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10 Fun Games for Baby’s First Year

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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.

Sing-a-Song

Babies love music, from soothing lullabies to rhythmic drums and silly ditties. Even if you don't think you can carry a tune, baby will love for you to sing to him and it will help you deepen the parent-child bond.

Give your baby the opportunity to listen to a variety of different types of music. Based on how he responds (Does he coo? Wriggle around? Smile?), you'll probably be able to determine his favorite kind of music.

Songs don't even need to be "real" songs to make for a development boosting game. Make up a tune about what you're doing as you give baby a bath or walk through the park. The exposure to language will help your child build his vocabulary.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on August 23, 2014
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