Each stage of your child’s development comes with new opportunities for learning through play. For example, babies play through touching or crawling. Toddlers play by walking or climbing. The most exciting part is play can take on a variety of forms! It can be imaginative like pretending, creative like drawing or physical like dancing.
Watch the video and explore our tips below to learn everyday ways to improve baby motor skills through movement and play.
Babies should sleep on their backs, but during the day while they are awake, make sure your baby gets some "tummy time."
When you are dressing your baby or changing their diaper, hold and gently move their arms or legs. Talk or sing about what you're doing.
Notice what your baby looks at or reaches for. If you can, bring the object closer so they can explore it. Describe how it looks and feels.
Provide objects of different colors, shapes and textures. Use safe, everyday objects. You don’t need fancy toys to keep your baby’s attention.
Hide your face with your hands and then open them up to show a big smile. You can also hide objects under a towel or blanket.
Let your baby explore their surroundings by reaching, rolling, scooting and crawling. Just make sure they are safe.
Stop when your child shows interest in something and talk about it. If it is something that is safe to handle, let them touch it to find out how it feels.
Make a “Wheee!” sound when you roll it toward them.
Make a simple obstacle course using blankets, pillows or boxes. See if your child can go “over,” “under,” “around” and “through” it.
Your toddler will enjoy scribbling with a crayon or chalk. They can also experiment with folding or tearing paper.
For example, put a few objects in a bag and have your child guess what’s inside without looking. They can feel, smell and shake the bag.
Toddlers will start to imitate grown-up activities like putting a doll to sleep or giving it a shot. Follow their lead and play along.
Basics Insights is a free text messaging program for parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers that sends science-based tips to boost your child's development.