You love your baby, but you may be at a loss as to how to actually play with an infant. They can’t speak, they can’t move well independently, and they don’t really understand what you are saying yet. Despite these obstacles, there are many games you can play with your baby to deepen your bond and enhance their development. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a game to play with your infant child:
- Baby games don’t need to be complicated; in fact, they shouldn’t be. Go for simple games that your infant will be able to catch onto with ease.
- It’s okay if they do not initially seemed interested in the game. Your baby may not catch on or be in the mood the first time you attempt to play a certain game with them. Try again later and see if you can engage them in the game.
- When playing with your baby, watch out for signs that they are enjoying themselves. If they are intently watching you, reaching for you, laughing, or smiling, that is a good indication that they are having a good time.
- On the flip side, look out for signs that your baby is done with the game and needs a break. If your child looks away, cries, or spits up, it is time to move on and do something else.
With these tips in mind, here are some games you can play with your baby while they spend time on their playmat from Softmats.
This classic game is a favorite among babies. All you have to do is use your hands to hide your face, then move them away and say, “Peek-a-boo!” This works best for babies under nine months old, because they do not realize that when they cannot see your face, you are still there. You disappearing and reappearing will fascinate them. This can also help make your child feel safer, because you are showing them that you always come back after “going away.” This game can be a great way to make getting dressed and changing diapers more fun for both you and your baby.
Cuddling and human touch are important for your baby in order for them to learn to form secure emotional attachments to their loved ones. One way you can both give your child the physical affection they need while having fun is to have a dance party! Hold your infant while you dance. When they are in a happier mood, dance to a fast-paced, silly song; when they are sleepy or upset, try a slow dance to help calm them down.
You probably remember this clapping game from your own childhood: “Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can. Roll it, and pat it, and market it with a ‘B,’ and put it in the oven for baby and me!” This popular game is not only fun, it can actually help your child develop certain skills. For example, the rhythm and repetition of the song is helpful for language skills. As your baby grows, they will start to imitate your hands, which will help them with hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills.
Where’s Your Nose?
“Where’s Your Nose?” is a silly game that is sure to get your baby giggling. Ask your baby, “Where’s your nose?” using a sing-song voice. Then touch the baby’s nose as you say, “There’s your nose!” You can also repeat this other body parts and objects, which can help your baby start to learn different vocabulary words.
Roll the Ball
Your baby is not quite old enough to play catch with you, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play ball! Find a ball that features interesting textures and colors that will engage your infant. Start by giving them the ball just to give them the opportunity to explore it. Then, you can teach them how to play with it like rolling it or putting in a container. As their motor skills develop, they will begin to imitate your gestures and will eventually start to create their own games.
At Softmats, we offer the highest quality baby play mats available online. If you are looking for a non-toxic, durable, and aesthetically pleasing play mat for your tot, shop Softmats today!