During Welcome to Our World, parenting educators often hear caregivers talk about what they do with their baby all day. “Do I play enough? Do I talk enough? Do I need to do more?” It can be hard to know how to fill you and your baby’s day and what exactly play looks like with an infant! Research shows play that engages all of your baby’s senses is most beneficial for development. Here are some ideas about what playing with an infant can look like:
Back and Forth Play – Talk to your little one and pause to give her time to respond. Show her how toys and books work. You are setting the building blocks for learning down the road!
Play Ball – Give your baby different colored and textured balls. This will help her engage all of her senses while examining them. Talk about other things you can do with the ball and show her how to play with it. Roll it. Bounce it. Drop it in a box and pick it up. Eventually, she will follow your lead.
Opt for Simple Toys – Soft toys and simple rattles are perfect toys as babies often love the noises that are made. Books without a lot of images per page are also helpful for little ones as busy pages can be overwhelming. Instead of busy pages and a lot of words, use your own language to give details on the image. This is a great way to build your baby’s language.
Don’t get overwhelmed in trying to entertain your little one. Your face is her favorite toy! Be expressive, sing, and dance. Your interactions with your little one help her learn more about the world. Just have fun and get creative with the things around you!