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10 Fun Games for Baby’s First Year

Patty Cake

"Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can. Pat it and roll it and mark it with 'B.' And put it in the oven for baby and me." This well-known clapping game may seem silly, but it's a great way to help your baby develop a number of important skills.

First, the rhythm and repetitiveness of the tune will help baby develop language skills. Additionally, the feel of your touch as you gently clap your hands against his in time to the rhyme will help stimulate his sense of touch. As baby gets older, he'll probably try to imitate the movements you're making with your hands, which will help him develop his large motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Where's Your Nose?

Want to work on developing language skills and make baby giggle at the same time? Then this silly, simple baby game is perfect for you.

To help boost your baby's development, ask, "Where's your nose?" in a singsong voice. Then gently touch your baby's nose as you say "There's your nose!" with great delight. Repeating this game and playing it with different parts of baby's body or nearby objects will help your baby start to learn the meaning of different words.

Fabric Fun With Baby

When baby is little, the world is a vast sea of new sensory experiences. The best development games provide ways for your infant to explore his environment safely.

Watch how your baby plays when you give him pieces of fabric with different textures -- such as burlap, corduroy, satin, and velvet -- to handle. The variety of textures will intrigue and interest him. At the same time, holding pieces of fabric and waving them around will help build muscle strength and coordination.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

There's a reason baby rattles are so popular. Not only do they help baby develop, but they're great fun to play with, too.

When baby is little, try shaking her rattle as she watches you. You can then move it out of her sight and continue to rattle it after you're sure you have her attention. Pretty soon, she'll turn her head in an attempt to find the source of the rattling.

Rhyme Time

Babies love to listen to the voices of people they know, and they're also intrigued by repetitive sounds. Give your baby the opportunity to hear both by regularly saying nursery rhymes or other kid-friendly rhyming poems.

You can have rhyme time anytime -- in the bath, during snuggle time, or when you're riding in the car. These are all perfect opportunities to entertain baby and boost language skills.

Baby Has a Ball

Yes indeed, you can play ball with baby long before your newborn is able to catch and throw.

To keep things interesting, find a ball designed for infants that has different textures and colors to keep their interest. First, try giving the ball to your baby and see what she tries to do. You can show her different ways to play by gently rolling the ball or putting it in a container. As she develops muscle tone and learns more about how the world works, she'll start to imitate you and come up with her own games.

WebMD Medical Reference

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