during bath time is one of the many activities that happen in our house multiple times a week! Cab experiments with pouring (often over his head) and using a rain cup that slowly pours water out. We also play games with floating animals and go through and practice the name of each one.
- Reading: Along with singing to Cab at night, we always read a story. Reading was something I loved to do as a kid and I hope to inspire that a love of books from infancy with my children. Guess How Much I love You, Patriots 101 (we are a football watching family), and Spot Loves His Dad, are all in heavy rotation right now at my house. E-family news is also a great resource to find more great books for babies.
- Nature walks: My husband and I call Cab our “Future Environmentalist,” because he loves to be outside and go on nature walks. Even before he could walk, he would spend hours on the grass, playing with leaves and twigs. Now, Cab and my husband will go out and spend time exploring the tree trunks, bushes, and pine needles in the woods behind our home.
- Fun with pots & pans: A musical activity for babies I fall back on most nights while making dinner is the classic kitchen band. The concept is simple use, pots, pans, and spoons, really whatever you have, and let your child make sweet, sweet music. The kitchen band has given me the chance to put dinner on the table many nights at our house.
- Dance party: Recently, rather than turning on the TV after getting home from a busy day, we now stream kid’s music throughout the house. It gives me the burst of energy I need after a long work day, makes the mundane nightly chores a bit more special and is entertaining for both me and my energetic toddler.
I am always looking for more ideas baby games and activities… what are your favorites?
I am Aili, a first-time mom, and lover of cloth diapers and cute baby fashion. As an avid bargain shopper who will stand in line to snag the right deal, if I’m not searching out an outfit for my little man, you can find me in the home décor. I am excited to share with you all my mishaps and successes as I navigate this thing called parenting.