Babies are the best playmates. They gurgle with delight, they babble constantly, and they give the most adorable smiles. It’s no wonder then that everyone wants to play with them.
Babies seven months onwards learn as they play, and so it’s best to incorporate elements of discovery and exploration on playtime. Here are some activities to make playtime the best of times.
Make music. Different objects make different sounds. A plastic block would make a different sound from a pencil, for example, when you bang it on the table. Encourage your baby to distinguish the difference. Start by banging one object on the table and then handing him over the same to follow your lead. You’ll be delighted to see his expressions of discovery as he makes one sound after the next. Of course, don’t give him objects which might break or objects which are too big or cumbersome for him to hold.
Rolling and crawling. As soon as your baby starts getting mobile, there’s nothing he’d love more than to test his newfound prowess. Help him develop his motor skills by giving him something to crawl on or maybe even walk over. Make obstacle courses of throw pillows with you maneuvering the soft maze and then coaxing him to follow. This is a fun activity which you could do with a multiple of babies when they come over on playdates.
Ball over. Another prop that you can use for playtime are lightweight balls which bounce this way and that. The bouncing action will entertain your baby for long minutes at a time. But he’ll be delighted even more when you start softly throwing it at him for him to catch or run to. If he’s up to it, you can ask him to either give the ball a throw on the floor or bounce it toward you. Apart from entertaining him, this activity will also help develop his motor skills.
Packing and stacking. Okay, this sounds like you’re already giving baby chores to do, but honestly it’s not! Babies are quickly discovering their prowess, picking up objects and changing their environment. Stimulate this newfound skill by giving your baby a bunch of toys, and asking him to put it on the toy box. Yes, you’re hitting two birds with one stone here: teaching him how to pick up after himself and practicing his motor skills.
Funny faces, funny noises. Your baby loves you, that’s a fact. Suffice it to say that that he loves copying you as well. Make a game of his fondness for imitation by making the most ridiculous face or noise that you can, and then encouraging him to do the same. The results are guaranteed to make both of you smile, if not laugh out loud!
Photograph by Stanley Ong.