From zero to one year, baby's life is punctuated by "first times". We share some activities for babies to help you support your infant's development.
They are all fun and easy. We have rounded them up by age groups: 0 to 4 months, 5 to 9 and 9 to 12 months.
Activities for babies from birth to 4 months
Not always easy to find what to do with an infant. Since he is not yet able to hold his head and interact with you, sometimes you have to be creative.
Play on the belly
Babies have to spend time on their stomach every day. Specialists advise to start this activity as soon as possible: your child will get used to this position more quickly, which, it must be admitted, does not please everyone.
Try placing baby on your stomach for a few minutes, several times a day (for a total of 60 to 90 minutes a day). To encourage him to stay in this position, lie on your stomach too. Talk to him. Sing. Shake a toy in front of his eyes.
You can also lie on your back and place baby on your stomach. Of course, we make sure to hold baby well to avoid a fall.
Sing and dance
Sometimes the weather can be long, alone, with a baby, all day long. Music is a good option. We put music, we take baby in our arms, we sing and dance. It frees stress - and baby falls asleep sometimes, lulled by your voice. And let it be said, even if you do wrong, baby does not care: the voice that makes vibrate his new eardrum is the most beautiful in the world for him!
While you are tired, remember that physical activity can fill up your energy. Try to include half an hour of exercise in your daily schedule, preferably when your baby is awake, so you can always take a nap at the same time. There are indeed simple exercises that you can do with baby in the arms (like squats). You can also put your baby on your back and exercise above or beside him, talking to him gently. The exercise ball is an accessory of choice.
Go out with a newborn? Yes! If the weather permits, we do everything in our power to get out. A walk, a coffee with a girlfriend, we do the shopping ... All the excuses are good to leave the house. Movie fan? Enjoy the baby movie mornings.
We take advantage of the first months of life of our child to learn about baby massage. Indeed, baby massage has a lot of benefits. In addition to stimulating baby's senses, massage helps to strengthen the child's bond of attachment. You can take massage classes or refer to a book.
This is the moment or never to have fun photographing your mini. We are inspired by the photographs of Adele Enerson , Anne Geddes or (our favorite) Queenie Liao and we place baby in an imaginary world. Only great souvenirs!
Reading and nursery rhymes
Your baby is still very small, it's true ... But it's not because he does not understand the meaning of all the words that he does not like to hear them. Nursery rhymes and some stories (especially those that are built in the form of poems) have a rhythm that babies like a lot. The sound of your voice reassures him and, once again, you help to strengthen the bond of attachment. An idea: try the books of Thierry Dedieu, planned especially for babies.
Children under four months of age do not play much yet, but you can still stimulate them with rattles or books made of baby cloth. Choose objects whose colors are very contrasted so that he can see them better.
We lay baby on his play mat , we sit next to him and we give him an object, it is stirred before his eyes. Thus, we invite him to gently move the head left ... right ... Over time, he will also be able to grab it.
Activities to do with a baby from 5 to 9 months
It does not work yet, but it is more and more solid and awake! To see how he asks for your arms, it seems obvious that his favorite toy is still you. What to do to amuse it?
The exercise ball
Baby holds his head, and, little by little, he experiences the sitting position. The exercise ball, the one you may be using for fitness, or which has served to calm contractions during delivery, can also greatly entertain baby. On him, he can sit down (while you hold his legs tightly) and test his balance. You can also lie down on the ball (this time holding his arms), which will allow him to work the muscles of his back and his head.
Nursing pillow and toys
Baby sits but he is not yet stable and sometimes falls backwards? You can place the nursing pillow behind him. Made in a half-moon, it will prevent your little angel's head from bumping behind, or on the sides, while you secure the front.
Place toys next to him: he can practice grasping them and, in so doing, will also exercise his balance by leaning forward and then straightening up.
Playing with a blanket
A blanket, it's magic! On the one hand, it serves you to make "coucous". You can either disappear behind her or hide the baby's face under her blanket and, after a few seconds, you pull on the blanket and ... hello! By thus playing to disappear and reappear, baby gradually begins to understand that he is a being apart. He also tames the separation; perhaps it will be less difficult when baby go through the famous anguish of 8 th month.
Nursery rhymes and music
At this age, children are already very sensitive to rhythms. The nursery rhymes, they love! Sit on you, and sing well-known nursery rhymes that are accompanied by gestures (boat on the water, so do, do, do, etc ...) and move the baby's hands at the same time. As he grows up, he will begin to move his hands at the right moment.
Good to know: we love the book of 100 rhymes nursery, Henriette Major .
The little ones like to play ball: the beach ball, when not too inflated, is easier to grasp for their little hands that still lack dexterity. For children who do not move much and do not sit for long, we can hang the balloon on an elastic string, above them.
With this balloon, baby practices a lot of movements: he can agitate, throw it, try to grab it, roll it ... Moreover, when baby begins to want to crawl, then walk on all fours , he will have fun continue this rolling object.
Suggest that your child play in front of a mirror, preferably not brittle. We have fun making faces, kisses, smiles in front of the mirror. You could also stick to photos and imitate the expressions you see. To encourage baby to have fun on the stomach, install an unbreakable mirror on the floor. Moreover, babies who begin to move on their own will like to crawl on the mirror.
At this age, your child most likely has a favorite toy or toy . Place the object of his adoration in plain view, but still behind a small obstacle that he will have to go around in order to recover it (for example, the nursing pillow).
You could also make a mountain of cushions and stuffed soft and soft: baby will have a lot of fun. He will have to work each of his muscles to successfully move in this cozy hill. To force him to move a little more, you can place his favorite dudou at the top, as bait.
Of course, you should never hesitate to put yourself on the floor, too. Kids love when your face is at the same level as theirs.
