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Infant Development Play: Activities for Babies (3 Months to 1 Year)

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 02, 2021

Infant Development Play: Activities for Babies (3 Months to 1 Year)

Your baby’s first months up to the time they are 1 year old are marked by various developmental milestones. These milestones focus on their motor, cognitive, and communication skills. As parents, you may be wondering, “How can I nurture my child with infant development play?” In this article, we will discuss the best early learning activities for babies.

Early Learning Activities for Babies

Play activities help develop your baby’s physical, mental, and communication skills. Additionally, they also encourage social interaction and creativity.

To make things easier for you, we have divided it into three age groups: one for babies 3 to 6 months old, another for 7 to 9 months old, and of course, the last for 10 to 12 months old.

3 to 6 Months Old

At 3 to 6 months old, babies can already do a lot of things such as:

  • Babble or coo.
  • Reply when you talk to them, although the responses are garbled.
  • Grab different objects within their reach and try to put them in their mouth.

Baby Development: Your Baby’s 3rd Month of Life

Suggested Infant Development Play Activities

Here are some of the activities you can do with them:

Sing expressive songs. To develop their verbal sense, you can sing expressive songs to your baby. Songs with words that sound their meanings are great choices. For instance, if the song has the words “bang!” or “pop!” in them, be sure to raise your voice a little when you sing them.

Read textured books. Aside from singing and dancing to songs, you can also read books to them. Choose books that are textured, like those with cloth surface or raised characters in them. Encourage your baby to touch them gently.

Play with a ball. One simple infant development play is teaching the baby how to hold and drop the ball. As they see it bounce and roll, you can help them learn how round objects move.

Blow raspberries. To encourage babies to move and make their own sounds, you can blow raspberries on their belly. The feeling and the sound you make will encourage them to giggle and move, too.

early learning activities for babies

 7 to 9 Months Old

When your baby reaches 7 months up to the time they turn 9 months old, you probably see them doing the following:

  • Transfer objects from one hand to another. It is a sign that they are developing their hand-eye coordination skills.
  • Roll-over in both directions, even while they are sleeping.
  • Babbling, gesturing, and making more facial expressions.

Baby Development: Your Baby’s 7th Month of Life

Suggested Infant Development Play Activities

While you are encouraged to still do the things previously suggested for when they were still 3 to 6 months old, you may want to add these early learning activities for babies:

Leave them in a playpen. Prepare a safe playpen for your baby to explore. It does not really have to be a playpen, but just a small space filled with toys and things that your baby can touch and test.

If they can crawl their way to objects, you can help develop their sense of adventure. Just make sure that it is free from harmful objects like little things they could swallow or things that may wound them.

Workout with the baby. Although it sounds excessive, working out with your baby is good infant development play. A little push up is a good activity to increase their back, shoulder, and core muscle strength. Additionally, it also improves their head and neck control. To encourage push-ups, place your baby on their tummy, and raise and lower a rattle (or any toy) in front of them.

Give them a toy phone. At this stage, your baby has probably seen you talk over the phone. Encourage them to talk more by giving them a toy phone and pretend to talk to them.

Show them how to do things. To teach babies how things work, start on toy stacking. Show them how to stack the blocks and then knock them down. You can also give them toys and show them how they work.

For instance, if you push this button, then this door opens, or if you turn this, there will be sounds. Encourage independence by allowing them to realize that they can make things happen.

10 to 12 Months

Nearing their first birthday, your baby may show further development in their thinking and motor skills. You may find them:

  • Experimenting with things, such as purposely pushing objects to watch them fall.
  • Push things like bins or huge boxes.
  • Testing things within their reach.

Suggested Infant Development Play Activities

Since they are growing rapidly, the infant development play for them could be:

Mirror play. Although you can do this, too, in their earlier months, mirror play becomes more exciting at this stage because they can absorb more information.

Sit in front of the mirror with the baby on your lap. Point to the different parts of their body and slowly tell them its name, like “That’s your nose… your eyes…” Afterward, move away from the mirror and ask “Where did the baby go?” Then back again in front of the mirror and say, “There he is!” Games such as this help develop their sense of awareness – the acknowledgment that they are separate from you.

Play interview. To encourage your baby to talk, play a little interview game. The questions do not have to be structured; it could be as simple as “What is your name?’, “Who is that beside you?’, or “Where are we going?’ The point is to encourage them to talk and build their communication skills.

Find the squeaky toy. Give the baby a squeaky toy and let them squeeze and recognize the sound. Afterward, hide the toy under a blanket and squeeze it to produce the sound. Let your baby find it. This game encourages memory-building.

Toy parade. As they are about to turn one, you can teach your baby how to “follow the leader.” Do this by gathering their toys and tying strings in them so that they form a “train of toys.” This is one infant development play that may become useful when they have to follow instructions, such as “Stick close to me” or “Follow me.”

The Best Learning Activities for Your One Year Old

Key Takeaways

As parents know their baby the most, they can use their creativity to formulate great infant development play specifically for their kids. The suggested early learning activities for babies that we have discussed here could be improved or modified, depending on your child’s needs.

Learn more about Parenting here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

John Paul Abrina, MD

Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 02, 2021

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