Do you get bored playing with your baby too?

You're not alone! Playing with babies is repetitive. Here's a list of baby play activities broken down by age to break up the monotony.


Cognitive Development
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Raise your hand if you’ve ever been unbearably bored playing with your baby… you’re not alone! Yes, playing with a baby can sometimes feel like you're stuck on repeat. Let’s dive into play ideas that keep both of you engaged and entertained.

Activities 0-6 Months

  • Peek-a-boo! 
    • How: Hide behind your hands, or a blanket and pop out to show your face. Try doing on the edge of the bed, too (put your baby on their tummy facing the edge of the bed and pop up)

    • Why We Love It: For one, it’s free! Plus, it’s visually stimulating, comforting to your little one (your voice is soothing to your baby), and is a great introduction to the idea of object permanence, which is the understanding that both people and objects continue to exist even when you can’t see them. 

  • Dancing and/or Stretching
    • How:  Enjoy the short season of life where you get to decide on the music choices. Pick a moment when your baby is in a contentful state. Lie them down on your lap and play some of your favorite jams. Gently cross one arm over to the other side of their body, and then take a turn with the other arm. Next, try helping them reach their arm to their opposite leg, too.

    • Why We Love It: Aside from bonding with your baby, making eye contact with them (don’t expect strong eye contact from them - they aren’t ready for that), and stimulating their senses, dancing is maybe best for practice crossing their midline. Every one of us has an invisible line that goes down the center of our body. The line represents the left and right hemispheres of the baby’s brain, and when your baby dances and crosses their midline, they are working connections between both hemispheres! 

  • Sing Songs with Hand Gestures
    • How:  Pick a favorite nursery rhyme from your childhood (or at least one you can stand the tune to). “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Open Shut Them,” and “Where is Thumbkin," are a few of our favorites. Model the gestures while you sing to your baby, making sure you are nice and close (diaper changes and bath time). 

    • Why We Love It: Early language development is one of the many benefits that comes with singing to your baby. Through your songs, your baby will become familiar with different sounds, words, and phrases which can help later on with their communication skills. Songs with repetition also support cognitive development, and as your baby gets older, they might be able to anticipate the gestures or phrases of the song.

Activities 6-12 Months

  • Obstacle Course 
    • How:  There are many variations on this. Pull the pillows off the sofa and create a pillow mountain/obstacle course for your little one. Try creating levels, turns, and some tricky elements! Show your baby how to crawl over the obstacles and encourage them to come to you. If they need help navigating the pillows, you can help them to get started. 

    • Why We Love It: This is great practice for your baby’s gross motor skills - the large muscles in their body. None of this is automatic for them right now, but eventually it will be.

  • Organizing Objects 
    • How:  At some point, your baby is going to begin to LOVE putting things into containers. Grab a muffin tin and encourage your little one to put toys, large balls, or wooden blocks into each pocket. Then, ask them to put all the toys back into a box. You can extend this activity by counting as they place the items. 

    • Why We Love It: You mean aside from the fact that this is a short lived moment where babies end up cleaning up after themselves? We love that it’s versatile, can be driven by the child’s interest, and has built in fine motor skills.

  • Tape Vehicles to the Wall 
    • How:  Tape your baby’s favorite construction vehicles and cars to the wall (use washi or painter’s tape). Ask your child to pull them off. Make sure to model how to do this. You can tape the vehicles at a height your baby can reach while sitting, and then once they are able to stand, you can put them higher and make them work for it a bit.

    • Why We Love It: A great way to practice those fine motor skills (and keep toys off the floor), as well as gross motor skills as they stand, reach, or crawl to reach. Also, we stub our toes less when toys are off the floor :) 

Activities 12-24 Months

  • Sensory Bins 
    • How: Fill the sensory bin (aka a storage container or a cardboard box) with a base material like sand, tissue paper, or oats. Add in different textures like foam or magnet shapes and letters. Add manipulatives like spoons, cups, cupcake silicone molds, toy animals, blocks, and toy vehicles and have at it. Show your child how to play and use the different items in the bin. Make sure they are seated comfortably and that the rim of the bin isn’t so high that they can’t properly reach. 

    • Why We Love It: This is one of the best ways to stimulate your toddler’s senses. Plus, you can kind of control the mess by attempting to confine all the materials to one space. Although we can’t guarantee that everything stays in there…

  • Sticky Notes 
    • How: Take sticky notes (ideally different sizes and colors) and place them all over a certain area of the house (the wall, the chairs, the fridge). Ask your child to go on a sticky note “hunt” and collect as many as they can.

    • Why We Love It: This game is great for both gross motor and fine motor development. You can even encourage your toddler to grab the sticky notes using two fingers (pincer grasp), which really works those small muscles in their hands.

  • Spaghetti Play 
    • How: Cook some spaghetti, let it cool, and throw it in a bowl. Let your child add in manipulatives (like toy cars, people, or blocks) that interest them too. See what happens 🙂

    • Why We Love It: This is a cheap and easy way to come up with something fun, squishy, and safe, in a pinch. Spaghetti (which we usually have sitting in the cupboard even on the days we forgot to shop) is the perfect playmate and the ultimate sensory experience.