Baby games: How to Play best games for you and your baby from 0 to 12 months
Playing games with your baby is one of the most fun things there is. It is not only cozy, but also ensures a good bond between you and your little one. It also helps your baby in its development. Enough reasons to play fun baby games. These are the best children's games for you and your baby from 0 to 12 months old. Lots of fun!
Baby games per month
What are baby games?
Baby games are games and activities that you can do with your baby from 0 to 1 year . The games are not complicated yet, but help your baby to develop further in different areas.
You can't really play games with your baby in the first weeks of his life. He is still developing. His brain has yet to grow and he has yet to acquire various motor skills. So don't expect him to understand, like or be able to play a game right away. Just try again later. Who knows, it might suddenly become your baby's favorite game.
Why play baby games?
Playing games with your baby is fun and useful for several reasons. It helps your child with the following things:
- The development of the brain. By playing games, your baby learns many new things. He gains new experiences and learns to make new connections . Your baby learns a lot through repetition : through this he will discover and recognize patterns. So feel free to play your favorite games often.
- The motor development. Many baby games and activities require your baby to exercise physically. As a result, these games help him with his motor development . Just think of rolling over , grabbing , and clapping . But fine motor skills are also often included in games, such as the tweezer grip .
- The social-emotional development. Playing together , sharing is not quite for you baby. Still, playing games with your baby creates a good bond between you. You lay the foundation for the rest of his life. And as soon as your child is a little older, he learns through games to play (and share) together.
- Language and speech development. Many activities and games revolve around sounds, sounds and melodies, such as reading aloud and singing songs together. This encourages your baby 's language development .
- Relaxation. Playing games with your baby is relaxing. Not only for your child, but also for you.
Always provide a safe environment during activities and don't force your baby to do anything he doesn't want to or can't do yet. Every child develops in its own way and at its own pace. Are you concerned about your baby's development? Please contact the consultation office or the general practitioner.
Baby games per month
Below are different baby games divided according to the age of your baby. Of course you can also play the games in other months. Peekaboo is always fun and there is no end to the fun of singing songs. When playing games with your baby, pay particular attention to the development of your own child and his interests.
The best baby games for your baby from 13 to 24 months
Baby games month 0
Your baby will not be able to see well in the first month after birth, because his eyes have not fully developed. Your baby sees clearly between about 20 to 30 cm away. You can train your little one's eye muscles and sight by letting him follow you with his eyes. Keep your face close to his head (20-30 cm) and move slowly back and forth. Your baby will try to keep a close eye on his favorite view (your face) and try to follow you. It probably doesn't work that well yet, but that doesn't matter. You still have plenty of time to practice.
Good for: developing your baby's vision and eye muscles
The first few weeks you still have to get used to each other. Skin-to-skin contact is important for a good bond between you and your baby. Skin-to-skin contact with your partner is also pleasant for your baby and makes him feel safe. So regularly take the time to cuddle extensively and enjoy that soft baby skin.
Good for: bonding between you and your baby , feeling safe and familiar
Your baby enjoys your presence and attention, and likes nothing more than lying in your arms. Yet he is also a curious person and he likes to discover new things. So take him on your arm and give him a tour of your house. Go through all the rooms, walk through the garden or stand in front of the window. Tell what there is to see. Although he can't see well yet, listening to your voice calms him down.
Good for: bonding between you and your baby
Baby games month 1
Pulling crazy faces
Find out what makes your little one happy: pull funny faces and make weird noises. Grab several cuddly toys and move them cheerfully (but calmly) back and forth in front of his eyes. Or give the rattle a good shake. Once those eyes start to glow and that toothless smile appears, you know you're in the right place.
Good for: bonding between you and your baby , development of sight , development of hearing
The baby spa
Are you ready for some relaxation? Give your little one a baby massage . This way you have all the attention for each other and you get to know your child well. Build up the massage slowly and provide a warm environment with few stimuli. Your baby will enjoy! Do you want to end the massage as pleasantly as possible? Treat your child to a splash in the Tummy tub or bath after the massage . The warm water not only provides even more relaxation, but also rinses the oil from his body. Little tip: keep a clean cloth handy. When your baby is so relaxed, sometimes something will pop out.
Good for: bonding between you and your baby , relaxation, senses
I see, I see, whatever you see now!
