Birth to 1 year
For healthy development in infants (birth to 1 year), physical activity particularly floor-based play in safe environments should be encouraged from birth.
Birth to 2 years
Children younger than 2 years of age should not spend any time watching television or using other electronic media (DVDs, computer and other electronic games).
Don't over stimulate your baby. Research shows that their brain can't make sense of all the information. Over stimulation or too much information creates confusion and they may develop learning difficulties.
Physical Activities - Games for Baby
Under 3 months old
- Music fun
Put on a CD and help your baby clap hands, clap feet, bicycle the legs. Show your baby how you clap hands, wriggle fingers, twirl, and bob up and down.
Lie baby on your knee facing you, using soft gentle words talk and sing. Also include massage and hugs. Hold an object and move around so the baby can follow it with their eyes. Real babies need real people to stimulate them.
- Foot tapping
Lay your baby safely on their back. Tap the bottom of your baby's feet gently in time to a song that you are singing, for example Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
- Looking in the Mirror
Hold your baby in front of a mirror so they can explore what they look like.
Hang colourful and black and white things that move, and things that make noise over your baby's cot.
3-6 months old
Sing and help your baby do action songs: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
- Exploring and Touching
Give your baby safe objects from around the house to explore the shapes and textures - plastic things from the kitchen, pots and pans, sponges, different material (fur, lace, velvet) cardboard, sand paper.
Hold their hands while they "walk" across pillars, rugs and different surface.
- Listening fun, looking and movement
Use rice, pasta or a bell to fill a plastic container. Make sure the container is well sealed. Shake to your baby's side or behind baby and see if they can find it.
- Roll the ball
Roll a soft, brightly coloured ball to your baby and teach them how to stop it and push it back to you.
- Using feet
Hang rattles or similar noise-making toys where your baby can kick them, or put socks with securely attached bells on your baby's feet so they make noise when they move their feet.
Put on some music and dance with your baby. Stop/freeze and start with the music.
9-12 months old
- Water fun
Fill a low, wide container with a few centimeters of water and place it on the ground. Float small objects such as flowers or corks in the water and let your baby reach and splash. Ensure you supervise.
- Magic carpet ride
Sit the baby on a blanket or rug and drag them along - good for learning balance and gaining strength. This is a lead up to walking/running.
- Hide and seek
Show your baby a toy then hide it under a towel or small blanket and help them find it. Make some peek-a-boo boxes, baby tries to open them to see what wonderful thing is inside.
- Bubble fun
Blow lots of bubbles and encourage the baby to look and touch and catch them. This exercises the baby's eye-hand coordination and gross motor skills and muscles.
- Outside fun
Just being outside engages the senses. Smelling, feeling, seeing and hearing different things to inside. Have baby with bare feet, let them crawl around and explore.