Let's Play!
Explore the Baby Games Calendar

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Let's Play!

It’s never too early to start playing games to help your child reach their sensory, communication, feeding and motor milestones.

Week 1

Games

Games to Play

  • Tummy to Play: Always remember: back to sleep, tummy to play. Baby may not like being on their tummy at first because back and neck muscles are not very strong yet. Make Tummy Time part of baby’s daily routine starting with a few minutes at a time, a few times a day. Helps baby develop core strength.
  • Face-to-Face: Lie down propped up by a pillow and place baby tummy down on your chest so you’re face-to-face. Hold firmly so baby does not roll off. Helps baby strengthen core muscles and achieve developmental milestones.
  • Get to Know Baby: Take time to get to know baby in every way. Smile at them. Touch hands, feet and forehead. See how they wiggle and react to touch and voices. Helps you connect with your baby.

Week 2

Games

Games to Play

  • 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. Helps baby develop vision by providing interesting objects and colors to look at.
  • Sleeping Direction: Change the direction baby lies while sleeping. Place their head on the right side of the crib, then switch to the left side the next night. Repeat. Don't forget to always place baby on back to sleep. Helps baby build strength by turning different directions to see you.
  • Mobile Songs: If your baby’s mobile plays music, sing along with the songs. Hold their hand or rock them while you sing. Play similar music for him at other times of the day, all around the house. Helps baby improve listening skills.
  • Tummy Min: After diapering, lay baby on their tummy for a few minutes so Tummy Time becomes a part of their daily routine. Helps baby learn to lift up their head. 

Week 3

Games

Games to Play

  • Beep Baby: Tap baby in different places and say the name of each body part. Then say “beep” or make another sound after each new body part you touch. They may start watching your hands and anticipating each touch. Helps baby develop their sense of touch and body awareness.
  • Raise to Sit: Place baby on their back facing you. Put your hands behind their shoulders and head for support and slowly raise them to a sitting position. Keep repeating this movement. Once baby can support their head, you can practice while holding their hands. Helps baby build strength.
  • Mirror on the Wall: Put up a child-safe activity mirror on baby’s crib 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! Helps baby develop vision. 
  • Gentle Strokes: Before feeding, gently stroke baby’s lips with nipple or bottle to encourage mouth to open for feeding. Be sure to present the nipple/bottle in the middle of mouth. Helps baby latch on for feeding.

Week 4

Games

Games to Play

  • Head Lifts: Baby should be starting to lift head a little bit when doing Tummy Time. Get baby to move by dangling a toy to look up at. Helps baby improve neck and head control.
  • Keep a Diary: Track things like baby’s motor milestones, how often they eat, and how many ounces are eaten per day. This helps you track baby’s growth and lets doctors check baby’s day-to-day activities and patterns. If you are concerned about baby’s development, be sure to share the diary with your healthcare provider.
  • Rattle Up & Down: Move and groove with a rattle – up and down. While they won't be able to shake it on their own yet, their reflexes will allow them to grasp the handle and enjoy the sounds as you help shake it. Helps baby continue to develop hearing.
  • Massage Feeding: Give baby a little massage on their arms, legs, and back before showing them the nipple or bottle. Helps increase baby’s alertness to help with feeding. 

Week 5

Games

Games to Play

  • Get on Down: When baby is on tummy, get down on their level. Encourage eye contact. Place a mirror in front of baby, so they see themselves in a new way. Helps baby develop motor skills, prevents flat spots on head.
  • Smiling Faces: Babies love faces. Go through pictures of family and friends or a magazine. Point out the smiling faces for baby. You can also draw a basic smiley face on a paper plate and hang it in baby's room. Helps baby develop ability to focus.
  • Diaper Time Chat: When changing baby's diaper, talk about what you are doing. "We have a clean diaper for you." "Mommy is going to lift up your legs now." Helps set the foundation for baby's language skills. 
  • 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. Helps baby track objects and develop visual focus.

Week 6

Games

Games to Play

  • Mirrors All Around: Take baby around the house. Share your reflection in each mirror. Point to your eyes, ask if they see them, then ask if they see their eyes, and point them out, “Here are your eyes!” Helps encourage baby to identify themselves and helps with emotional development.
  • Lap Baby: Soothe baby on your lap. Place baby across your knees while you are in the sitting position and rub their back while they do a little Tummy Time. Helps you steady baby and keep them calm during Tummy Time.
  • Sing Song: Play on floor with baby while they stay on their tummy. Place toys in front of them and sing songs. Baby loves your face and voice! Helps baby by making Tummy Time fun.
  • Songs in Motion: Sing a song like “Wheels on the Bus” or “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Use hand motions to get a reaction out of baby. Helps baby develop language skills.

