Whether your baby is halfway through their first year, or entering their toddler years, simple games and activities are the best way to have some fun while learning, too. Since the amount of physical, emotional, mental and social growth your baby will experience during those first initial months and years are the most crucial, getting active and engaged nice and early is the best way to help them progress smoothly into those toddler years. Playing also allows you to connect to your child while encouraging them to develop and grow. Here are a few easy learning games and activities for you and your baby that will help get them giggling while learning as well.
Who hasn’t grown up on this game? It’s a great way to get your baby curious and digging for that object. Use a toy or a book and place it under a blanket with a portion of it exposed. Ask your baby, “Where is it?,” while encouraging them to look for it. This will encourage them to be inquisitive as they dig under that blanket to find it. If you want to make it a little more challenging once they’ve mastered that, try hiding it completely under the blanket.
Shake the Bottle
For this game, all you need to do is fill up an empty 16-ounce bottle with some colored rice or pasta and then glue the lid back on. Then, start shaking that bottle away and allow your baby to watch and hear what happens as you move that bottle. This is a simple activity that allows your baby to start associating cause and effect, along with an element of surprise (since bottles usually don’t make those kinds of noises). This also allows them to develop their fine motor skills and auditory skills.
When your baby reaches 6 to 8 months, clapping usually becomes a natural, enjoyable action for them to discover. So encourage them to listen and mimic a rhyme or rhythm that you create. They’ll be giggling and learning all at the same time.
When your baby has reached about 1 year, wooden puzzles are a great activity to introduce them to. Using colorful images, shapes and colors, show them how to do it and then let them try and figure it out on their own. This encourages problem solving skills, fine motor skills and visual skills. Games are a great way to get your baby engaged and learning nice and early. Make games fun as your baby grows by incorporating their favorite blankie and new, fun toys!