Are you wondering how to entertain your newborn? Boost your baby’s developmental skills with these baby activity ideas for 0 to 18 months old.
In this article
- Baby activity ideas for 0 to 3 months old
- Baby activity ideas for 3 to 6 months old
- Baby activity ideas for 6 to 12 months old
- Baby activity ideas for 12 to 18 months old
Baby activity ideas for 0 to 3 months old
You might think that your baby is too small for this age, but keep in mind that these are not proper sit-down activities. Besides eating, sleeping, and lots of diaper changes, your baby’s schedule should involve playtimes. It’s a great way to get them entertained and “make” them tired to have a better sleep.
All these baby activity ideas are going to boost your baby’s speech development and listening skills. They will start talking earlier, and you’ll be a very proud mom.
Here are a few ideas you can include in your baby’s schedule:
- singing – it’s time to learn some nursery rhymes and sing them to your baby
- talking – an excellent way for your baby to learn new words is to speak with him/her daily and walk through what you are doing
- tummy time – is ideal for your newborn to strengthen their neck muscles. You can also make it more fun by placing some toys around your baby, such as rattles, teethers, mirrors, etc.
- black & white – did you know that your newborn can’t see colors in those first months? It’s because your baby’s vision is still developing. Help him/her see patterns using these FREE printable high contrast cards.
- baby massage – there are lots of baby massage classes, and most of them are free, so definitely check them out.
- bicycle time – a great “workout” for babies, which will help loosen those muscles.
- babywearing – skin to skin is essential, especially in the beginning, so babywearing will allow you to take care of some house chores while holding your newborn.
- mirror play – this used to be an old wife tail or even a superstition for some, but mirrors are a fantastic way to entertain a newborn. They are fascinated by it.
- imitation – entertain your baby by imitating your baby’s facial expressions and sounds, or you can make silly faces
- cot mobiles – you can put them anywhere – your little one is going to be fascinated by their movement
- swing baby swing – using a hammock or a swing, or everybody’s favorite – the airplane game
- dancing – it’s always a good idea to start dancing while holding your baby
Baby activity ideas for 3 to 6 months old
For 3 to 6 months old babies, some activities remain the same, but you can spice them up and make them more exciting or gradually introduce some educational activities. Your baby is more aware of the surroundings now and will interact more with you.
- nursery rhymes – around this time, we joined a baby group in our area where we would sing nursery rhymes. That’s also when I learned them all and started singing while at home.
- talking – start talking to your baby as early as you can! It will boost your baby’s language skills, and he’ll learn new words.
- make tummy time more attractive to your baby with this DIY Baby Play Mat
- reading books – even if you describe the images you see in the book, it’s super helpful for them. Plus, it’s a great way to start a good reading habit.
- sensory rooms – I took my son once when he was a baby, and we both loved it. He was fascinated by lava lamps, lights, and water tanks.
- baby groups – if you are in the UK, check out your local Children’s center or library; they have plenty of free baby and toddler groups
- Art Museum with baby – check out this article, which contains several tips from a museum educator for visiting an art museum with a baby.
- Sensory bins can be great activities for babies. This article includes several sensory bin FAQs, including a list of baby-safe sensory bin fillers.
- painting – let your little one explore art with a No Mess Painting activity
- finger play – don’t underestimate them! You can use them for singing, poetry, or keep your baby entertained by moving your fingers around. My son was mesmerized by fingers.
- floor play – by letting your baby play on the floor it will encourage them to start crawling
- rattles are a fantastic toy to develop their listening skills and learn more about musical instruments and sounds.
- teething toys are pretty self-explanatory – but besides being soothing to your baby’s gums, these are preparing their mouth muscles for chewing.
- tie balloons on your baby’s feet or hands, which will keep him entertained for a long time. Baby’s are mesmerized by anything that moves, so this is worth trying.
- water play – we used to have a water play mat, but you can also fill up a tray with some water and add some bath toys.
- sensory bottles – you can either use colored water or insert various things inside the bottles (rocks, felt, pipe cleaners, beads, etc.)
- lights, especially during Christmas
- under the umbrella sensory play – a fantastic DIY project
- super baby or airplane play – this used to be my son’s favorite thing to do – place baby on your legs and move them so that baby thinks he’s flying
- peek-a-boo is a trendy game that most parents
Baby activity ideas for 6 to 12 months old
It’s the age group where things get more exciting, and your baby is more involved and aware of his surroundings. Keep on reading to find out how to entertain your 6-month-old baby.
Are you looking for toys that are appropriate for 6-12 months old?
- 7 Amazing Toys your 6 months old really needs
- Educational Toys for 9 to 12 months old | My Son’s Favorites
- High chair “painting” is a fun and safe sensory activity little ones will love! Check out Food Color Painting or DIY Edible Paint to find out how to create your or edible paint.
- Boost your baby’s fine motor skills with DIY Fine Motor Skills Toy or DIY Fine Motor Toddler Activity with spiders
- bouncing and swaying – put the baby on your lap and start jumping your knees up and down. Another good idea is to swing your legs left and right, helping your baby keep his balance.
- tunnel play is a fantastic way to encourage crawling. You can easily create one with pillows or cardboard; alternatively, you can buy them online.
- push toys are a great way to encourage walking.
- encourage your little one to use clapping to express their happiness or when singing.
- blow bubbles – who doesn’t like them?
- sit-ups – help your little one strengthen those abs! Let your baby hold onto your finger and encourage him to sit up.
- hide and seek
- let your baby explore the kitchen cupboards – pots, pans, Tupperware, or kitchen utensils
- nature walk – it’s a great age for the littles to explore and walk on grass or play with leaves
- stacking cups
- window books – who doesn’t love them? My son’s 3 years old at the moment, and he still loves them.
- activity cube – the perfect opportunity for your baby to explore things.
Baby activity ideas for 12 to 18 months old
- use DIY Moon Sand to help your little one develop fine motor skills.
- Sensory Play – Colored Ice Cubes will keep any child entertained during warmer days.
- save the animals – place the animals on a floor or wall and then stick some duct tape on them. Your little one will be more than happy to “save” them.
- sorting activities – it can be anything you can think of .
- scooping – our favorite type of scooping was using rice.
- fit (anything) into containers – I used a plastic kitchen container, made some holes in the lid (big enough to fit a pom pom in it).
- water play
- match lids to bottles – I am sure you can find some bottles in your recycling bin.
- sensory bags or bins – very easy to put together with things you already have at home. You can create some based on a theme, colors, patterns, and so on.
- play doh activities
- alphabet flashcards or numbers
- stamping is another super fun activity for the little ones.
- finger painting – let your child have fun painting. It can get a little messy, but it’s just a phase, and he’ll get better, I promise.
- activities using an empty wipe box container – I added different fabrics for my son, but you can add other small toys.
- wooden puzzles
- stickers – we always have stickers lying around the house.
- clothes pins and a box or a container
- shaper sorting cube
- musical instruments such as a xylophone
- ring or cup stacking toys
- sponges & water – I am sure any child will LOVE this one, so it’s worth a try.
- practicing pouring – I added some food coloring to the water to make things more interesting. Be aware, though, your little one’s hands get colored after that.
- DIY cardboard box tunnel or house
- name objects in a picture book
- recognize family members in images.
There you have it! These are some of our top favorite baby activity ideas for kids from 0 to 18 months old. I hope you found this article helpful and don’t forget to check out the below articles.