Now your baby is bigger and stronger, he is a more alert and active one. Probably he developed some routine, and maybe not, but sure he will be awake for longer periods of time during the day. Time to play and develop motor, intellectual, language and social skills.
Don’t forget each baby meets his milestones at his own pace, each baby is unique. To play with your baby you need to take into consideration the acquired skills at this stage. Here is an overview on what happens from 3-6 months:
- Follows moving objects
- Recognizes familiar people
Fine and gross motor skills:
- Plays with toes
- Brings hands to his mouth
- Having early hand-eye coordination
- Reaches with his both hands and grasp things with his fingers
- Rolls from tummy to back and otherwise
- Raises head and chest when on tummy
- Can push up to elbows
- Can bear his weight on his feet (stands up)
- Can sit supported
- May begin teething
- Smiles socially
- Laughs for you at play time
- Expresses unhappiness when hungry or need to change
- Turns to sounds
- Recognizes his name
- Babbles and coos to grab attention
- Expresses happiness to a song he likes
Below are some ideas on how to entertain your baby and make benefit out of this play time. Follow their readiness and abilities to enjoy these activities:
- Reaching high for toys, can be done positioned flat on his back to reach toys dangling from the mobile or baby gym or when seated in his swing.
- Peekaboo and funny faces (lets be honest and call it silly faces), are always fun and entertaining. Your baby started to develop a sense of humor. He laughs at pleasant surprises, such as your face appearing from underneath a blanket or a toy popping out of a box. Encourage your baby’s laugh and enjoy their priceless giggles. Till now i am all in tears when he really laughs hard. My heart melts for him.
- Call his name every time you talk to him or about him to learn his own identity. I even change some words in a song to say his name 😉
- Grasping toys, while encouraging tummy time. Prop your baby on his tummy, (in the beginning you can help by placing him on a rolled a soft towel, later he will be able to do it by himself when his muscles are stronger), place few toys around and give him a space to reach for toys with his free hands.
- Mirror play, babies love seeing and discovering their reflections, and as they grow you can point out parts in the face and name them to help his language skills for later.
- Music is an effortless entertainment, you can always take advantage when tired or have something to do at home. I mean by music not just playing music in the room, at this age your baby wants to be involved and discover. Hand him a toy that produces music (like a rattle for example) or a toy that sings and tells stories (usually they come in cute animal shapes) . This way you develop as well their tactile, motor and language skills.
- Making sounds is the most spontaneous play parents always do. I guess it comes by instinct, simply clicking your tongue, whistling, or making animal noises, clapping… By the end of the 5th month, your baby’s communication skills start expanding rapidly, you will hear lots of squeals and babbling. These produced sounds are a response to his feelings such as happiness or excitement. Baby babbles at this stage are one syllable repeated such as ba, ma, ga… few will add another syllable. Encourage your baby babbling back by imitating animals sounds and lay good foundations for more developed language skills at a later stage.
- Activity toys such as exersaucer, walker, jumperoo and music station.. you find lots of these activity stations from all brands. This type of activity most parents think they don’t need to get involved in it as the baby can discover by himself. In contrary i believe when parents get down on the floor near them and explain verbally what they see or hear will double the fun and benefits!
- Going outdoors is such a fun activity for your baby, especially if you get the chance to go to parks or beach and expose your baby to new sights and sounds. Such surroundings are so much beneficial to your kids health plus they make them more relaxed and happy.
Finally a one to one play is always recommended without toys or objects, simply the mother or father can do:
- Bouncing in the air
- Pull and exercise their arms and feet
- Roll them on tummy and back
- Make funny sounds and faces
- Tickle and shower them with kisses
- Extend bath time to enjoy the water splash
- Massage their feet and toes
- Telling stories
- Hold your baby in your arms and dance to a nice music
As i always say, you shouldn’t be a pedagogue or take coaching courses, trust your motherhood instinct and follow your heart. You are a great mother by nature 🙂