Draw cute faces on your fingers or use finger puppets. Lay your baby on his back and slowly bring your fingers into his view. Wait until your child has his eyes on the dolls. Slowly introduce the figures one by one by bending your finger slightly forward and talking. Wait for your baby to respond to the introduction and then start a nice conversation. Your baby may not be able to follow the dolls with his eyes yet, but he will probably find it very interesting.
Good for: developing vision
Baby games month 2
Splash, Pieter, Father, nice in the water
Are you completely healed from below? Then go for a swim with your baby . This is a relaxing activity for both of you and reminds your little one of the safe, warm womb . In addition, baby swimming is also good for his motor development and splashing together is just great fun. Do not start swimming until your baby is 2 to 3 months old. Then he can keep himself warm and he is slightly less sensitive to pathogens.
Good for: motor development, bond with you
Once upon a time… a shape!
Now that you can see small colors well, it's the perfect time for booklets. It may seem a bit early, but reading aloud and reading books already helps him with his language development. Choose a book with lots of colorful pictures, pictures or shapes and tell your baby what he sees. Point to everything and let him feel the book. Your child can't follow the story, but that doesn't matter. He probably beats wildly with his arms and dives with his mouth towards the book. Enjoy these moments, so you have the greatest fun together.
Good for: language development , vision development
Your voice calms your baby and music calms your baby. Your voice making music is therefore the perfect combination for your baby. You don't have to be a good singer: your little one will love to listen to humming different tones. Your singing helps him in his language and speech development. He also gets to know different pitches and rhythms. Try out different songs, rhythms and pitches to see what your baby prefers to listen to.
Good for: language and speech development , hearing, sense of rhythm
Baby games month 3
Discovering the Unusual Ordinary
Your little one will pay more and more attention to its environment and discover many new things. Therefore, during your daily walk outside, stand still for a while. So your baby can around quietly imbibe. He hears the birds chirping, feels the wind on his face and sees the large shapes of the trees. For you these are all normal things, but for your little one it is a whole new experience. All those dancing leaves in the trees are like a giant baby mobile to him.
And if you do go outside, tie some pretty leaves, twigs or flowers to a thread, and make it a mobile for above the pram. Make sure that your child cannot reach your homemade mobile.
Good for: development of senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell)
From the (clothes) closet
3 months after the birth it might be time to dive into your old wardrobe again. What were your favorite clothes before your pregnancy? Show them to your baby and let him feel the different fabrics. For example, rub that silk skirt or soft sweater against his stomach and cheek and tell him how he feels. A fantastic, new experience for your baby.
Pay attention to the type of fabric: your baby puts everything in its mouth. Garments with, for example, small beads and sequins are better left alone.
Good for: eye-hand coordination, touch, senses, fine motor skills
A mouse comes running
“ A mouse comes running up… crawling into [your child's name]'s neck! As you say this, 'run' your fingers over his body. Start at the hands and finish on his neck, where you gently tickle him . He may find this a bit exciting the first time. But once he's used to it, he'll be all over it when he notices you guys are about to play the game. Alternate the 'walking route': one time go from his feet, up through his stomach and the other time from his hands through his arms to his neck. Success assured! Also a very good way to distract your baby while changing … Do you notice that your baby does not like it? Then stop playing this game.
Good for: touch, body awareness,cause and effect
Baby games month 4
Sledding without snow
When your baby is 4 months old , he can hold his head up quite well on his own. He also gets his torso off the ground. Now it's fun to 'sled' with your little one. Place your baby on his stomach on a large piece of cardboard or on a rug. Move the cardboard or then dress gently forwards and backwards. Your baby does not know this feeling yet and it prepares him to crawl . It also gives him an idea of space. By the way, don't move your little one too quickly, because then he can be startled. Is your baby still unable to hold his head up properly? Then wait a little longer with this baby game.
Good for: gross motor skills, spatial awareness, movement/balance
Let's roll baby
Does your baby find it difficult to roll over ? Then you can help him with this. Even if your baby does roll over well, this remains a fun baby game. Place your little one on his stomach on a rug and put a toy next to his head, which he just can't reach. He will try to grab it and maybe roll towards the toy.
