Infant Play

What can I do to help promote play in my infant?

While all children are different and may enjoy different toys and interactions, the following are suggestions for activities and toys for the infant:

Birth to 1 month:

  • hang brightly colored objects near your infant
  • hang black and white mobiles

What you can do as a parent:

  • sing and talk to your infant
  • play music
  • rock your infant, take him/her for walks

2 to 3 months:

  • likes bright objects
  • enjoys pictures and mirrors
  • likes rattles
  • enjoys infant swing
  • enjoys car rides

What you can do as a parent:

  • sing and talk to your infant
  • play music
  • rock your infant, take him/her for walks

4 to 6 months:

  • likes brightly-colored objects
  • likes to hold toys
  • enjoys rattles or bells
  • likes to splash in the bath
  • likes swings and strollers

What you can do as a parent:

  • talk to your infant
  • encourage your infant to crawl and sit by placing him/her on the floor

6 to 9 months:

  • enjoys large toys with bright colors that move
  • likes to play peek-a-boo

What you can do as a parent:

  • call your infant by name
  • speak clearly to your child and encourage different sounds
  • name body parts, foods, and people
  • tell your infant simple commands
  • play pat-a-cake
  • begin saying words that tell what you are doing
  • encourage your infant to crawl by placing toys beyond his/her reach

9 to 12 months:

  • enjoys looking at books
  • likes hearing sounds of animals
  • enjoys large toys that can be pushed and pulled

What you can do as a parent:

  • take your infant to different places and outings
  • play ball with your infant
  • read to your infant
  • tell your infant names of body parts

Toys for infants:

  • birth to 6 months:
    • mobiles
    • mirrors that will not break
    • music boxes
    • bells and rattles
    • stuffed animals
    • swings

  • 6 to 12 months:
    • blocks
    • brightly colored toys
    • books
    • balls
    • cup and spoon
    • jack-in-the-box
    • rattles
    • teething toys
    • toys that can be pushed and pulled

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