Playing with your baby is vital to their physical, emotional and social development. It’s also very rewarding for you both. You get to see their expression change from puzzlement to delight. They get to spend time with their favourite person and learn along the way.
When you play together, you are not only entertaining your baby, you are teaching them about sounds, rhythm, numbers and concepts such as object permanence. They’re also picking up basic co-ordination and language skills as well.
Nursery games are a terrific way to entertain your little one and provide them with a valuable skillset at the same time. These are some age-old ways to entertain your little one that won’t cost you a cent and are guaranteed entertainment for you and bub.
Pop goes the weasel
- With bub seated in your lap, you sing: “Half a pound of tuppenny rice, Half a pound of treacle. That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.”
- Bounce the baby when you sing the word “Pop!” Sing a few more rounds and pause at the word “Pop!” and bub will start to bounce themselves.
- It’s a great way for them to learn about repetition.
- Cover your face with a blanket and then say: “Where’s mummy?”
- Then uncover your face and say: “Peekaboo!”
- You can use anything to play this game with, from a book to a tea-cloth. Simply repeat it over and over. Babies love this game and you are also starting to teach them about object permanence.
- At about eight months on they start to learn that objects and people still exist even when they can’t see them.
- You point to bub and say: “How big is baby?” and then help them to spread their arms wide and say: “So big!” Then point to other objects and repeat the game.
- You are not only engaging in physical play, they are starting to be aware of object sizes as well.
- Using their fingers as the counters you sing: “One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, then I let it go again! Why did you let it go? Because it bit my finger so. Which finger did it bite? This little finger on my right!”
- They love the contact with their fingers and it also starts to make them aware of counting and rhyming as well.
- Join together lots of different fabrics and make a long scarf. Stuff it into an empty foil or glad-wrap roll and leave a short end poking out. Your little one will love pulling the scarf from the container and working with you to stuff it back in again.
- This game will teach them about different textures and help them with their hand eye co-ordination as well.
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.