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GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT :: Play

Infant Play

What can I do to help promote play in my infant?

While all children are different and may enjoy different toys and interactions, the following are suggestions for activities and toys for the infant:

Birth to 1 month:

  • hang brightly colored objects near your infant
  • hang black and white mobiles

What you can do as a parent:

  • sing and talk to your infant
  • play music
  • rock your infant, take him/her for walks

2 to 3 months:

  • likes bright objects
  • enjoys pictures and mirrors
  • likes rattles
  • enjoys infant swing
  • enjoys car rides

What you can do as a parent:

  • sing and talk to your infant
  • play music
  • rock your infant, take him/her for walks

4 to 6 months:

  • likes brightly-colored objects
  • likes to hold toys
  • enjoys rattles or bells
  • likes to splash in the bath
  • likes swings and strollers

What you can do as a parent:

  • talk to your infant
  • encourage your infant to crawl and sit by placing him/her on the floor

6 to 9 months:

  • enjoys large toys with bright colors that move
  • likes to play peek-a-boo

What you can do as a parent:

  • call your infant by name
  • speak clearly to your child and encourage different sounds
  • name body parts, foods, and people
  • tell your infant simple commands
  • play pat-a-cake
  • begin saying words that tell what you are doing
  • encourage your infant to crawl by placing toys beyond his/her reach

9 to 12 months:

  • enjoys looking at books
  • likes hearing sounds of animals
  • enjoys large toys that can be pushed and pulled

What you can do as a parent:

  • take your infant to different places and outings
  • play ball with your infant
  • read to your infant
  • tell your infant names of body parts

Toys for infants:

  • birth to 6 months:
    • mobiles
    • mirrors that will not break
    • music boxes
    • bells and rattles
    • stuffed animals
    • swings

  • 6 to 12 months:
    • blocks
    • brightly colored toys
    • books
    • balls
    • cup and spoon
    • jack-in-the-box
    • rattles
    • teething toys
    • toys that can be pushed and pulled

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Online Resources of Growth & Development

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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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