18 Baby Activities
for 0-3 Months

baby activities

A variety of fun, creative baby activities you and your newborn can enjoy together. Help your child discover new skills while bonding with you. 

This first stage of life is marked by mostly uncontrollable movements and reflexes. As the child ages, these involuntary movements make way for more deliberate movements in just a few months.

By playing some of these baby games, you can help your baby form some important neural connections, lay a foundation upon which to build future skills, and introduce your child to the world around him.

Your infant is limited in what she can actually do in these early months, but there are definitely some excellent games you can play with her. As she gets older, there are a lot more activities she'll be able to do.



However, even after your baby develops past these games, I would highly recommend continuing with some because babies love them. 

The infant activities are divided by age, but the breakdown is somewhat arbitrary because babies develop at different rates. You might want to browse through all of the baby activities to find those that interest you. 

Milestones in stages of child development

stages of child development


3-6 Month Olds
6-9 Month Olds
9-12 Month Olds

Anytime you can sing or talk to your baby during the activities, do it. It's soothing to infants to hear your voice and listen to songs, and it also helps in their language development as they begin to associate objects to words.

And just as important, anytime your baby makes an effort and does something good, pour on the praise! 

Baby Games

Your baby will enjoy motion and the opportunity to get out of her horizontal position. As she moves around with you, she will start to develop a sense how her body orients itself in space.

*Many of these infant activities are adapted from ideas found in a wonderful book, Games to Play with Babies by Jackie Silberg. She has authored a variety of books about baby and toddler games.

Circle Walk
Rock & Roll
Target Practice
Soft Stroke
Texture Glove
Finger Play

Hold On
Heads Up
Kick It
Roll Over
Find the Noise
Surprise!

Buzzing Bee
Mirror, Mirror
How Pretty
Track It
Feet Up!
Hands Up!

Baby Activities #1
Circle Walk

  • Hold baby and walk in a circle.
  • Walk at different speeds – slow, fast, run.
  • Change the size of the circle.
  • Walk in different ways - backwards, on tiptoes, sway, gallop, skip.
  • Dance and spin while you walk.
  • Sing while you walk.
  • Move in time with music. 

Baby Activities #2
Rock & Roll

  • Sit on the floor and hold baby in your lap.
  • Gently sway from side to side, rock back and forth, and twist side to side.
  • Hold baby on your chest and lay back, roll side to side.
  • Sit in a chair that spins and twirl slowly. 
  • Sit in a rocking chair and rock.
Fisher-Price Infant-To-Toddler Rocker

Baby Activities #3
Target Practice

  • Attach a variety of balls and colorful objects to strings. Use objects of different sizes, textures, and colors.
  • Use anything that is lightweight and will move easily when hit - balloons, ribbons, yarn balls, wiffle balls, paper plates, scarves.
  • Hold them above baby while he's lying on floor, so he can bat at them with his hands or kick at them with his feet. 

Baby Activities #4
Soft Stroke

  • Stroke baby with a variety of soft objects – blanket, feather, cotton ball, silk cloth.
  • Pay attention to baby's response to each item to find the ones he enjoys the most.
  • Touch all parts of body, naming each part as you stroke it.
  • Stroke slowly and then faster.

Baby Activities #5
Texture Glove

  • Cover an old glove with different textures of material.
  • Attach items like buttons, velvet, sponge, blanket, wool, stockings, etc. that will provide different tactile experiences.
  • Put a different fabric or item on each finger.
  • Put the glove on and touch baby's feet and hands with different textures.
Bright Starts Start Your Senses Sensory Giraffe

Baby Activities #6
Finger Play

  • Play with your baby's fingers to help her explore what they can do.
  • Encourage her to open and close her fists by giving her toys to grasp and shake.
  • Help him wiggle his fingers fast and slow.
  • Mover her fingers to touch different parts of her body and name the parts as she touches them.
  • Count his fingers as you hold each one.
  • Massage and tap fingers in rhythm as you sing.

Baby Activities #7
Hold On

  • Help baby sit up and hold a small toy in front of her.
  • Touch the inside of her hand with it and help her grasp it by folding her fingers around it.
  • Remove your hand and see how long she can hang on to it by herself. She will only be able to hold it a few seconds at best before dropping it.
  • Repeat the activity with her other hand. Over time, she will become stronger and gain the ability to hold on to it with both hands.
  • Try toys of different sizes and textures – soft, hard, cool, smooth, tiny, square, round.

Baby Activities #8
Heads Up

  • Lie on your back and lay baby on your stomach facing you.
  • Call his name, sing to him, and talk to him to encourage him to lift his head to look at you.
  • Lay baby on the floor on her tummy and hold bright, colorful, and sound-making objects in front of her so she will be motivated to lift her head to see them.

Baby Activities #9
Kick It

  • Lay baby on her back and put items at her feet like stuffed animals, squeaky toys, your hand, a pillow, or anything else she can safely and comfortably kick.
  • Make sure it's a texture she likes so she won't try to avoid touching it.
Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym, Discover 'N Grow

Baby Activities #10
Roll Over

Boppy Tummy Time Pillow, Honeybee 123
  • Lay baby on his back and get his attention by holding a toy above his face. 
  • Slowly move the toy to one side and encourage baby to grab for it. If he rolls over, reward him by giving it to him.
  • Repeat activity to the other side.
  • Provide a gentle push if baby isn't able to roll over completely on his own. 
  • The more you play this game, the sooner the baby will realize he can turn over by herself.

