The days of infancy are some of the most exciting days of parenthood. Your little one is learning tons of new things, from crawling and scooting around to the earliest babbling of “mama” and “dada.” Some days seem crazy with all the busy infant care, and you don’t have time to think. As time goes on, you will find yourself with a little more time to play and explore with your baby.

Figuring out infant play isn’t always the most intuitive thing. They don’t talk much and don’t quite get the intricacies of Monopoly at this age. However, there are tons of opportunities to play with your baby, even incorporating certain things into your everyday infant care routines. Here are five ways to play with your little one that encourage milestone development and perfectly complement our in-house infant classroom activities:

Favorite Infant Activities:

1. Peekaboo is a Classic

There’s a reason little ones love playing a rousing game of peekaboo – because they don’t yet have object permanence nailed down. Object permanence is the concept that even though you may not be able to see something, it still exists somewhere. Babies take a while to learn this, so peekaboo is truly an exciting, surprising concept. It also helps develop gross motor skills and encourages learning through play – one of our core learning objectives at Rising Stride Child Care Centers.

2. Grooving to Homemade Tunes

You don’t have to be a professional musician to start moving and grooving with your baby. Toy instruments are great, but you can also make homemade instruments – like a baby food jar filled with rice for a maraca or a simple cardboard box to play the drums. Listening to and making music is a great method of infant play because it helps them learn language and sounds. We love incorporating music into infant play simply because it makes everything more engaging and fun.

3. Sensory Play

Sensory activities help little ones learn by letting them explore and by activating all their senses. This is a really easy way to link together infant care tasks and playtime. Try adding a few small, waterproof toys to your baby’s bath in addition to tons of bubbles. They will have the time of their life splashing through bubbles to find their treasures, and bath time will be a piece of cake!

Some of our other favorite sensory activities are:

  • Fingerpainting
  • Smashing and tasting whipped cream
  • Playing in dry pasta or rice


4. Get Outside and Get Active

The outdoors isn’t just for older children; little ones can enjoy playing outside, too. Going outside is one of our favorite infant play secrets because it can reset a grumpy little one almost instantly. There are new sights, smells, and tons of things to discover, so it will give you a good amount of entertainment time.

5. Baby’s First Self-Reflection

There’s another industry secret that virtually all childcare professionals love: mirrors! Not only is it adorable to watch a baby discover that little cutie in the mirror, but it helps them develop social -emotional skills. This is a great way to add some spice to tummy time, an important infant care task.

Fun With Your Baby

Whether you choose to incorporate new playtime activities into your regular infant care routine, or you’re just hoping to continue the concepts they are learning at Rising Stride, infant play can truly become the best part of your day.