Games to play with your baby

Try these games to bond with your new baby; they are also great for your little one’s development.

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Tiptoe your way into your baby’s heart with these playful ideas, ideal for babies from three to six months:

  • Lie on your side next to your baby and roll him over your tummy and back.
  • Roll your baby from side to side and along the length of the bed, but stop when he indicates that he is no longer enjoying this.
  • Pull your baby up into a sitting position and then let him fall back onto a soft cushion. Most babies love an upright position and so enjoy being pulled up. The surprise element of falling back will delight them too. As your baby grows, this will also help to encourage the sitting position.

Activities to do with your baby from 6 to 9 months:

  • Dance with your baby. Babies love nothing more than being twirled around and jiggled up and down to the rhythm of music. You will then often notice that your little one starts to ‘dance’ on your lap when the music begins.
  • Tickle your little one. Most babies love the sensation of being tickled all over and will laugh from the depth of their bellies.
  • Blow air through flaccid lips directly onto your baby’s tummy. Not only will this sensation delight him, so will the noise it makes!
  • Run a feather up and down your baby’s arms and legs and on his tummy. Note that if your baby doesn’t like this, it might be an indication that he will profit from a firmer body massage.
  • Roll a light, soft beach ball to each other.
  • Cut shapes in a shoebox and let your baby drop objects through the holes. He won’t really be focusing on matching shapes at this stage.

Activities to do with your baby from 9 to 12 months:

  • Crawling games provide loads of fun. Cut fairly big carton boxes into tunnels and make a bit of an obstacle course for your crawler. Call to him from the one side so that he feels encouraged to wind his way through to you. Also encourage him to crawl in and out under chairs and tables, and up and over objects that are not too high. This is fun learning at its best!
  • Hold your baby securely and ‘fly’ him around the room or garden, occasionally twirling him around and going up and down. Stop if his enjoyment is tailing off, but this is one fun activity that a dad’s strong arms can cope with for quite a while.
  • Let your baby become a drummer. You’ll probably enjoy this one less, but a saucepan, a wooden spoon and a baby are a sure recipe for half an hour of noisy fun!
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