10 Games You Can Play Even with a Newborn
There are few hours during the day when a newborn is alert, and experts agree that stimulation during this crucial time of learning and development is imperative. For parents looking to interact with their newborn beyond cuddling and cooing, here are ten games that even newborns can enjoy.
- Let’s Look! – Carrying your newborn around your home and pointing out particularly noticeable objects is a great way to play with her. Though she may not be able to grasp the names of the objects, she’ll enjoy the movement and sound of your voice.
- Chatterbox – Speaking in a clear, normal tone to your newborn is believed to stimulate language centers in her brain. Play Chatterbox by simply speaking whatever comes to mind, and resisting the temptation to speak nonsense words in a high-pitched voice.
- Dance Party – Dancing with your baby is not only stimulating; newborns are comforted by rhythmic movements. Breaking out the dance moves (gently!) while holding your little one close can also be a powerful bonding experience.
- Sing-A-Long – Sing along with an MP3 player, that is; newborns are notoriously apathetic performers, but make quite an eager audience. Singing along with softly playing music is soothing, but be sure to avoid loud music that could startle her.
- This Little Piggy – Stimulating your child’s sense of touch and hearing by playing a game like This Little Piggy can satisfy their need for affection while spurring the above-mentioned language center of her brain.
- Peek-A-Boo – Even the youngest child is entertained by a game of Peek-A-Boo. Though your newborn’s development level won’t allow them to react too strongly, you’ll still be bonding while she watches you appear and disappear.
- Floor Games – Tummy time is considered an important aspect of early infancy by many childcare experts. Believed to encourage crawling at the appropriate time, aid in the development of musculature and even relieve gas, tummy time should be observed during periods of alertness. Playing floor games while your little one stretches out on her belly is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
- Who’s That? – Holding a small hand mirror up to your baby or holding her in front of a larger mirror can be a good way to give her a head-start on learning the parts of her face while stimulating her eyes.
- Vision Games – Moving an object slowly across a newborn’s field of vision will stimulate her eyes as well, while talking to her about what she sees invites the language center of her brain to the party. Newborns can typically only focus on objects from eight to twelve inches away; anything else will be blurry.
- Funny Faces – Making silly faces at a newborn may not serve much of an educational purpose, but it’s certainly entertaining. Playing the Funny Faces game is more about bonding with the newest member of your family, and providing her with the attention she craves.
During the newborn stage, your infant isn’t able to contribute much in the way of interaction; they’re still learning at a staggering rate, and figuring out the world around them. Giving them the affection and security that they need will enable the two of you to play more interactive games as she matures.