Keep it simple for the best baby play sessions. These 26 ideas will keep you both busy from now until it’s time for bed!
Ace the alphabet.
Share ABC books and matching games with your little one. Let him stick large letter magnets to your refrigerator, or rubber ones to your tub.
Build with blocks.
Sort them out, line them up, stack them high, or knock them down!
Color her world.
Take a slow walk around your house or apartment, picking one color to point out as you go.
Dish up a discovery.
Play show-and-tell as you pull out a new toy—or any household object that’s safe—for your little one to handle. Try a large plastic spoon, a clean, damp cloth, or a paper plate.
Exhale for entertainment.
Babies love bubbles, so take a deep breath, and then blow awesome shapes for her to follow with her eyes and hands.
Face the facts.
Funny faces will surprise your little one and make him giggle. That’s not what Mommy’s face usually does!
Get to the gym…in your house.
Share tummy time, or let your cutie lounge on a baby-size floor mat, face-up, checking out the toys dangling above.
Host a housewarming.
Haul out that kiddie kitchen and toys he can push or pull, like a doll stroller or mini shopping cart.
Imitate the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Use hand motions, and then move on to “Pat-a-Cake” and “The Wheels on the Bus.”
Jump for joy.
Place your baby in a doorway jumper or just hold her with your hands and help her propel off the ground.
Keep your kid in the kitchen.
Babies are fascinated by what you’re doing, so chat as you wash dishes or prep veggies. Give him a little container of water to splash or some soft food to mash so he can imitate you.
Look and listen.
Sit in front of a mirror with your baby and talk about hands, feet, legs, facial expressions, the clothes you’re wearing—anything will make a fine topic of conversation.
Make music together.
Sing,use kid-size musical instruments, or bang on pots and pans with wooden spoons.
Nest a toy.
Pull out a set of nesting cups and show your little one how to fit them together and stack them up. Or give her a bucket of soft toys and let her put them in and take them out.
Open and close anything.
Demonstrate cause-and-effect with doors that shut tight and swing open, lights that go on and off, and sounds that play at the touch of a button.
Peek and play.
There’s a reason why peek-a-boo is a classic. Babies love it! Hide your baby’s face, your own face, your pet’s or a doll’s, and then—presto!—the big reveal.
Question, then answer.
Babies are curious. Ask yours a question, even if he can’t reply. Then seek the answer together. (Hint: Can you make ice cubes slide?)
Roll a ball.
Gather balls with different textures and give them a spin, back and forth with your baby.
Swing high and low.
Slip your baby into an indoor swing, visit the playground, or just swing dance with her in your arms.
Touch a texture.
Share different tactile sensations. What can you find for him to touch that’s soft, cool, rough, fuzzy, and more?
Understand up and down.
Hold your baby securely, lift her up, and then swoop her down so she can see the world in a whole new way.
Visit the vicinity.
Take a walk in your neighborhood and talk about scenery. Sometimes, skip the stroller and carry your baby, or let him walk, just for a change.
Watch her in water.
Bath time is playtime, especially with simple toys and plenty of time to experiment and splash.
Love her lots. Hugs, kisses, and cuddles brighten the days, and while you are at it, share a song or a book.
Yield to your inner showman.
Teach your baby a new trick, like pointing, clapping, or saying a new word.
Zip to the zoo to visit the animals.
Or make your own zoo at home with his favorite stuffed critters. Bet you have enough for a whole wildlife adventure!