For infants, under the age of one, it is best to sit in the floor with them, either in your lap, or across from them so they can see you and you can show them how to play with toys.
- Holding and shaking rattles, flipping pages to books, rolling a car on the floor, playing peek-a-boo with a blanket, showing them how to stack blocks and knock them down, and making silly faces together in front of a mirror are all great places to start!
- Babies are often curious and love repetition. A simple game of putting blocks in a bucket, dumping them out, and putting them back in again is a great way to show your baby turn taking!
- You may find that turning the TV off and decreasing distractions during play time will improve your baby's attention and engagement skills. Singing familiar nursery rhymes and showing your child motions to songs is a great way to develop attention and imitation skills.
- Using Tupperware to make drums or stir with spoons is often a fan favorite!
- Using play dough to roll out shapes and make objects is always a great activity that stimulates learning.
- Now that the weather is getting warmer, going on walks and talking about things you see, or side walk chalk are also great options.
- As your child becomes more active and mobile, games like hide and seek or rolling a ball back and forth can often be games that toddlers enjoy!
- As a parent, you can always show your child how to play this way and play along with them, even though it could feel silly at times.
Playing with your child does not have to be overwhelming! Remember to allow your child to guide your playtime. You can always suggest choices, for example playing dress up or playing with play dough, but it's often best to allow your child to use their imagination and take control of your play time.
If you have a question for one of our therapists, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All question submissions will remain anonymous. We will post answers on a weekly basis. Please know that if you feel your child needs therapy services, we advise that you consult your pediatrician.