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Learning Games for Babies to Play at Parenting Playdate Playgroups

Babies learn by exploring the world around them. They don’t need online games; they need real objects to put into their hands and mouth. They need to be able to move and be adventurous.

These learning games for babies to play can be used to keep baby and mom, dad, or grandparents entertained at a parenting playgroup meeting. Don’t make it too busy however. Choose only one activity, or maybe combine two and keep it simple. With these ideas, you can have something new at each playdate for several weeks.

sensory balls for infantsBall Play for Babies

Put out lots of balls for the babies to play with, mouth, throw, and catch. The balls should be different sizes and textures. You can even make a ball pit for some of the babies to play in.

 

music toys for babiesMusic Play for Babies

Prepare for a loud and noisy day. Put out several musical instruments made for infants and toddlers. Make sure they are designed for kids under age 3 so there are no small parts that can be swallowed when they try to play it with their mouth.

tunnels for babiesTunnels and Tents for Babies

Set up a room full of tunnels and tents. This works best for babies who are at least crawling so they can crawl in and explore. Put some fun toys, such as balls, inside the tunnels for them to discover.

blocks for babiesBlock Play for Babies

For this young age, use soft and squishy blocks, or small wooden blocks. Large wooden blocks may be too heavy for the babies and will hurt your head when they throw them, which they will do.

Stroller Fitness

Get out an exercise with your baby and make it a game. You can join a stroller fitness group with a paid fitness coach, or just go with a group of mommy friends. Take a walk or go for a jog in the park with the babies in the stroller. Sing songs to the babies as you do stretches and strength exercises in front of the stroller. End the session by lying on blankets in the grass and including your baby as part of the exercise routine. Babies lifted gently and slowly make great weights and love the one on one attention.

Safety Tips

Everything available to the infants must be baby safe. They will put it all into their mouths as this is one way a baby explores. If you have a sink filled with warm soapy water, you can easily wash and rinse toys that end up in the mouth before letting another baby play with it.

Keep Learning Games for Babies Age and Developmentally Appropriate for Babies: No Sharing!

Contrary to popular American parenting customs, there is no need to teach a baby to share. If a baby is happily playing with a toy, let her play with it until she is done. That toy is precious to her and completely belongs to her in that moment. Taking it away from her is the equivalent of someone taking your cell phone away and giving it to another parent because your turn is over. Respect each baby’s need to explore a toy rather than forcing an obscure concept of sharing on an 8-month old.

Forced sharing also does teach appropriate social skills. When is it ever OK for another adult to take away your cell phone, car, laptop, or house, because you’ve taken too long of a turn? For babies, that toy is as important to her as your car or house and she may be on the verge of making a great discovery. Respect that and don’t teach other kids to take it away.

 

*Top photo by eyeliam, Flickr

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