When Willow was first born I would sit and wonder what kind of games you can play with such a tiny little creature.
I couldn’t fathom how you would play with someone who couldn’t play back, but as time has gone by I have become more and more comfortable playing games with her. It takes a bit of creativity and imagination, but there are many games or activities you can do that will help your child with their development and are fun for both of you. Here are a few of our favourites:
This is a bit of a no brainer – talk to your baby! But be sure to leave breaks in the chatter like you would in a real conversation. Also try and allow your baby time to respond. This game will teach them that conversations are give and take. I always pretend Willow is telling me a story. To such an extent that when I ask her to tell me a story she launches into baby babble. It’s very cute!
We’re trying to learn object permanence right now and Peek-a-boo is a real winner, but its taken a while to get to a point where Willow plays back. I kept trying every now and again until I got a response. Not it’s a lot of fun. We play with the towel at bath time, with a blanket during car rides and with her crawling tunnel. I put her at one end of the tunnel and go to the other where I pop my head in and say boo! This always elicits tons of giggles.
I raised an eye brow sceptically when I was told to blow bubbles for my 5 month old. I mean really? But it works! Willow loves bubbles! She will watch them float down and pop with avid fascination. Now she’s even trying to catch them. When all the bubbles have burst she looks at me and flaps her arms demanding I blow more.
Hide and seek
Hide and seek requires thinking outside the box when they’re this small. Try partially hiding a toy under a blanket for the baby to find. Another great way to play is to ‘hide’ balls or toys under a clear plastic bowl (I use the one from the salad spinner) and let the baby figure out how to get them out. It keeps Willow occupied for a while although sometimes she needs a little help to lift the bowl.
Good old nursery rhymes are a real winner. Willow loves the ones with an element of surprise such as Pop Goes the Weasel, This Little Piggy and This is the Way a Lady Rides. I try and build up the anticipation even more by changing the tone or volume of my voice, giving a big pause before going “wee, wee, wee! All the way home!” or “Pop goes the weasel!” We get huge smiles and giggles.