Baby Activities #11
Find the Noise

  • Shake a rattle, beat a drum, play a musical note or make some other kind of noise in different locations of the room.
  • Locate the sounds on either side of the baby's head, behind her, above her and below her.
  • Make the noise softer and louder, faster and slower.
  • Hide sounds under and behind objects.
  • Baby will search for the noise with her eyes. 

Baby Activities #12
Surprise!

Bleach Kon Squeaky Plush
  • Put a squeaky toy in baby's hand.
  • She'll grasp it out of reflex and most likely be startled when it squeaks.
  • This is a great way to learn cause and effect. Keep giving her the toy and soon she'll realize she's making it squeak.

Baby Activities #13
Buzzing Bee

  • Hold a finger in the air and move it around while making a buzzing sound like a bee.
  • Baby's eyes will follow the movement and sound of the bee. 
  • Make the bee land somewhere on your baby and give a tickle.
  • Give baby a chance to be the bee. Hold her finger and move it around in the air and land it on different parts of your body.

Baby Activities #14
Mirror, Mirror

Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! 1-2-3 Crawl Along Snail
  • Prop baby up on his tummy on a pillow, so he can keep his head up and look around.
  • Prop up a mirror in front of him, so he can watch himself.
  • Lie down next to your baby so he can see both of your faces in the mirror.
  • Place interesting items in front of mirror and let him watch them.

Baby Activities #15
How Pretty

  • Put a colorful sock on your baby's foot, and move her foot so she can see it. 
  • Put the sock on the other foot or put on both feet.
  • Put one of the socks on the baby's hand.
  • The movement and bright colors should attract her attention and make her excited.

Baby Activities #16
Track It

  • Move a flashlight beam around in a dark room so your baby can follow the light with her eyes.
  • Shine it on the ceiling, floor, and wall.
  • Shine it on different objects in the room.
  • Shine it on other family members or pets.
  • Shine it on your baby's hands and feet.
  • Shine it on different parts of your body.

Baby Activities #17
Feet Up!

  • Lay your baby on his back with legs up.
  • Hold your baby's legs at the ankles and move his legs in a variety of patterns.
  • Change the speed and size of the movements.
  • Move to the rhythm of music.
  • Bicycle – flex and extend legs alternately like he's pedaling a bike.
  • Resistance – push gently on one leg at a time and on both legs together until his knees bend to encourage him to push back.
  • Straddles – open legs out to the sides.
  • Scissors – with legs straight, move legs up and down in opposite directions like a pair of scissors.
  • Flex & extend – with one leg at a time or both legs, bend and straighten his legs.
  • Straight leg kick – with legs straight, extend legs up and down at the waist.
  • Circles – with one leg at a time or both legs together, extend legs and move them about in a circle. Move them together in one circle, or move each in its own circle. Move the circles in the same direction or move them in opposite directions.
  • Foot tap – tap bottom of his feet with your hands.
  • Count toes – touch each toe as you count it.
  • Walk & run – move legs in a slow-motion walking pattern and then speed it up to running.
  • Body cross - touch right foot to the left foot and then touch left to right. Then touch one foot to the hand on the opposite side.

Baby Activities #18
Hands Up!

Canvas 10in Square Handprint Kit with Paint, Brushes and Stickers, Set of 4
  • Lay baby on her back with her hands up.
  • Hold her arms and move them in a variety of patterns.
  • Change the speed and size of your movements, move to rhythm.
  • Claps – clap her hands together.
  • Flex & extend – with one arm at a time or both at once, bend and straighten arms. Bend them alternately or bend them together.
  • Side stretch – with one arm at a time or both at once, stretch arms out to the sides and then bring them together to the chest.
  • Snow angel – with both arms extended at her sides, fan her arms up and down against the floor like she's making a snow angel.
  • Head stretch – with one arm at a time or both together, extend arms up above the head and back down again.
  • Circles – with one arm at a time or both arms together, extend arms and move them about in a circle. Move them together in one circle, or move each in its own circle. Move the circles in the same direction or move them in opposite directions.
  • Count fingers – touch each finger as you count it.
  • Finger stretch – rub her palm against yours to gently stretch out her fingers.
  • Body cross - touch right arm to the left arm and then touch left to right. Then touch one hand to the foot on the opposite side.
  • Bear hugs - lay a stuffed animal on baby's chest and wrap baby's arms around it to give it a hug.
  • Finger grasp - let her grasp your fingers while you raise your arms. If she can hang on, lift her up to sitting and then lay her back down. 
  • Hand tap – hold hands and tap on different objects.

Tips:

  • Take your time with each activity. Don't rush.
  • Provide plenty of praise when your baby is successful.
  • Talk to your baby and sing during activities whenever possible.
  • Make sure baby is alert and awake.

For a Twist:

  • Add music and perform actions to different rhythms.
  • Play games in different environments and rooms.
  • Prop baby in different positions on a variety of objects - in stroller, baby seat, on pillows, bean bag chair.

If you're interested in baby activities, you might also be interested in:

Toddler games
Preschool activities



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