Baby Play is designed for parents and babies up 12 months. In this session, you and your baby will enjoy together a range of sensory experiences that will assist in early brain devolvement and help build social connections.
As well as building connections with your baby, play provides an important part of your baby’s development. From discovering emotions, learning about sight, touch and smell, to working on fine motor skills, play is their way of discovering the world and how they fit in to it.
For information about early development visit our resources page
Newborns 0-3 months
- Toys that stimulate the senses are great – rattles, mirrors, textured surfaces.
- Play Peek a Boo.
- Touch is important – try massage when baby is receptive and calm.
- Face to face play! Make silly faces and noises, your baby loves watching you.
- Sing songs and rhymes - especially action and tickling rhymes.
- Read to your baby, but hold the book close as newborns can see only about 20-30 cm in front of them.
Babies 3-6 months
- Talk, Sing, Read! Have a look at Play n’ Sing.
- Give your baby new things to touch. You can make your own sensory board by sticking different items to cardboard. Try bubble wrap, sponge, pipe cleaners and pop sticks.
- Wrap and tie up a scrunched up piece of paper in a scarf- Give to baby to explore the sounds and textures.
- Play music to your baby or sing songs at different volumes. Let them make their own music by giving them pots and pans to bang.
- Put handkerchiefs sized squares of fabric or ribbon in an old tissue box for an endless surprise. Watch your baby pull them out one by one.
- Hold baby in your arms and peek into a mirror – you can point out nose, mouth ears etc.
- Move back and forth and play hide and seek – Where’s the baby- There she is.
Babies 6-12 months
- Light box – stick twinkle lights in cardboard box and let your baby.
- Explore temperature by filling jars with warm and cold water.
- Edible play is fun! Make paint out of yogurt or grind up biscuits for edible sand. Let your baby explore using taste, touch and smell.
- Using a shallow tray, pour less than 1cm of water in. Let your baby splash water and add in other toys as you go. Keep a constant watch on your baby during this activity!
Don’t leave baby alone to play, supervision is the best prevention of unintentional injuries in young children.
The supervision needs of children are influenced by a many factors, including a child’s age, behavioural attributes and level of environmental risk. Independent play in young children still requires the guidance of adults which may include direction (providing activities, extending activities, modelling tasks), or restriction (to ensure the safety of the child).