You can help him extra by carefully turning his lower body in the right direction. When he is slightly on his side, you can lift his head slightly off the floor with two fingers. Then his upper body may turn on its own. Your baby will then get an idea of how the movement works. Then gently roll your child until he reaches the edge of the rug. Your baby really enjoys seeing the world from a different angle.
Good for: gross motor skills, spatial awareness
Your baby's nose is very sensitive . So test his sense of smell with a scent party. Take your little one on your lap and introduce him to different scents. For example a banana, piece of lemon, piece of orange, vanilla stick or a small flower. Let him smell the scents one at a time. This is a great, new experience for your child and you can enjoy it too. Your baby can find a smell very funny and laugh . He may also be startled or look at you with big, surprised eyes. Does he think something smells bad? Then he just turns his head away. Repeat the scent party in a few weeks to see if your child reacts differently to the scents. His sense of smell is still developing.
Good for: smell
Baby games month 5
Peekaboo: action reaction
Your baby learns more and more that an action has a consequence. That's why he now likes it extra when something unexpected happens. So: peek a boo away. You can of course do the familiar kind with your hands, but there are even more shapes. Hide out of sight of your little one and suddenly come up with a happy or surprised face. He will crow with pleasure.
As your baby gets used to this game, you will be able to show more and more different facial expressions. Also switch hiding places: duck from behind a chair, open and close the door, put a cloth over your face and let your baby pull it off, or put a cloth over his face and pull him off yourself. Bet this will make you laugh ?
Good for: cause and effect , making connections
Your little one finds different sounds very interesting now. Do you let him hear different sounds and show what makes the sound? Then your baby can make the connection between a sound and the sound source. Collect different objects, such as a rattle, a toy with squeaks in it and a creaky piece of paper, and sit next to your child. Make the sounds one at a time, showing which object is making the sound. Then put the 'sound maker' in your baby's hands and help him make the sound himself. He will be amazed at himself and howling with joy.
Good for: cause and effect , hearing
tour the baby
Your baby is busy training his muscle strength and loves to make cycling movements with his legs. You can help him with that. Lay your little one on his back. Grab his ankles and make slow circular movements with his legs. Alternate the movement by bringing his knees close to his chest and then extending his legs far out. Also change your rhythm. The cycling movements strengthen his legs and stomach, which will come in handy when sitting , crawling and walking . And of course you prepare it for a traditional Dutch custom: cycling.
Good for: gross motor skills, strength
Baby games month 6
Your baby can now hold his head up well and is practicing to gain control over his torso. Help him improve his gross motor skills with the 'baby rollercoaster'. Place your little one on a pillow or large (fitness) ball and roll him back and forth. Hold him by his hips. This helps him learn new moves and he really likes it too.
Good for: movement, strength, gross motor skills
Baby sit ups
Place your baby on his back, for example on your lap or next to you on the couch (make sure he can't roll off). Grab him by his hands and slowly pull him up into a sitting position. Then slowly lower him back onto his back. Repeat this a few times. This game will help your little one to strengthen his neck muscles. Make the game even more fun by making a crazy noise every time it comes up. That certainly makes for a big smile.
Good for: motor development, tummy time , rolling over
Your baby really enjoys playing an airplane and his transitional reflexes help him with this. Lie on your back, raise your legs and place your baby on your shins. He probably extends his arms and legs automatically and lifts his head. Gently move your little one back and forth. There he flies!
There are, of course, many versions of airplane play. For example, let your little one fly all over the room. Hold your baby by the torso with two hands and walk around the room. Be a little careful: sometimes something wants to slip out of your baby's mouth...
Good for: strength, motor skills, transitional reflexes
Baby games month 7
Your baby is increasingly interested in its environment. He can also reach for objects better and he can turn his head well. Blowing bubbles is a fun activity to do with your baby right now. Take your little one on your lap and blow lots of bubbles. He is staring at all those colorful bubbles floating around him. This also gives him the chance to grab it . Win win.
Good for: eye-hand coordination, motor skills
Clap your hands
" Clap your hands once, happy happy happy. On your angry ball, both of you. Hands in the air, hands on your sides. Thus the ships pass by. ' When your baby is 7 months old, his motor skills are getting better and he is able to clap his hands . The song 'Clap once in your hands' is now perfect for teaching him to clap better in a fun, playful way. Singing, clapping and laughing together.
