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Play is an important part of your baby’s development and can be used throughout your daily routine. Play is the way your baby learns, explores and express their emotions. It is important to encourage your baby to move through play and have fun. The different ways you play will activate different parts of their brain.  

Simple ways to add play into your day: 

  • Sing and play simple instruments with your baby  

  • Sing nursery rhymes and use touch or movement. For example, ‘This little piggy went to market’ or ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’  

  • Talk to your baby about things happening around the house, and show them photos of different people or places  

  • When your baby talks or makes sounds, repeat words back to encourage more talking  

  • Read and tell stories, use different voices for characters  mother playing with blocks with her son

  • Read interactive books with different textures, pop-ups or puppets  

  • Play peekaboo   

  • Sit or lie your baby in front of a mirror  

  • Put toys or other objects in front of your baby to encourage reaching  

  • Go for a walk to see and hear different things  

  • Play with rattles, bells and toys that make noise   

  • Add bubbles or objects to bath time to encourage water play   

  • Try interactive toys - for example building blocks, toys with buttons, toys that move or make sounds  

Your baby is likely to put things into their mouth as they play. Make sure that all objects are non-toxic and safe for baby to play with.   

For more information and ideas, see Raising Children Network   

Related Articles: 

Baby's First Steps (8-12 months) 

Developmental Milestones

Tummy Time and Starting to Move (0-8 months) 

[Raising Children Network, 2022; Munch and Move, 2022.]