Are you looking for some activity ideas to implement into your family’s daily routine?
Each week we will add a new activity page with a weekly selection of activity ideas to try at home. Discover previous Infant weekly activities using in the useful links section at the bottom of this page.
With the support of you their parent/carer all activities support your littles ones developmental journey whilst being fun and engaging.
Enjoy and have fun!
Activity 1 - Follow the Leader
Encourage your baby to take turns using this simple copying activity. Try starting with something your baby is already doing, for example, if you see your baby opening and closing their hand, join in. Be sure that they are able to see what you are doing. Then see what other things your baby can copy; can they tap the table, clap their hands, kick their feet or wave to you. Try to take turns.
You can always start simple, but can increase the challenge by adding different or more complex movements. Alternatively add laughter or make noises to see if your baby will respond, to support early attention and listening skills. Make sure you pay attention to your baby’s reactions, if they appear to be getting frustrated, take a break.
Activity 2 - Finger Painting
Squeeze a couple of different colors of washable finger paint into a ziplock bag. You can add an extra bag or tape for extra security. Spread the paint around to coat the inside of the bag. You can then place the bag in front of your baby during tummy time. If your baby is sitting up, you can attach the bag to a glass door at a low height, using tape. The light passing through the bag, will create an extra sensory experience.
Show your little one how to make marks on the outside of the bag with their hand or finger. You may have to hold their hand to help guide them initially. This is a great activity to promote motor skills and supports the development of muscles in the shoulders, arms and hands. Whilst also providing a new sensory experience for babies to explore.
To preserve your little one's artwork, simply cut the edges off the bag and then peel off the top of the bag, and lay flat to dry.
Activity 3 - Listen Along, Elmer
Activity 1 - Flying
Try gently laying your baby belly-down across your lap, and placing your hands around their midsection so they are fully supported. Then gently lift your baby up, watching for their reaction. If they seem calm and happy try slowly and carefully moving your baby up, down, back, and forth, like a rocket jetting into space. For extra giggles, add sound effects. Babies like the element of surprise and will learn through it.
This kind of activity will also allow them to see their environment from a new perspective, and will be a new sensory and movement experience.
Activity 2 - Puzzles
Support your babies perseverance and problem solving skills using wooden puzzles you may have at home. Puzzles with bright colours or interesting shapes will particularly appeal to baby.
Be sure to support your little one by showing and telling them what to do. You may need to guide their hands to help them put pieces in the correct place, or to turn pieces so they fit. Be sure to give lots of praise, clap and cheer when they are successful in placing a piece.
This can require a lot of patience, so make sure you and your little one are both in a happy and content mood, and stop if your baby seems tired or frustrated.
Activity 3 - Sing Along - Here is the Beehive
Activity 1 - Kicking
Encourage your baby to practice their kicking. Tuck some strips of tissue paper, paper, foil or a scarf under the cushion on a sofa or chair so that the material hangs down to the floor.Place baby on their back with bare feet against the material, and knees slightly bent. Ensure baby is comfortable, and that their head is supported.
You can encourage your baby to kick by rustling the material or brushing it gently against their feet.
This will provide some a new sensory experience for your baby and will get them using their lower muscles in their legs and feet, strengthening them in preparation for walking or crawling. It also helps your baby develop an awareness of their own body.
Additionally different materials will make different sounds which is another sense to explore.
Activity 2 - Light Show
Explore lights, use light up toys, LEDs or a torch. Allow your baby to explore the lights in different ways, while in a darkened room. For example a small torch (if you have one) can be placed in a coloured container (e.g. Tupperware) or plastic bottle; this will create different coloured lights for your baby to look at.
You can also try shining the lights at the floor, wall or ceiling or slowly moving the lights across a surface, stopping on objects and talking to your baby about the things they are seeing. This will encourage your child to remain interested and help to develop their attention.
Light up toys can also be explored. Try adding lights to tummy time by placing them in front of baby, closely supervising while baby grasps bangs and moves the lights. You can also try lying baby on their back so they can watch lights on the ceiling.
Using lights to play with your baby can be a calming sensory experience that you can share, which encourages visual stimulation and eye movement skills.
Activity 3 - Listen Along, Tallest Towers
Activity 1 - Sensory Basket
Try cutting up the tube from the middle of paper towels or toilet paper in to rings, and place into basket, box or a shallow pan for baby to explore.
Fill the basket or pan with the paper tube rings, and place it in front of your baby while they are in tummy time, propped on a pillow, or sitting on your lap with hands free to play. Encourage baby to push and bump their hands up against the rings or use the wall of the container to help her grasp them, to develop their motor skills.
Swap out the cut tubes with ribbon strips or other material to provide a different tactile sensation. (Always keep eyes on your baby and keep her within arm's reach when using ribbons.)
Activity 2 - Disapearing Objects
This activity requires a small object that can be hidden, and some opaque containers, plastic cups work well. Create your own version of the old-fashioned shell game by hiding your chosen object under a cup and seeing if your baby can find it.
Babies begin to develop object permanence between 4 and 7 months, this is the understanding that when they can no longer see an object, it is not gone forever. Before that when they can no longer see an object they believe it has completely disappeared. Helping your baby to develop object permanence is a big milestone.
You can also try using two different-colored cups, put the object under one cup, showing your baby clearly what you are doing, and move it around to see if your baby can remember which one was the hiding place. After the object has been found under the first cup, show them you are now putting it under the second cup and see if she remembers that the object has moved. This will encourage your baby to pay attention, and help develop their memory skills.
Activity 3 - Nursery Rhyme, Incy Wincy Spider
Incy Wincy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed poor Incy out
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain
So Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again
Incy Wincy spider climbed up the trees
Down came the snow and made poor Incy freeze. Brrr
Out came the sunshine and melted all the snow
So Incy Wincy spider had another go
The incy wincy spider climbed up the kitchen wall
Swoosh! went the fan, and made the spider fall
Off went the fan, no longer did it blow
So the incy wincy spider, back up the wall did go
The incy wincy spider, climbed up the rocking chair
Up jumped a cat, and knocked her in the air
Down plopped the cat, and when he was asleep
The incy winsy spider, back up the chair did creep
The incy wincy spider, Climbed up without a stop
She spun a silky web, right at the very top
She wove and she spun, and when her web was done
The incy wincy spider, rested in the sun
Activity 1 - Baby Sit Ups - Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Baby sit ups support head control and help muscle development. If your baby has good head control, lay them on their back, place your hands under their arms, and gently guide your baby into a sitting position. As your baby develops and gains muscle tone and strength, do these sit-ups by holding their hands and slowly bringing them to sit. Your baby’s muscles will strengthen over time when used repetitively. As your baby’s muscles develop they may begin trying to pull themselves up.
Make sure you are slow and gentle and watch for your baby’s reaction during this activity. The first time you do it you may want to try it just once to see if your baby likes it.
Singing row, row, row your boat as you are bringing your baby back and forwards.
Activity 2 - Visual Tracking
Encourage baby to follow an object with their eyes and hands to support the development of visual tracking skills. Use a small soft colorful toy, try a puppet, stuffed animal or small sponge ball. While your baby is lying on their back, hold the toy in front of their face and, if needed, wiggle it slowly or gently touch them with it to get their attention. Then move the toy from side to side, and encourage your baby to follow along with their eyes.
Extend this activity by seeing if your baby can try to reach for and grasp the moving object, you can gently brush the object against your babies hand to try and encourage this.
Activity 3 - Storytime, Smelly Louie