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Fun with Your Baby

Fun with Your Baby

Dad Reading

You teach your child about life as he or she grows up, every step of the way. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. And it can be lots of fun!

You can have fun with your baby in lots of different ways. Talking, reading, and playing with your baby are easy ways to have fun, develop a good relationship, and help your little one grow and develop. Learn what activities are good for what age, how to read your baby’s cues, and how moms and dads can be nurturing, responsible, playful, and caring teachers.

Play with Your Baby

What better way to learn than through games? For babies, “playtime” is their “work.” Play is how your baby learns about the world, learns skills, and develops imagination. Play also helps your baby learn how to interact with other people.

You can start playing games with babies as young as two months old. As your baby gets older, you can play different types of games. Learn more about how to play with your baby. Watch a video about how babies learn through playing.

Here’s a great way to learn how your baby is developing while you play together: take this quick online developmental screening survey!

Make Your Play Space Child-Friendly and Child-Safe.

Is the area safe to explore? Is there too much noise or other distractions? Is it a good place for the activity you’ve chosen, whether that’s running, throwing balls, or painting? You can prevent a tantrum or an accident by checking out your baby’s play space beforehand. Get some good ideas here.

Talk to Your Baby

Babies are great listeners, and talking to your baby is important for child development. Hearing you talk is the main way your baby will learn language. At the very beginning, you can point out things you see and sing songs—all easy ways to have a conversation with your baby. As your baby gets older, he or she will start to be able to respond—first with sounds, then by pointing and using words. Learn what to expect and get ideas for communicating at different stages here . Curious about how babies talk and communicate at different ages? Check out this website for signs of language development. Watch a video about how important it is to talk to your baby.

Learn Your Baby’s Cues

Babies are communicating with their parents from the minute they are born. Before your baby learns how to say words, it is your job to figure out what your baby is saying by reading your baby’s cues—like facial expressions, noises, body position, and gestures. Even without words, babies can tell you what activities they prefer, when they may be tired or hungry, and when they may need a break. Watch this video about how to recognize your baby’s cues.

Read to Your Baby

Reading to your baby is another way to help your baby develop language. Start with picture books and board books, ones that have colorful pictures or photographs. Your baby may have a few favorite books that you read over and over again, or you may choose some books you like to be part of your baby’s bedtime routine. Babies learn a lot when you read to them. At the library you can find free books and get help choosing what to read next to your baby.

Not used to reading out loud? Watch this short video about how to read with a baby so you both have fun!

Learn More

Find lots more great ideas for fun times with your baby at the Love.Talk.Play. website.

ParentMap is another great place to get ideas for games to play with your baby.

Learn how to choose toys for your toddler. For older kids, print out coloring pages, games, and more!

Does your family speak two languages at home? Learn more about how babies learn to be bilingual.

To learn more about what babies do at different ages, and get ideas for good games to play at every age, download and read more about your baby’s Milestone Moments.