Last post we talked about playing with you 0-3 month old. Let’s skip forward a few months and now talk about ways to play with your 3-6 month old. You baby isn’t quite so sleepy anymore and is more engaged with the world around him. Lets look at what other accomplishments that your baby makes in this time period, which affects how you play with them!
3-6 Month Major Milestones
- Rolls in both directions
- Holds head steady
- Reaches out and grasps toys
- Smiles and laughs
- Coos when spoken to
- Imitates some facial expressions and sounds
- Recognizes people
- Tries to figure out where a sound is coming from
- Tracks moving objects
Activities for Your 3-6 Month Old
- Varying Volumes – Introduce your baby to the idea of loud and quite sounds by singing a song with different volumes. You might sing the verses loudly and the chorus softly or alternate every line. Your baby will be interested in the different ways you use your voice.
- Exercise Engagement – With her developing neck and core strength (and lack of mobility), you baby is at the perfect age for joining you in some exercise. There are many “Baby and Me” classes available. If you’re looking for a cheaper, more flexible option, check out YouTube for fun workouts you can do with you baby.
- Beautiful Bubbles – Not only are bubbles a classic kid activity, they can benefit your 3-6 month old in lots of ways! Bubbles are a great incitement to practice reaching, something your baby is working on right now. They also develop your baby’s tracking abilities (including tracking diagonally, one of the more difficult tracking directions) and hand-eye coordination as they attempt watch and grab the bubbles floating by.
- Ice Ice Baby – Let your baby explore the sensation of cold by allowing him to play with ice. Invite your baby to touch a slightly melted ice cube (so it wont stick to his skin). You could also give him a cold, wet wash cloth to explore this feeling too.
- Watch the Big Kids – If your baby doesn’t have big kids around the house, take her to the playground. Your baby will love watching the big kids run around and play!
- Swing – Once your baby can sit with some support, he’s ready to try sitting in a bucket swing! Swinging is a great way to give your child vestibular input (the vestibular system maintains balance and monitors the body’s movements) and is just downright fun.
- Pillow Bolster – Now that your baby is working on reaching and grasping, encourage your baby to practice this during tummy time. By placing a pillow underneath your baby’s tummy, her hands won’t be needed to support herself and she’ll have more opportunity to grab some toys.
- Fancy Footwork – Help your baby develop her foot coordination by holding up objects near her feet. Encourage her to kick at the object and celebrate when she does. Added bonus if you use an object that makes a noise when kicked.
- Talk Talk Talk – Talking is the baby activity that never goes out of style. The more language your child is exposed to, the more language he will have later on. Talk to your baby about what you’re doing, what he’s doing, what you’ll be doing later. He’s the perfect listening companion 🙂
- Water Play – Place your baby on his tummy with a small pan (like a jelly roll plan) of water in front of him. Put a few interesting objects in the pan like a spoon, plastic toy, etc. Watch as your baby enjoys the sensory experience of splashing water!
- Tummy Time Together – Tummy time is a critical activity for developing your baby’s strength. Your baby should do tummy time daily. Delight your baby by joining her in this experience. She’ll love seeing you so close by and you’ll get a good take on her perspective.
- Super baby! – One of my favorite twists on tummy time is to lay on your back and bring your knees toward your chest. Place your baby, tummy-down, on your shins. Support your baby with your hands as he balances on your legs. This activity develops his shoulder and neck strength and is a fun change of perspective.
Baby getting older? Check out our play ideas for 6-9 month olds!
And one more thing before you go… this course is great for anyone who cares for babies. It’s all about early brain development, SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome. Takes about 45 minutes and could save a life. Make sure everyone in your baby’s world is informed.
For more ideas, check out Davis and Hall’s book, 1001 Fun Ways to Play.