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10 Fun Games for Baby’s First Year

Fun baby games that can boost your child's skills and development don't need to be complicated. In fact, they shouldn't be. You may even find that many of the best games you can play with your child to help her learn about the world around her are what you already do naturally.

To help you and baby get the most out of playtime, make sure that you recognize signs your little one is sending that indicate when it's time to play. These signals might include:

  • Watching you or other people with interest
  • Reaching out for you
  • Smiling

It's also important to recognize when your infant has had enough baby games and needs a break. These signs might include:

  • Crying
  • Spitting up
  • Looking away

To help your baby have fun, bond with you, and learn about the world, try playing the following 10 development games. You may also want to come up with your own variations or combine games when you sense baby is ready for an additional challenge.

Peek-a-Boo With Baby

One of the best baby games to play with infants is also one of the easiest. Simply hide your face behind your hands and then move your hands away while you say, "Peek-A-Boo!"

Until babies are around 9 months old, they don't realize that you're still there when your face is covered. So your child will be fascinated by your disappearing and reappearing act. This baby game may even help your child become more comfortable in the world when she realizes that you'll come back even when you "go away."

After your child begins to understand the game more, he may try to "find" you by reaching for your hands when you hide. Try playing this development boosting game to make tasks like changing diapers and getting dressed more fun for you and baby.

Mommy See, Mommy Do

Just as you can read baby's signals to know when to play baby games, you can take your lead on how to play from your little bundle of joy.

For example, if your baby is vocalizing with "coos" and "ga-gas," try imitating your baby's sounds. That will help your baby develop a foundation for conversation skills. Likewise, when baby smiles, smile back. This will help your baby develop self-confidence as he realizes that you're having fun and enjoying his company.

Dance Around

All babies need plenty of cuddling time to help them feel secure and build emotional attachments to the important people in their lives.

Try dancing around with baby to foster bonding and to respond to your baby's needs. If she's in a playful mood, do a gentle, silly jig together to get her laughing. If your baby's tired or upset, she might prefer a slow dance around the room to help her calm down with motion.

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