Baby Games: A Guide for Parents, Educators, and Babysitters

Babies need adults for more than just changing their diapers, feeding and rocking them before bed. Although during their first days of life, it seems that everything revolves around these basic needs, the truth is that you also have to entertain them. And not just to pass the time, newborn baby games will help them with their cognitive and motor development. So take note because here are the 15 best ideas!

The games newborns are very important. Not only because entertaining a newborn helps the babysitter and parents have a pleasant time, but also because play serves to stimulate the child’s psychomotor development . 

If you are a new mother, you will love to do something fun with your baby, beyond changing the diaper, giving him a bottle or breast. If you are a babysitter or babysitter , or if you want to specialize as a babysitter for newborn babies , these baby activities will complete your skills. 

Keys to choosing the best games for newborn babies

How to play with a 1 week old baby? How to stimulate my newborn baby? These are common questions that all mothers ask themselves. Playing with a newborn baby , or a slightly older child, is fun for him and for you as long as the activities are commensurate with his level of development. This maxim applies not only to babies, but to all children in general. Thus, on our blog we always classify game selections by age. You will find a complete list with hundreds of ideas at the end of this article. 

So, below, we offer you  activities to do with a newborn and other games for babies classified by months of age. 

Games for newborn babies from 0 to 6 months

Games for babies from 0 to 3 months

In this period, from 0 to 3 months, the baby’s eyesight begins to develop. Up to three months of age, children see better when they look at things out of the corner of their eye (peripheral vision), to later develop central vision. From three months they will begin to look at their hands and will be able to follow an object with circular movements. 

Also at this stage, the newborn baby recognizes the voice of the mother and the people who care for her . So, between one take and another, and the diaper change, you can play with it. We propose these activities to stimulate a newborn :

1. FOLLOW THE OBJECT 

With the child lying on his back, he moves a small, colorful object in front of his eyes from left to right and vice versa. If necessary, touch the child gently or make a small sound to get his attention. It is one of the simplest, but also most stimulating games for newborn babies.

2. GRIMACING

Face the baby, the child should always be on his back. Stick your tongue out, smile, make a thousand expressions of joy that the little one can see and “learn”.

3. THE PLANE 

This is one of the funniest newborn baby sitter games . Hold the baby face down on your arm, holding it with your other hand so that its neck and torso are stable. Slowly rock it up and down, like it’s an airplane ready to take off. Add funny sounds that simulate flight and even children’s songs. The child will be delighted to see the world from another perspective.

Games for babies from 3 to 6 months

At this stage, the baby begins to integrate what he sees with the stimuli that come from the other senses: taste, hearing and touch. The child’s brain is also capable of distinguishing several hundred words when listening to them. These are the activities for the psychomotor development of babies from 3 to 6 months:

4. RELAXING MASSAGE

This is one of the  early stimulation activities for babies that will also favor their rest. In a calm moment, put the baby to bed on a soft blanket in a warm and cozy atmosphere. Then begin gently massaging your legs, arms, and belly. Accompany the movements of your hands by humming a children’s song or a relaxing lullaby. Fun for both of you, right? It can become a daily routine and one of the best games for newborn babies. 

5. DRAW MUSCLE

When the baby is awake and calm, place him on his stomach. This position will help strengthen the muscles in your neck and back. These kinds of games to stimulate the baby are great if you add a mirror. Place the mirror in front of it: it will encourage you to get up to see yourself reflected.

We recommend that you accompany their efforts with words and smiles. But above all, when you see him tired, put him on his back. A lot of attention! We take this opportunity to remind you that newborns should never sleep on their stomach, as we explained in our article on how to get children to sleep.

6. DANCE CLOSE TOGETHER

This is one of the activities for babies from 3 to 6 months that will make you feel more attached to the child. Put the music not too loud, hold the baby against you and start dancing (without too much jolting!). The child will not only associate music with the sensation of movement, but also close to you will feel comfortable and safe. It is one of the best ways to strengthen ties between you. Stimulating newborns is that simple and wonderful.

Baby games: activities from 6 to 12 months

Games for babies from 6 to 9 months

At this stage, the child will learn to sit and hold even while holding on to an object. Also at this age he knows how to coordinate his thumb and other fingers to hold the bottle with his hand or to grab small objects. Here language begins to develop as it associates sounds with their meaning. These are the activities for babies from 6 to 9 months that will benefit their psychomotor and cognitive development.

7. CATCH THE TOY

This is one of the most successful early stimulation exercises for 6-month -old babies . Sit next to your child on a comfortable mat. Gather a whole series of objects and toys (stuffed animals, soft balls, etc.) at your fingertips. Instead of putting the objects in your hands, move them away a little so that you are encouraged to move forward to try to reach them.

