6 Classic Baby Games
The games that every parent should know—and if you don't, here's your cheatsheet
Peek-a-boo teaches Baby that objects out of sight still exist—an important cognitive lesson known as object permanence. Plus, it’s a surefire winner. In some families, this classic is known as “Peek at You.”
When Baby is between 5 to 7 months old, prop her in a sitting position facing you on your lap. Lower your head and gently touch foreheads with your baby while slowly saying, “Ahh-boom!” at each touch. In time, Baby will anticipate the game by leaning forward before your foreheads meet. Be gentle so Baby follows your lead. No bruised noggins allowed!
Your little one loves it when you lift both her arms up very high and exclaim delightedly, “How big are you? You are so big!” Once your child has learned this game, lift your hands up high and let your child stretch her own arms way upward as you exclaim, “Sooo big!”
Babies learn to clap both hands together at the body midline between 7 and 9 months. “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man; bake me a cake as fast as you can…” is an excellent rhyme to chant with Baby. She’ll enjoy mimicking your clapping, and her confidence will build as she learns the movements and words.
This game can be played with various props but works particularly well with building blocks. Build a tower of blocks with your 3- to 6-month-old and let him knock them down. This game teaches cause and effect—that actions have consequences. Just be careful that the lesson your baby learns isn’t “I make a mess, and Mom cleans it up!”
This Little Piggy
Respond to your baby’s babbles with encouraging words as you play “This Little Piggy Went to Market” with her tiny toes. Baby learns that despite being a small creature, she has control over play situations: Notice how she thrusts out her toes in a clear request to play the game again and again! So don’t be surprised if you hear “wee wee wee, all the way home” in your sleep, Mom!
Babies spend nearly half of their waking time doing things like kicking, bouncing, and waving their arms. And while it may appear all this activity is just for the sake of moving, it's important to realize Baby is never "just moving" or "just playing."view gallery
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