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Baby's First Year Milestone Guides

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Cruisin’ Baby Activities

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

Week 40

Games

Games to Play

  • Family Meals: Have baby join you at the table during mealtime so they notice the different foods you are eating. Share new, safe, bite sized foods from your plate. Helps expose baby to different smells and sights.
  • First Time Foods: Give baby new foods first, while they’re still hungry and more open to the new experience. Helps baby to experience new foods and tastes.
  • Sitting on Exercise Ball: Place baby in a seated position on an exercise ball and hold them firmly at the hips. Bounce them up and down, and roll them slightly forward and backward. Helps baby exercise core muscles while sitting and develop their sense of balance.

Week 41

Games

Games to Play

  • Wave Hello: Baby may have some stranger anxiety. It is normal for baby to get nervous or shy around new people. Encourage them to wave hello when meeting new people. Helps baby stay calm.
  • Wave Bye-Bye: Baby will start using gestures like shaking her head “no,” or reaching out to show she wants “more.” Try to teach her a new movement, like waving bye-bye when guests leave your home. Helps baby understand that gestures have meaning.
  • 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! Helps baby develop language skills.
  • Trying and Tasting: Baby is developing taste and smell. Offer baby different types of foods. If baby doesn’t enjoy a food, try it again on a different day. It often takes multiple tries before learning to like a new food. Helps baby develop their senses of taste and smell and learn which foods they like.

Week 42

Games

Games to Play

  • Chore Time: Don't stop interacting with baby just for chores! When doing chores around the house, point to objects and tell baby what you’re doing. Direct baby's attention to objects by helping them point their finger. Helps baby learn to focus their attention.
  • Ball Chase: Encourage baby to crawl around inside house. Roll a soft ball across the room. Tell baby they should go for the “ball” and use the words, “Ready, set, go.” Helps baby use crawling to build core strength and develop listening skills.
  • Shapes, Sizes, and More: Name textures, shapes, and sizes to help baby attach words to objects and experiences. Say things like "look at this big red ball" or "this stuffed animal is really soft." Helps baby develop language skills.
  • Stand and Reach: Let baby stand next to or behind a soft chair or piece of small furniture they can hold for support and encourage them to reach to one side for a toy. Then put the toy on the other side and they can reach with the other arm. Helps baby learn to shift their weight to prepare for walking.

Week 43

Games

Games to Play

  • Inside Surprise: Put a toy or book inside an empty cardboard box. Wrap it with colorful paper or newspaper comics. Clap your hands when baby yanks it open, then announce what's inside. Helps with language skills, fine motor development, and executive functioning skills.
  • Tray Pick Up: Offer baby food on their highchair tray like cereal or soft, cooked vegetables to pick up. Show baby how to pick up finger foods and put them in their mouth. Helps develop fine motor skills.
  • Read on Tummies: Read a book while you and baby lie on your tummies. They love the sound of your voice and the colors in a storybook. To hold baby’s attention, use funny voices while you read. Helps baby have fun during Tummy Time.

Week 44

Games

Games to Play

  • Body Reflections: Stand with baby in front of large mirror. Ask baby to point to different body parts when you name them. Helps baby learn to understand receptive language (how to take in messages from others).
  • Play Hokey Pokey: Sit baby upright in your lap and sing the song while taking turns holding each of their arms and legs and gently moving them. Baby might laugh as you "shake it all about." Helps baby learn to interact with others and develop listening skills.
  • Old MacDonald: Sing songs with repetitive language like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Helps baby develop language skills.
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes: Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” while acting out the motions with baby. Baby may not be able to fully participate, but it’s a good practice standing alone! Helps baby develop language skills.

Week 45

Games

Games to Play

  • Body Points: Ask baby where their feet are. After they point to them say, “Hello feet!” Keep up activity involving different body parts. Helps baby learn names of body parts.
  • Two Hand Throw: Give baby toys in left and right hands so they can practice throwing with both arms. Helps baby with gross motor skills.
  • Enjoy the Outdoors: Teach baby about the outdoors. Spread a soft blanket outside for you and baby to lie on. Ask if they see the trees or animals. Get them to hold and feel things found outside. Make sure baby does not place items in their mouth. Helps baby develop their sense of touch and smell while learning about the world around them.
  • Buttons, Levers, and More: Give baby toys with buttons to push or levers to pull, so they are excited to explore with their fingers and see how the different parts work. Helps baby practice using fine motor skills.

