Baby uses their 8 senses every single day!

Many senses continue to develop and change even after we are born. Here we’ll learn more about the vision sense, and how you can help baby develop this very important sense.

What is the vision sense and how do we use it?


The vision sense brings awareness of objects within our environment through sight. Babies are able to see high-contrast colors like black, red, and white, and patterns best. In the first few weeks, baby also can’t see more than 8-10 inches away.

For baby, vision is used for everything from playing sports to reading and writing. As an adult, you know that everything is visually stimulating, and your eyes get used filtering out all the extra input so you can focus on the task at hand.

Are you wondering when you should take your child to an eye doctor for their first visit? It’s recommended your child receive their first eye check-up at six months, again at three years, and before starting kindergarten. Learn more!

How can you help baby use and develop their vision sense? Check out these games, which help with baby vision.

Remember: safety first!

Always supervise baby while playing any of these games.

0-3 Months

  • Evolving Mobile: Every couple of weeks add or change the toys hanging from an overhead mobile or play mat to grab baby’s attention. Wiggling the toys can also help baby look at the new toys. When baby is able to sit up, take down the mobile due to safety risks.
  • Mirror on the Wall: Put up a child-safe activity mirror where they can see it. Say a rhyme: “Mirror mirror on the wall, Who’s the coolest baby of all?” Tap the mirror so they will glance at it and eventually they will learn that it’s them in the mirror!
  • Hand Puppet Play: Place a puppet on your hand. Move puppet up and down, while saying baby’s name. See if they can follow the movement. Then move the puppet in a circle. As soon as they are able to follow the movement, try different movements.
  • Soft Touch: While baby is alert, awake, and calm place a soft, cushy toy with a face within their arm length. The face will interest them, and the way it feels will develop their sense of touch. Move the toy up and down, left and right in front of them.

4-6 Months

  • Break Out the Board Books: Baby loves the sound of your voice while you read and the colors and shapes in books. Mix it up by reading in different locations or during Tummy Time. “Reading” can also be describing pictures without following the written words.
  • Floor Explorer: Create a safe place on the floor for baby to explore. Engage with baby. Try holding out toys for them to reach while talking and using facial expressions. 
  • Put on a Show!: Do something silly in front of baby! Dance the YMCA or act out the movements and sounds of your favorite animal. Baby should be laughing out loud.

7-9 Months

  • Shadow-Puppet Play: Use your hands to make shadow puppets for baby. Talk and sing as you move your fingers up and down while baby watches the talking shadow!
  • Toy Stacking: Baby is becoming more interested in how things work. Now is a great time to introduce stacking toys, such as blocks or stackable rings. You can stack and let them knock them down or guide their hands through the motions.
  • Bucket Time: Sit with baby on the floor facing a plastic bucket and have a toy handy. Show them how to drop it in the bucket and then let them take a turn. 

10-12 Months

  • Water Bottle Fun: Put some beads, glitter, or marbles in a sealed water bottle. Give it to baby and let them shake it around.
  • The Daily Read: Read daily from books filled with pictures. Point out and describe the pictures. Babies love to read familiar books over and over again! 
  • Towel Time: Use a dish towel to play peek-a-boo. Ask “Where’s mama?” and when mom appears, say “mama” to encourage baby to imitate. After a couple of times they will be able to pull the towel off by themselves.
  • Body Reflections: Stand with baby in front of large mirror. Ask baby to point to different body parts when you name them.

13-18 Months

  • Float or Sink?: Grab a bin and fill it with water. Have your toddler get different objects and drop them into the bin of water to see which float and which sink.
  • Balloon Let Go: Balloons are fun when they’re inflated, but they’re even more fun when you let them fly around the room. Instead of tying the end of the balloon, let it go and see it whoosh around the room. Let your toddler go get it!
  • Pop the Bubbles: Blow bubbles to fall down in front of baby while standing. Encourage them to pop bubbles by clapping between hands or by poking with their finger.

19-24 Months

  • Exploring ‘Guitar’: Put a few rubber bands of different sizes around a thin box to create a guitar. Let your toddler use their fingers to strum the rubber bands and make different sounds. It helps your toddler learn to use just one finger and strum a specific band.
  • Peeling Tape: Put masking tape or stickers down on a table and have your toddler try to peel it off. Try to get them to only use the index finger and thumb to pick and peel the tape off the table. Help out by peeling up a small edge to start it off!
  • Discovery Bottles: Get a small water bottle and fill it with different objects. Let your toddler shake it around and discover glitter, pebbles, and other objects as they turn it. Make sure the bottle is securely sealed and filled with age appropriate items.
  • Pom Pom Push: Cut holes into a lid on a box and have your toddler push pom poms or cotton balls through the holes. Different sized holes can create new challenges. Some they can drop, others they will have to push through. *Supervise baby during this activity. 
  • Search Out: Get brightly colored objects, like bouncy balls, and place them around the living room. Don’t make them too hard to find though. Let your toddler walk around and try to find them. Your toddler can count them out as they find them to better develop baby vision as well as counting skills.
  • Build Up, Knock Down: Your toddler may be used to toys that click into place as you build them up. This time, use regular wooden blocks to build a tall tower and let them knock it down.
  • Sidewalk Paint/Chalk: Sidewalk chalk is a fun reason to get outside and get a little messy without a big cleanup. Drawing scribbles on the sidewalk or driveway is a chance for your toddler to get creative and have fun.
  • Melting Ice: Put water with drops of food coloring in an ice tray and freeze them. Let your toddler put the ice into a bin of room temperature water. The ice will melt and the color will spread out.
  • Eye Dropper Art: Put paint into an eye dropper and let your toddler squeeze the top to make the paint come out and create a new kind of artwork. This may take practice so don’t get discouraged if your little one can’t do this right away.
  • Round Up the Balls: Get outside and put different sized balls on the ground. Set down a hula hoop and have your toddler gather the balls and put them inside the hoop.
  • Puzzles: Get a simple shape puzzles made of foam or wood for your toddler to complete. They’ll have fun putting together the puzzle and finding a picture of their favorite characters at the end.
  • Bubble Wrap: Give your toddler bubble wrap and let them pop all the bubbles. Have them try popping them with only their index finger and thumb. 
  • Shape Sorting: Make circles, squares, and triangles and set two of each down on the floor. Have your toddler match up the shapes. You can also put down pictures of animals and have your child match a toy version of the animal to the picture.

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