15 Baby Games: A Guide for Parents, Educators, and Nannies

Babies need adults for more than changing diapers, feeding, and holding them before bed. Although it seems that everything revolves around these basic needs during their first days of life, the truth is that you also have to entertain them. And not just to pass the time, games for newborn babies will help them in their cognitive and motor development. So take note because here are the 15 best ideas!

15 Best Baby Games Ideas for Parents, Educators, and Nannies

The games newborns are very important. Entertaining a newborn helps the babysitter and the parents have a good time, but also because the game serves to stimulate the child’s psychomotor development.

Baby Games

If you are a new mother, you will love doing something fun with your baby, beyond changing his diaper, giving him a bottle or breast. If you are a babysitter or babysitter or want to specialize as a newborn baby sitter, these baby activities will complete your skills.

Keys to choosing the best games for newborn babies

How to play with a 1-week old baby? How to stimulate my newborn baby? These are common questions that all mothers ask themselves. Playing with a newborn baby or an older child is fun for him and you as long as the activities are according to his developmental level. This maxim applies not only to babies but to all children in general. In this way, on our blog, we always classify game selections by age. You will find a complete list with hundreds of ideas at the end of this article.

So, below, we offer you activities to do with a newborn and other games for babies classified by months of age.

Games for babies from 0 to 3 months

In this period, from 0 to 3 months, the baby’s sight begins to develop. Children see best when they look at things out of the corner of the eye (peripheral vision) up to three months of age, then develop the central vision. After three months, they will begin to look at their hands and will be able to follow an object with circular movements.

Also, at this stage, the newborn baby recognizes the voice of the mother and those who care for him. So, between one feed and another, and the diaper change, you can play with it. We propose these activities to stimulate a newborn :

1. Follow the Object

With the child lying on his back, move a small, colorful object in front of his eyes from left to right and vice versa. If necessary, gently touch the child or make a small sound to get their attention. It is one of the simplest games for newborn babies but also the most stimulating.

2. Make Faces

Face the baby, and the child should always be on his back. Stick out your tongue, smile, make a thousand expressions of joy that the little one can see, and “learn.”

3. The Plane

This is one of the most fun newborn baby sitter games. Keep the baby face down on your arm, supporting him with the other hand so that his neck and torso are stable. Slowly rock it up and down, like an airplane ready for take-off. Add funny sounds that simulate flight and even nursery rhymes. The child will be delighted to see the world from another perspective.

Games for babies from 3 to 6 months

In this stage, the baby begins to integrate what he sees with the stimuli that come from the other senses: taste, hearing, and touch. The child’s brain is also capable of distinguishing several hundred words when listening to them. These are the activities for the psychomotor development of babies from 3 to 6 months:

4. Relaxing Massage

This is one of the early stimulation activities for babies that will also promote their rest. In a quiet moment, put your baby down on a soft blanket in a warm and cozy environment. Then begin gently massaging the legs, arms, and tummy. Accompany the movements of your hands by humming a children’s song or a relaxing lullaby. Fun for both of you, right? It can become a daily routine and one of the best newborn baby games.

5. Pull Out Muscle

When the baby is awake and calm, place him on his stomach. This position will help you strengthen the muscles in your neck and back. These types of games to stimulate the baby are great if you add a mirror. Place the mirror in front of him: it will encourage him to get up to see himself reflected.

We recommend that you accompany their efforts with words and smiles. But above all, when you see him tired, turn him on his back. A lot of attention! We take this opportunity to remind you that newborns should never sleep on their stomachs, as we explained in our article on how to get children to sleep.

6. Dancing Stuck

This is one of the activities for babies from 3 to 6 months that will make you feel more attached to the child. Put the music on not too loud, hold the baby against you, and start dancing (without too much shaking!). The child will associate music with the sensation of movement and close to you, and he will feel comfortable and safe. It is one of the best ways to strengthen the ties between you. Stimulating newborns is that simple and wonderful.

Games for babies: activities from 6 to 12 months

At this stage, the child will learn to sit and stand, even standing, holding on to an object. Also, he knows how to coordinate the thumb and other fingers to hold the bottle with his hand or grasp small objects at this age. Here language begins to develop as it associates sounds with their meaning. These are the activities for babies from 6 to 9 months that will benefit their psychomotor and cognitive development.

7. Catch the Toy

This is one of the best- performing 6-month -old early stimulation exercises. Sit next to your child on a comfortable rug. Gather a whole series of objects and toys (stuffed animals, softballs, etc.) at your fingertips. Instead of putting the objects in his hands, move them away a bit so that he is encouraged to move forward to try to reach them.