Good for: eye-hand coordination, motor skills, sense of rhythm
Dancing queens and kings
Your baby is already bouncing a lot now and then, but what could be more fun than swinging together? Place your little one with his stomach on your arm and keep your hand on his back. Would he rather sit up? Then hold him in a 'sitting position' with his face forward or place him on your hip. Turn on some happy music and dance!
Good for: sense of rhythm, spatial awareness
Baby games month 8
Your baby is getting stronger and is kicking his legs a lot. Combine this with some water and you have a big water feast. Fill a baby bath with a layer of water and place your baby in it in a sitting position. Is your child not yet able to sit independently? Then bathe him on your lap. Then show him how to splash with water. Maybe he kicks his legs on his own. The more and the harder he kicks, the higher the water rises. If you play this game more often, your baby will discover that it is he who causes the splashes. He a hard laugh , together the giggles, you a melted heart.
Good for: cause and effect , gross motor skills, making connections
Pots, pans, lids, boxes… Show your baby how to make noise by hitting the pots and pans with your hands, or use a wooden spoon. You can jam together or let your baby drum the stars of heaven on his own. Feel free to pick up another instrument or sing along. Your child will discover that his movements can make noise. Also show and hear that large pans make a different sound than small containers: that is (too) crazy!
Good for: cause and effect , fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, sense of rhythm
Your baby will gain more and more control over his movements. Encourage him in his movements by playing butterfly with him. Sit with your legs wide on the floor and place your baby between your legs (facing away from you). Have him lean with his back against you if he can't sit up well on his own yet. Grab his hands, spread his arms and flutter with them. Say: “ Look! You are a butterfly. Look how good you can flutter! Your little one will like it. Your enthusiasm and the new movement with his arms encourage him to move his arms himself. If you play this game more often, he will learn to 'flutter' himself.
Good for: motor skills
Baby games month 9
Mirror Mirror on the wall…
Your baby is very interested in human faces and likes to look at your face. Have you introduced your little one to his own face yet? Pick up your child and look in the mirror together. Say: “ Who is that? That's [Your baby's name] !” and point to your child in the mirror. He will admire himself, but not yet realize that it is himself. To your baby, it's just another baby standing in front of him.
Not much later, your baby will see you in the mirror too. huh? Mom/Dad is behind me right?! He probably turns his head to your 'real' self in surprise and looks back and forth from you to your reflection in amazement. If you also start talking, he is completely overwhelmed: how is this possible?
Good for: making connections , awareness of one's own 'I'
Horse at a gallop
Who does not know him from the past: all possible variants of Paardje in gallop. Put your little one on your lap and move your knees up and down while singing: “ Hop hop hop, gallop horse. Over fields, over roads, we meet [your child's name]. Hop hop hop hop hop, gallop horse .” Vary with 'the racehorse', 'the farmer' and 'hole in the road'. Wide smile and twinkling eyes is the result.
Good for: language and speech development , movement, motor skills
Feed for your parcel shelf
Everyone has a few crazy hats or beanies in the house that you can put on your head. Have them all ready and put them on your head in turn. Your baby will find this very funny. Have your little one take the hat or cap off your head and put it back on your head. Or put the hat or cap on your baby's head and see if he can take it off himself.
Good for: depth vision , cause and effect , motor skills
Baby games month 10
Almost everyone knows this golden oldie: trumpet. All you need for this is your mouth and your baby. Make it a real show: “ Yes, yes ladies and gentlemen. Here is the famous trumpet player Mama/Papa, with a new song: the trumpet belly. Here I come…! ” Put your mouth on your baby's stomach and blow very loudly, with sound. This tickles and also sounds very crazy. Laughing, howling, roaring blown.
Also trumpet on his hands, cheeks, under his feet or in his neck. This keeps it exciting every time what will happen. Don't play this game for too long. It is a strenuous game for your child and tickling can be too intense for some children. Do you notice that your little one doesn't like it or is fed up? Then stop and try another game.
Good for: bonding between you and your baby , awareness of your own 'I' and body
Your baby is still on its journey of discovery. What better way to encourage this than with a… foam party? Squirt some shaving cream for your child on the table or in an empty bathtub and let him play with it. The changing shape when it touches the foam is new to your little one. A real discovery. A foam party in the bath is of course also one big party. Make crazy hairstyles or a foam beard or turn your baby into a leprechaun with a pointed hat. Keep your camera ready for the best shots .
