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Baby with stacking toy


From honing their fine motor skills to developing social skills, babies learn through play. Here are five entertaining and easy games for you to play with your baby

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Let’s play…Mini musician


Suitable from: As soon as your baby can hold a rattle, at around five months

What you’ll need: Any toy than makes a noise when shaken or bashed

How to play: Time to warm up your singing voice. Pick a simple tune and shake your ‘instruments’ in time to the beat

What your baby will learn: Rhythm, which helps with language development, but there are other benefits, too. In ‘counting out’ a beat, your baby is getting their first taste of maths, and in moving the toy, the game helps teach cause and effect and exercises little arms


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Let’s play… ‘Where’s Teddy?’


Suitable from: Around eight month

What you’ll need: A small soft toy and a muslin

How to play: Introduce the toy to your baby to make sure it has their attention, then hide it under the muslin, so they can see you do it, and ask baby, ‘Where’s teddy?’. Your baby should find it, but if not bring it back just to prove it hasn’t disappeared, then repeat

What your baby will learn: This game helps babies understand ‘object permanence’ – the knowledge that things still exist even when you can’t see them. Babies only fully grasp this when they’re around 18-24 months old, which is why they can get upset when you leave the room


Shop soft toys

Let’s play… Pass the ball


Suitable from: Around nine months

What you’ll need: A ball, car or push-along toy

How to play: Sit a short distance away from your baby and pass the ball to their hands before encouraging baby to pass it back (though, they may prefer to keep it!). As your baby gets bigger and can roll the ball more accurately, move farther away to keep the game challenging

What your baby will learn: Ball games help with gross motor skills and coordination. Progress to kicking the ball back and forth once baby is steady on their feet


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Let’s play… Watch the birdie


Suitable from: Five months+, when your babies’ eye movement and control are better developed

What you’ll need: Any small toy your baby loves

How to play: Focus your baby’s attention on the toy then ‘fly’ it through the air, encouraging your baby to follow the toy with their eyes.

What your baby will learn: This game helps with visual tracking, coordination and depth perception (the ability to see in 3D).


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Let’s play… Tower builders


Suitable from: Around 12 months

What you’ll need: Building blocks or a stacking toy

How to play: Encourage your baby to pile up the blocks as high as they can, in helping they can see what is expected and understand how to take turns

What your baby will learn: Picking up the blocks helps with fine motor skills. This game will also help your baby’s hand-eye coordination and, if you play, too, giving and receiving


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