Week 46

Games

Games to Play

  • Push Toys: Introduce push toys that allow baby to practice walking with some support. You can also use a large cardboard box or laundry basket with heavier items in it for stability. Helps baby develop gross motor skills.
  • 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 themself. Helps teach object permanence, which helps baby to remember where objects are even if they can’t see them.
  • Hide and Find: Hide objects under a blanket during playtime. You can also try hiding yourself and pop out from behind a piece of furniture to surprise baby. Helps teach object permanence, which helps baby to remember where objects are even if they can’t see them.

Week 47

Games

Games to Play

  • First Interview: Ask baby questions and encourage response with words, baby sounds, cooing, or babbling. Record the conversation and play it back for baby to hear. Helps baby develop communication skills.
  • Round of Applause: Clap with excitement after baby does something good. Encourage them to clap with you. Helps baby learn how to use movements to express themselves.
  • Furniture Follow: Help baby pull themself to stand while holding on to a piece of furniture. Once they are steady slowly move around the room. Have baby follow you using furniture to hold onto and cruise along. Helps baby develop gross motor skills.

Week 48

Games

Games to Play

  • Beach-Ball Tummy Time: Blow up a beach ball so it’s almost full, with a soft spot. Hold baby carefully on top of beach ball, tummy down. Roll them back and forth, side to side. Helps baby develop core strength and balance.
  • Obstacle Crawls: Try to encourage baby to crawl over, under, and through various objects at home. Take empty boxes, remove tops and bottoms, and tape them to make a long tunnel. Be sure to be at baby’s side so he doesn’t get hurt. Helps baby better understand space around them.
  • Water Bottle Fun: Put some beads, glitter, or marbles in a sealed water bottle. Give it to baby and let them shake it around. Helps baby develop their visual skills.

Week 49

Games

Games to Play

  • Kickin’ Back: Attach a foam or soft ball to a piece of string and dangle it in front of baby within their reach. Have them try kicking ball while on their back, then hitting it while on their tummy. Helps baby learn how to move their arms and legs in new ways and build strength.
  • Roll to Me: Roll a large bouncy ball back and forth between you and your toddler. Helps baby with gross motor skills.

Week 50

Games

Games to Play

  • Toy Parade: Tie a toy to a string and encourage baby to pull it behind them while walking. Play follow the leader and have baby follow you around the house while pulling the toy and switch to let baby take the lead. Helps baby learn to lead and follow.
  • Toy Chest: Show baby where toys are put away so they can crawl to find different toys. You can also have baby help clean up toys by saying simple requests, e.g. “give me” or “put in.” Helps baby learn to follow commands and develop gross motor skills.

Week 51

Games

Games to Play

  • Tower Time: Use stackable blocks while playing with baby. See how high the tower will go! They might laugh when it all comes crashing down. Helps baby practice developing motor skills.
  • Big Toy Time: Babies at this age love playing with large objects. Place some pillows on the floor and help baby crawl over them. Make sure to keep baby safe and watch them closely. Helps baby practice crawling to learn how to get from one place to another.
  • Tidy Up: Ask baby to pick up scattered toys and bring them over to you. Baby will like figuring out how to bend and pick up the toys. Helps baby build strong leg muscles and begin learning how to complete simple tasks with multiple steps.

Week 52

Games

Games to Play

  • Squeaky Toy Fun: Help baby squeeze a squeaky toy to hear the sound. Next, cover it with a blanket and squeak it again. See how they react to hearing the sound this time and help them pull off the blanket. Helps baby exercise their memory and ability to locate sounds.
  • Bubble Time: Blow bubbles for baby. Watch them soar through the sky and let baby pop them when they land. Helps baby learn cause and effect by watching bubbles pop when they land on other objects and people.
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