Good for: cause and effect , fine motor skills
Whoever finds it can have it
You've probably played the familiar form of peek-a-boo by now. That's why some variety is welcome. Your child develops object permanence around this period . This means that he can remember objects without seeing them. Because your baby probably now has a favorite toy or cuddly toy (and can recognize and remember it), you can play hide and seek with this very well. Hide the toy under a blanket and let your little one find the toy. Can't find him? Then show that your baby can lift the blanket. Tadaa , there's his toy!
Is a blanket becoming too easy or 'boring'? Then place three bowls next to each other and hide the toy under one of the three bowls. Clearly show which tray you are hiding the toy under : ' Look, I'm putting the toy under this tray .' Now your baby can search. Is this game too easy? Then don't show under which container you hide the toy and let your baby find it all by itself.
Good for: object permanence , cause and effect
Baby games month 11
The tower of Pisa
Your baby can't stack blocks on top of each other yet, but can knock down a block tower well. Take your child on your lap and stack a few blocks on top of each other. Have your little one knock down the tower and watch what happens together. The tower falls, the blocks roll away and there is also a fantastic sound of blocks falling to the ground. Stack the blocks back on top of each other and let your baby knock over the tower again. Repeat this game regularly. The more you play the game, the better your little one can push the tower over.
Good for: eye-hand coordination, motor skills, cause and effect
Baby Boot Camp
Is your baby already a real climbing monkey? Then do the Baby Boot Camp. Place different objects on a soft surface, for example pillows, a stool and a crawl tunnel. Is the weather nice? Feel free to put the items in the garden or park. Let your baby climb, crawl and pull up at his own pace. By joining with your little one, you strengthen your bond.
Good for: gross motor skills, bonding , making connections
Wayang: shadow play
Your baby finds moving patterns and shapes very interesting. Every time there is a surprise part: what will happen next? Therefore, create your own shadow representation together. Take your baby on your lap in a darkened room and shine a flashlight on the wall. Make shapes with your hand, creating different shadows on the wall.
Start simple, with waves or numbers, and then try making animal figures with your hands. Think of a giraffe, rabbit or a dog. You can even make up a nice story for it. “ Look, the giraffe has a very long neck and is going to eat leaves from the tree .” Help your child to also make shadows with his own hands.
Baby games month 12
Your little Robinson is a real explorer and likes to be surprised. Combine this with solid food discovery and you have a fun eating game! Show your baby something tasty, for example a piece of cucumber, and hide it under a tea towel. Then let your child lift the tea towel. Wow, there's the piece of cucumber! A fun way to stimulate your child's object permanence.
When your child is a bit older, you can make this game even more exciting. Put different types of food in different containers with lids. Let your child remove the lids from the containers and discover what treats are waiting for him. Lets eat.
Good for: object permanence , cause and effect , fine motor skills
Nothing is more interesting than your handbag, you probably noticed that already. All those little frills that you collect are very interesting for your baby. But they are less suitable for playing with and putting in the mouth . Therefore, give your baby its own handbag. Take your old handbag out of the closet and put all kinds of things in it that you also have in your bag: old loyalty cards, an empty wallet, an (empty) marker, toys, tissues and so on.
Take the bag with you when you go out. As soon as your child is bored, grab the bag and name everything that your little one conjures up from the bag. This bag full of surprises provides a lot of discovery and playing fun. And your baby is distracted for a moment.
Good for: fine motor skills, making connections
Your baby is 12 months , that means it's his (almost) birthday, congratulations! Your little one is sure to be spoiled with many gifts. You will soon notice that the unwrapping of the gifts is actually much more interesting than the content… The surprise of what is in the paper, the tearing and cracking of the paper and also discovering that yourself with your hands. Unwrapping presents is therefore a fun baby game that you can play not only on his birthday , but always.
Pack toys that your little one already has and let him unpack them over and over again. Every time your child is curious about what is in the paper. And every time he is surprised what comes out of the package. Endless fun to play. Do you want to spoil your child extra on his birthday? Then treat him to a smash cake . Have fun messing around.
Good for: hand-eye coordination, object permanence , fine motor skills
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