8. THE BOY IN THE BOX

A simple cardboard box can become one of the best toys for 6-month-old babies . This time, instead of putting the baby on the carpet, put him inside … a box! Choose a cardboard box with low edges and let the child sit there. Put the toys around, at your fingertips. However, you will have to make an effort to get out of the box. It is one of the funniest indoor toddler games .

9. THE CUCKOO-TRAS 

It is one of the most popular games for entertaining young children . Almost all of us have played at one time or another. But what you surely did not know is that, through this type of games for newborn babies, the child learns that even if you disappear from his sight, you will return. Hence the importance of this activity. The baby will know that even if you are not in his field of vision, you have not disappeared forever. 

When they are so small, the ideal is to play with a scarf or cover your face with your hands, you do not have to hide. You will see that by repeating this activity several times, the baby will learn that people return when they leave. It is a good way to start overcoming separation anxiety in babies , typical of this age. 

Activities for children from 9 to 12 months

In the three months before his first birthday, the baby is no longer a “newborn”. And, in fact, he knows how to interpret words, gestures, expressions of those who care for him. He has memories of past events and knows how to control his emotions a little better. From the motor point of view, he is able to sit unsupported, probably already crawls, and has learned to stand up with the help of objects and to get up. From eight to ten months, he responds to simple commands and is able to say “hello” with his hand or “blow a kiss.” 

These ideas for playing with children at home for children from 9 to 12 months will delight you: 

10. WHAT IS THIS?

This is one of the best games to stimulate speech in babies . While you are putting your pajamas on, or after the bath, touch and go naming the parts of the body. The gut, the nose, the forehead, the leg … Name as you touch them. Then ask the child: what is this? Then answer for him, he is already learning. Finally, ask him to touch his gut or head … he will surprise you!

11. COOKWARE

At this age, the baby does not need big things to play. The home games for fun at home , simple and inexpensive, are the best. Especially when each object is still a world to discover. Always under your supervision, let the child open a low cupboard and explore. Check before doing it in content: pans, lids, wooden or plastic spoons will be harmless (always being close to you).

The risks at this stage when they begin to crawl should be avoided with protective measures in low furniture at their fingertips. 

12. HIS FIRST CONSTRUCTIONS

This is one of the quintessential classic baby toys . We already recommend it in our article on original gifts for one-year-old children . A few simple building blocks, large to avoid choking, will delight the little ones. At first he will throw them away, but little by little you will see that he will begin to associate shapes and build. Welcome to the world of construction, the most open and creative game there is!

Montessori games for babies

From Montessori pedagogy, which develops the child’s instinct for learning and autonomy, we get many ideas about how to play with a newborn . Through this method, we can design homemade Montessori games for babies . With everyday objects, we will help the little one discover his abilities and the world. In newborn baby games the adult will have the role of spectator. Thus, the child can play alone, facilitating his own autonomy.

13. MONTESSORI MOBILE

.It is especially indicated for children from 2 to 3 months. However, it can be found within newborn baby games since you can leave it in its crib from birth. You can build this crib mobile yourself.

Join five balls, covered with wool threads of the same color, but of different shades, to a horizontal support. The balls should be hung at different heights, from 10 to 30 cm. 

14. MULTISENSORY PANEL

Indicated from 6 months, when the child begins to remain seated. What better way to entertain a baby than to sit him in front of a panel specially designed for him? Take a look at the photo for inspiration. Glue different objects to a wooden plank. The important thing is that the shape and materials of the selected objects stimulate all their senses (and that the child cannot detach them or swallow them). Wheels, bells, switches, rough or smooth textures, marbles and colored ribbons for the eyes… The options are endless.

Finally, the quintessential classic of Montessori games to make at home : the treasure basket. Too easy. You need a wicker or wooden basket, full of simple objects, made of natural materials and different shapes. Avoid sharp objects, screws, or small parts. Sponges, soft brushes, wooden or metal spoons, as well as fabrics of different textures are perfect. The child will take everything at the beginning and throw it away. Don’t try to stop him! You will put the objects in your mouth, you will try everything. This set is suitable for babies from 6 to 18 months. 

For tips on other age groups and many more ideas, read our articles on:

  • Stimulation games for children from 1 to 2 years
  • Fun games for children from 3 to 6 years old
  • Game ideas for children from 6 to 7 years old
  • Games for children from 8 to 10 years recreational
  • Outdoor games for children without material
  • Activities with numbers for children
  • Playground for two children

As you can see, there are endless options to have fun with children, not just games for newborn babies ! Don’t forget to tell us about the experience. Thanks for following us!