A battery ... of cooking
This is of course a classic and, from generation to generation, babies like to have fun hitting pots and pans with a wooden spoon. In addition to encouraging free play , this small heavy metal concert will give you a few minutes to prepare the meal or tidy up.
In the same vein, do not hesitate to reserve a wardrobe for baby, perhaps the one that contains the plastic dishes. He will have a lot of fun to take them out and let them fall on the ground (comfort yourself, with the time, he will also learn to put them away ...) But more fun still, he will start to stand on his legs while leaning on them. shelves!
Activities to do with a baby from 9 to 12 months
Little by little, your baby's personality begins to define itself. He has clear preferences in the game. One thing is certain: he moves a lot of air and wants to discover and have fun.
All that rolls!
The walkers have been banned for a few years now: that said, children between 9 and 12 months, who start to stand on their legs without walking yet, love to stand up straight with the help of an object or support a furniture. That's what the cart, usually equipped with a ramp at the back, will allow, while being mobile. In addition, you can have fun to offer small walks in the hallway of the house.
At this age, baby will have a lot of fun with toys with wheels, objects on which he can rely, kneeling for example and move forward pushing.
Of course, make sure stair access is secure at all times.
It's also around this age that baby will start having fun stacking blocks. By extension, he will undoubtedly like to destroy your own tricks! The blocks are still and always very popular toys for toddlers.
At this age, everything becomes a toy. One of the objects that converts the best and that pleases everyone is undoubtedly the cardboard box. Make a hole on the top, and invite your child to insert smaller objects. This is a great way to develop fine motor skills. One can also play "cuckoo" with a box, and more fun still, hide inside.
Baby is mobile, moving on four or two legs ! Encourage him to race with you. The goal is simple: he will have to catch you. To do this, place yourself on the ground, and move on all fours, giving him chances, of course. Then reverse the roles, to make the pleasure last.
Sing, read, speak
Baby is curious and talking to him remains the best way to stimulate language . Nursery rhymes are still popular (we love Auzou's new book-record, My pretty nursery rhymes to listen to , classic jingles sung by Maryse Letarte). To add a little spice, have fun modulating your voice by singing in a cardboard tube or in a glass.
At this age, baby is also able to sit and turn the pages of a book by itself which is, once again, excellent for fine motor skills.
The bigger it gets, the more your mini is aware of his body and its limits. It's a good time to teach him the names of the different parts of it. Take his hand and show him, for example, where his nose is. In time, he will be able to show it himself on request, without help.
We also push the game a little further, by naming, in turn, the people or objects in the room. In time, he will be able to point them when he hears their name.
This is a simple game but that greatly amuses children from 9 to 12 months: tearing paper. We keep magazines, newspapers and wrapping papers and, before throwing them away, we give them to baby to have fun giving them their coup de grace. This simple appearance game allows, among other things, baby to touch different textures. Great for gross motor skills !
The water games
Playing with water may be wetting, but it is soothing: perfect for claiming baby before nap, for example. In a tub (or bath), give him jars of yogurt and invite him to pour the water from one to the other.
Water games are also an excellent excuse to introduce your child to the concept of temperature. Fill one bowl with cold water, and the other with warm water. Dip the baby's hand in the first, then in the second, and observe his reaction while explaining to him what he is experiencing.
Of course, several activities you did with him before, like mirror games , will still be among his favorites!
10 Addtional Activities for Infants
Concert of pans
It's time to rob your wardrobes and get everything out. Arrange dishes, pots and cooking utensils on the floor. Encourage baby to hit objects and create rhythms. Let yourself be carried away by this unique "music". You will see, slowly, he will awaken to the sound and the air of nothing, it will improve its coordination.
Feet in sand ... kinetic
Fill a small box of kinetic sand and do like beach: invite baby to dive his toes. Let him discover the different sensations that are related to the experience. He can also handle and play with this unique sand texture.
Invent stories on your fingertips
Draw faces on the tips of your fingers and stage these little characters. Invent their incredible stories, modulated by intonations and exaggerated vocal expressions. And if your heroes could hide behind baby's ears or run on his belly, your story would be a hundredfold better.
Between cooling block and magic bag
The cold, the hot ... what's the difference? Put a baby in his high chair and on the shelf, place a cool pack and a magic bag slightly warmed. Let him manipulate the objects and discover the contrasts. Say "cold" when he touches the refrigerant block and "hot" when he lingers on the bag. Let him realize what happens when hot and cold come into contact.
Make soap bubbles
The soap bubbles are magical. They have this little something that makes everyone happy. So, enjoy the bath time to blow some. In addition to amaze baby, they will teach him to inhale and exhale.
Your child is a little over-excited and looking for a way to calm him down? Whisper words of love and ask him to answer you the same way. In addition to soothing, this little game teaches him the different intonations of language and to articulate well.
Play hide and seek
This game, old as the world, does not reinvent anything. However, it has the distinct advantage of always amusing the little ones. With the youngest, you do not need to have very elaborate hiding places. Before the age of one, a simple blanket will be enough to "make disappear" the person who hides. The stash, and more good laugh to children helps them live better separation.
Build to better demolish
Using Mega Blocks or wooden blocks, build tall towers. The objective: to make them fall by pushing on it or by shooting soft balls. Once broken, the tower must of course be rebuilt. In this way, he learns the power he has over the objects around him.
Go to the pet shop
Sometimes you have to change air. A simple walk to the local pet shop can be enough. Let the baby admire the animals and ask him to imitate the sounds and cries of everyone.
In the bathtub, give sponges and a baby seal. Let it twist, water throat, fill the boiler and empty it. A nice way to make bath time pleasant and synonymous with laughter.