Week 7

Games

Games to Play

  • Tap, Tap, Tap: With baby on their back, sing a song. While singing, tap the bottom of their feet in time with the song. Baby will love hearing your voice and the tapping gives them a new sound experience. Helps baby develop listening skills.
  • Hand Claps: Gently clap baby’s hands together to some music. Bring arms out in front and clap over their head, then to the right and left to the beat. Helps baby develop body awareness.
  • Cycling: While baby is lying on their back, pretend baby is riding a bike by gently grasping their ankles, keeping legs apart and moving them in slow circles. Tell baby what you’re doing using simple language: “go” and “stop.” Helps baby develop motor and hearing skills.

Week 8

Games

Games to Play

  • 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. Helps baby develop vision skills.
  • Gentle Dance: Turn on some of your favorite music. Hold baby close while you sway to the rhythm and sing along. Helps baby be calmly introduced to new sounds and words.
  • Reach For It: Show baby a toy and move it towards their hand. Encourage baby to touch it. Be sure to switch sides so both hands get a chance to feel. You can even use common household items like measuring spoons. Helps baby learn to move their fists from closed to open. 

Week 9

Games

Games to Play

  • Cooing & Gurgling: Talk to baby often. They should be cooing (soft throaty sounds including vowels) and gurgling (low, throaty, wet sounds) back to you by about two months. Helps baby develop first steps to speaking.
  • Switch Swat: Dangle simple objects (rattle or plastic measuring spoons) from a string so baby can swipe at it. Items that light up or make sounds work well. Change objects every few minutes to keep baby engaged. Make sure objects are not a choking hazard. Helps baby develop hand-eye coordination.
  • Toy Gaze: Play with baby’s favorite toy in front of them while lying on his tummy to get them interested in looking up. Helps baby learn to lift up head. 

Week 10

Games

Games to Play

  • Parent Talkathon: Talking to baby is important! Use a slow, higher than normal pitch, almost a melodic voice to help get and keep baby’s attention. Babies prefer the sound of Moms’ and Dads’ voices. Your baby might even copy your tongue and mouth movements. Helps baby develop listening skills and mouth muscles.
  • Cheesy Smile: Smiling is one of the biggest expressions babies make! Give baby a big cheesy smile and make some funny noises. Watch his smile back at you. Helps baby bond with you and teaches them how to interact with others.
  • A Whole New World: Carry baby in different positions around the house. Carry baby tummy down or prop him up on your shoulder so they can see what is going on behind you. Helps baby develop head control and experience new movements.

Week 11

Games

Games to Play

  • Face Feelings: Grab a stuffed animal and talk to it. Touch its face. Name each part (nose, ears) you touch. Let baby feel the stuffed animal’s face and yours. Name what they touch. Then help them touch their own ears, mouth, etc., while you name each part. Helps baby develop sense of touch.
  • Play Peek-a-Boo: Lay baby on a blanket on their tummy on the floor. You can lay on your tummy facing your baby and cover your face with your hands or a scarf. Then uncover your face and say “peek-a-boo.” Helps baby develop play and memory skills.
  • Tongue Teezer: Stick out your tongue and encourage baby to try. Try this during diaper changes or playtime. Helps baby develop tongue control
  • Who Am I?: Gently bring baby’s hands to their face and help them stoke their cheeks. Point out different parts of their body as well. Helps baby learn about their body. 

Week 12

Games

Games to Play

  • Side Chats: Lie baby down and talk to them from the left and right sides. Helps baby turn head in different directions.
  • Tummy Carry & Chat: Hold baby close to you in a tummy-down carry. Slide one hand under the tummy and between their legs when carrying baby tummy-down. Chat while you go: “Up!” (lift them slightly); “Down!” (bring them back down); “And All Around!” (Move them left to right.) Helps baby build strength and communication skills.
  • Express Yourself: Baby carefully watches your expressions and will be using more of their own by this age. Use a variety of facial expressions. Helps baby develop early communications skills.

Week 13

Games

Games to Play

  • Busy Fingers: Baby should be spending time looking at and playing with their fingers and hands. Putting hands or toys in their mouth is typical at this age. Be sure toys are age appropriate and big enough to not cause choking. Helps baby learn hand-eye coordination while exploring their surroundings.
  • Sense of Touch: Baby’s sense of touch is fully developed at this stage. Try gently touching baby on feet and tummy. They should have reaction such as giggling or smiling. Helps baby develop sensory skills.
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