8. The Boy in the Box

A simple cardboard box can become one of the best toys for a 6-month-old baby. This time, instead of putting the baby on the rug, put him inside a box! Choose a cardboard box with low edges and let the child sit there. Put the toys around, within easy reach. However, you will have to make an effort to get out of the box. It is one of the most fun indoor games for toddlers.

9. The Cuckoo

It is one of the most popular games for entertaining young children. Almost all of us have played at some point, from one side or another. But what you surely did not know is that, through this type of game for newborn babies, the child learns that even if you disappear from their sight, you will return. Hence the importance of this activity. The baby will know that even if you are not in his field of vision, you have not disappeared forever.

When they are so young, the idea is to play with a handkerchief or cover your face with your hands, and you do not need to hide. You will see that, by repeating this activity several times, the baby will learn that people return when they leave. It is a good way to begin to overcome the separation anxiety in babies, typical of this age.

When they are so young, the idea is to play with a handkerchief or cover your face with your hands, and you do not need to hide. You will see that, by repeating this activity several times, the baby will learn that people return when they leave. It is a good way to begin to overcome the separation anxiety in babies, typical of this age. 

Activities for children from 9 to 12 months

In the three months before its first birthday, the baby is no longer a “newborn.” And, in fact, he knows how to interpret words, gestures, expressions of those who care for him. You have memories of past events, and you know how to control your emotions a little better. From a motor point of view, he can sit without support, probably already crawls, and has learned to stand up with the help of objects and get up. From eight to ten months, he responds to simple commands and is able to say “hello” with his hand or “blow a kiss.” 

These ideas to play with children at home for children from 9 to 12 months will love: 

10. What Is This?

This is one of the best games to stimulate speech in babies. At the same time, you are putting on the pajamas or after the bath, touch and go naming the parts of the body: the gut, the nose, the forehead, the leg. Name as you touch them. Then ask the child: what is this? Then answer for him. He is already learning. Finally, ask him to touch his belly or his head. You will be surprised!

11. Cookware

At this age, the baby does not need big things to play with. The home games for fun at home, simple and inexpensive, are the best. Especially when each object is still a world to discover, always under your supervision, let the child open a low closet and explore. Check before doing it in content: pans, lids, wooden or plastic spoons will be harmless (always being close to you).

The risks in this stage in which they begin to crawl should be avoided with protective measures on low furniture within reach. We recommend that you take a look at our guide on preventing childhood accidents at home, it will be very useful. 

12. His First Constructions

This is one of the classic baby toys par excellence. We already recommend it in our article on original gifts for one-year-olds. Simple building blocks, large to avoid choking, will delight the little ones. At first, he will throw them away, but little by little, you will see that he will begin to associate shapes and build. Welcome to the world of construction, the most open and creative game there is!

Montessori games for babies

From Montessori pedagogy, which develops the child’s learning instinct and autonomy, we get many ideas about how to play with a newborn. Through this method, we can design homemade Montessori games for babies. With everyday objects, we will help the little one to discover his abilities and the world. In games for newborn babies, the adult will have the role of spectator. Thus, the child can play alone, facilitating their own autonomy.

13. Montessori Mobile

Inspired by the name of its inventor, Gianna Gobbi, the Giostrina is one of our favorite Montessori games for babies. It is especially suitable for children from 2 to 3 months. However, it can be found within newborn baby games since you can leave it placed in its crib from birth. You can build this crib mobile yourself.

Attach five balls, covered with woolen threads of the same color, but of different shades, to a horizontal support. The balls should be hung at different heights, from 10 to 30 cm. The Gobbi mobile is useful for stimulating color vision and depth perception.

14. Multi-sensory Panel

Indicated from 6 months, when the child begins to remain seated. What better way to entertain a baby than to sit him in front of a panel specially designed for him? Take a look at the photo for inspiration. Glue different objects to a wooden plank. The important thing is that the selected objects’ shape and materials stimulate all their senses (and that the child cannot detach or swallow them). Wheels, doorbells, switches, rough or smooth textures, marbles, and colored ribbons look at the options.

15. Basket of Treasures

Finally, the quintessential classic of Montessori games to make at home: the treasure basket. Too easy. You need wicker or wooden basket, full of simple objects, made of natural materials and different shapes. Avoid sharp objects, screws, or small parts. Sponges, soft brushes, wooden or metal spoons, as well as fabrics of different textures, are perfect. The child will take everything at first and throw it away. Don’t try to stop him! He will put the objects in his mouth, and he will taste everything. This set is suitable for babies from 6 to 18 months. 

Was our article on games for newborn babies helpful to you? If you have any other ideas or suggestions, share them with our community via the comment section!