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15 Fun and Safe Infant Activities

You can encourage your baby's development by introducing them to fun and safe infant activities. Here are some ideas to get you started.  

15 Fun and Safe Infant Activities

15 Fun and Safe Infant Activities

The first day you bring your infant home, they seem so small and fragile. You feed them, clean them and snuggle them to sleep. 

As the weeks pass, they stay awake longer and start getting curious. This period is a great time to introduce some infant activities. 

Why are infant activities important?

At an early age, babies learn through play. Infant activities allow them to explore surroundings, develop a strong bond with you, gain knowledge and strengthen motor skills. Introducing them to play also stimulates their small body and encourages motor development. 

Engaging your infant in these activities ensures they have all the optimal tools for their physical and emotional development. You'll also give them crucial sensory input to their joints, physical development, and brain stimulation. 

If you are an infant educator, recording infants’ daily activities is crucial to strengthening the family-teacher partnership, building trust, and supporting families in the care of their infants at home. Download a free copy of our infant daily report template to keep families up-to-date on their infant's day. 

 

Download our free infant daily sheet - brightwheelDownload our free infant daily report template here!

When should I start introducing infant activities to my newborn?

As soon as possible. The earlier, the better. 

You don't have to set a timer or have a routine to play with your baby at first. Just interact with them when you're feeding them or holding them. For example, sing them lullabies and talk to them. 

Your attention, voice, and touch will be enough stimulation. 

15 exciting activities for infants

Here are some fun activities that your infant will enjoy.

1. Imitation

 

Fun and safe infant activities—imitating

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After a few weeks, your baby starts noticing its voice. Start imitating any sounds and noises they make to let them know you hear them. They'll enjoy hearing the sounds back, and it will help them familiarize themselves with your voice. 

You can also imitate their facial movements by yawning, sneezing, or grimacing as they do. In 10 weeks, they’ll be able to mimic some of your facial expressions. 

2. Face-to-face 

 

Face-to-face infant activities

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Face-to-face activity is essential because infants respond positively to faces, especially their parents’ faces. With time, face-to-face can be very comforting when they're in distress. 

Place your baby on your knees and face them at least one foot away. Demonstrate laughing and smiling while looking at them.  

3. Massage

 

Massage infant activities

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Infant activities can be as simple as a massage during bath time or a diaper change. Massaging your baby helps them gain awareness of all their body parts, including their limbs. 

We recommend using coconut or lavender oil to relax their body even more. Gently massage and rub from their toes to their fingertips. 

4. Singing 

 

Singing infant activities

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The next time your baby is having a meltdown or having trouble sleeping, sing them a fun sing-along song or a lullaby. They'll start cooing, and they'll laugh or sleep before you realize it. Singing helps them regulate their emotions and teaches them how to listen.

5. Tummy time 

 

Tummy time infant activities

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This activity helps strengthen the arms, fingers, hands, and neck muscles. It's safe to start this activity when the child is as young as one day old. Start by propping the baby with a pillow for added stimulation.

You should do this tummy exercise every day for at least three minutes during the first weeks. Once the baby reaches three months, increase tummy time to five to eight times daily.

6. Reflections 

 

Reflections infant activities

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This activity boosts social, visual, and emotional development. Sit in front of the mirror and move your baby's body parts. Then, bring their feet to their hands, cycle their legs in the air, and allow them to stand and bear their weight as you support them.

7. Move their limbs 

 

Move their limbs infant activities

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This exercise is similar to the mirror exercise mentioned earlier. Over time, newborns start becoming aware of their body parts. You can hasten this milestone by moving their hands to their mouth, in front of their eyes, or touching objects with their hands.   

8. Baby sit-ups

 

Baby sit ups infant activities

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Your baby will probably have good head control at around 2.5 months. This is the right time to try baby sit-ups to improve their head control and motor skills. Just like your muscles, a baby's muscles improve when exercised. 

To do baby-sit-ups, support your baby by placing your hand under their arm and pushing them to a sit-up position. Then, as they gain muscle strength, hold their hands and bring them to a sit-up position. 

After a few weeks of practice, you might realize the baby pulls themselves faster than you guide them.

9. Lay them on their back under an activity mat

 

Back infant activities

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Place your baby under an activity mat with brightly colored toys rotating and making noise. You'll notice your baby staring at the toys, and they'll start following them with time. This activity helps improve their tracking and visual fixation skills.

10. Read  

 

Reading infant activities

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Your newborn doesn't understand the concept of reading. However, that shouldn't stop you from reading to them. It helps develop their listening and concentration skills early and increases the chances of bringing up stronger readers. 

11. Do a house tour 

 

House tour infant activities

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Walk around the house touching things and pretend it's the first time you see them. It'll likely be the first time your infant sees them. Explain the shapes, colors, and textures.

12. Play peek-a-boo

 

Peek-a-boo infant activities

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Your infant can notice patterns even at a young age. Peek-a-boo should probably be among the first games you introduce your infant to. 

Every time you cover and uncover your face, you teach your child that things can happen through a pattern. Play with them as long as they can hold their interest and encourage them to copy as they age.

13. Counting

Counting is considered one of the best activities for babies. First, place their toes on your hand and count them by one. Next, count their fingers as you touch each one of them. 

14. Chitchat 

 

Chitchat infant activities

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This is an easy yet impactful infant activity. Talk to your baby and describe what you're doing together. This technique is an excellent way to influence language development. 

15. Clappity clap 

 

Clapping infant activities

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Start clapping in front of your child when they're in a happy mood, and help them clap their hands too. Ensure you tell them what you're doing. They'll be able to clap by themselves and enjoy getting your attention by clapping. This is an excellent way to fasten their hand coordination skills. 

Have fun with your baby

Babies start learning weeks after they’re born. You can use safe and fun infant activities to improve their senses and help them easily explore their environment.

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