Breast feeding baby games

35 Simple Ways to Entertain a Toddler While Breastfeeding a Newborn

Truth be told, I wrote this post for myself. 

My husband is taking a generous amount of time off work to be at home with our new addition, but soon enough he’ll return and I’ll be juggling the responsibilities of a toddler and a newborn on my own. 

The part I’m most concerned about? Breastfeeding.

My infant daughter is still at an age where she’s often nursing quite frequently, which means mama’s tied to the couch for significant amounts of time—much to my energetic toddler’s dismay!

So I wracked my brain and consulted the best kid bloggers I know to compile this list of 35 simple ways to entertain a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn.

I’ll be referencing this list quite a bit over the next few weeks. I hope it’s helpful for you, too!

(Please note that the success of the ideas and activities listed here will depend on the exact age and development of your unique toddler.  You can always modify the activities—making them easier or more difficult—to be more suitable for your particular situation.

Additionally, some of these require a bit of set-up, which you can do ahead of time before your newborn starts his/her hungry cry. Others require no preparation at all!)

1. Sing songs that require your toddler’s participation, either through motions (think Itsy Bitsy Spider) that your toddler can do while you sing, or through words/sounds, like in Old MacDonald. 

2. Set your toddler up with a box of crayons and some coloring pages—or better yet, with a giant cardboard box to decorate! 

3. Puzzles! For younger toddlers, these simple DIY puzzles from Toddler Approved would work perfectly. My older toddler is onto 24 and even 48-piece puzzles, which hold his attention for almost as long as it takes my infant to eat a meal. 

4. Play a round of I SPY.

5. These reusable Water Wow books from Melissa and Doug are a great learning tool for toddlers. And since they’re mess-free, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after you’re finished breastfeeding!

6. If appropriate, encourage your toddler to have a snack too. Keep a stash of healthy snacks in the pantry or fridge within their reach, so they can grab one and bring it over when you’re nursing.

7. Set your toddler up with this simple fine motor activity from Hands on : as we grow. All your child does is put rubber bands over a can, but it really holds their attention! 

8. Make this easy DIY Sticker Seek and Find game from Left Brain Craft Brain for them to play! 

9. Have your toddler weave pipe cleaners either in and out of a colander, or through wiffle balls. 

10. Your toddler can easily play independently with a magnetic play set. My son loves this Tangrams Mini Tin Magnet Set! 

11. Set your toddler up with a pasta sorting activity, like this one from See Vanessa Craft.

12. Indeed, you can have your toddler match and sort all kinds of things. My son currently loves to match socks, so he can help with the laundry while his baby sister eats! Double win for Mommy!

13. Create a special nursing basket or nursing box—like these great examples from When at Home and Rainy Day Mum—filled with toys and treats your toddler can only use when you’re breastfeeding. That adds an element of excitement, to the point where your toddler might just jump for joy the next time your infant gets hungry!

14. Read, read, read. This is especially easy if your toddler is old enough to hold the book and turn the pages while you read it aloud. 

15. Play a round of Simon Says.

16. Have your toddler do a color sort with pom poms, as described on The Imagination Tree. For additional fine motor work, have your child pick the pom poms up with a set of kid-appropriate tweezers. 

17. Encourage your toddler to sit beside you and snuggle too! 

18. Tell your child an oral story (preferably one with him/her as the main character), as suggested by Planning with Kids.  

19. Set out a set of blocks and let your toddler build independently. 

20. Try this mess-free idea for painting in bags from Teaching Mama. You can tape the bags to a window or just set them on the floor or a table next to wherever you’re nursing. 

21. Dominoes! Scatter them on the floor before your breastfeeding session, then encourage your toddler to line them up, match the dots, or find other ways to play with them—a great idea from Hands on : as we grow!

22. Save any screen time for when you’re nursing. Perhaps during one feeding per day your toddler is allowed to watch TV, play with the iPad, etc. 

23. Make this awesome toddler-friendly sewing basket from Childhood 101 for your child to play with while you nurse your newborn. 

24. Make your toddler a set of these Velcro Dot Craft Sticks from Powerful Mothering, then encourage them to make all kinds of shapes, letters, and designs.

25. Ask your child to fetch things for you! Toddlers love to be helpful, and most of us inevitably forget something when we sit down to breastfeed, be it our water bottle, a burp cloth, or a pillow.  

26. Lacing cards are a great fine motor activity for toddlers to work on independently while you nurse. These printable DIY ones from Activity Village are super cute! 

27. Have your toddler play an independent game of balloon tennis, as described by Toddler Approved. Some children may not like playing this with themselves, but I know my toddler would have no problem playing this solo while I watch and encourage. 

28. For older toddlers, spread out books, cards, and other items that contain words and have them search for and find different letters. For younger toddlers, modify this to colors, shapes, or whatever your child is currently learning. 

29. Set your toddler up with a shape sorter—either a store-bought one or this neat DIY version from Teaching Mama. 

30. Play restaurant! If you have play food and/or a play kitchen, place your order with your toddler as you sit down to breastfeed, and let him/her pretend to prepare and serve you your meal. 

31. Encourage your toddler to feed a baby doll or stuffed animal while you feed the real baby.

32. Make these reusable, dry erase funny face photo drawings from Mama Papa Bubba for your toddler to play with next to you while you nurse.

33. Instruction cards! Make a bunch of cards with fun instructions for your toddler to follow—things like make a monkey face, point to something blue, find something that’s a circle, touch your nose, etc. Use your free hand to randomly draw cards and have your toddler follow the instruction.

34. Another great fine motor activity from Mama Papa Bubba that your toddler could work on independently is playing with these button-up foam craft sticks. You can make bracelets, shapes, chains, and more! (Just keep an eye out so that no button accidentally comes loose and becomes a choking hazard.) 

35. Set up a tea party or picnic on the floor for your toddler’s dolls and stuffed friends! No doubt the pretend play will continue throughout your nursing session.  

Want more ideas? These great books are filled with activities you could use (or modify) to entertain a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn. 

Busy Toddler, Happy Mom: Over 280 Activities to Engage Your Toddler in Small Motor and Gross Motor Activities, Crafts, Language Development and Sensory Play

The Toddler’s Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1.5 to 3-Year-Old Busy

99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1 to 5

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids

Did you ever have to entertain a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn? What’s your best tip? 

20 baby games to boost development for your baby

During your baby's first year, learning through play is among their most important tasks. It might seem like just fun and games, but play is crucial for your child's social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. Every experience is a chance for them to use their senses to learn about their body and the world. Parents can join in the fun – these games to play with your baby are a great way to help your little one learn and grow.

How to play with your baby

As a new parent, keeping your brand-new baby fed, changed, and rested probably consumes most of your brain space and fills your days. You and your little one have been bonding and adapting to this new family you have together, so don't worry if playtime hasn't been at the top of your priority list.

The truth is, babies spend all of their waking moments learning just by observing and participating in their environment. So, whether you're chatting during diaper changes or kissing their cheeks before a nap, you're creating a learning environment just by being someone they can trust.

If you're ready to add some play to your days, know that repetition is important. Many games won't work the first time you play them. Your baby's attention span will vary a lot, depending on their age, temperament, and mood. Sometimes they'll enjoy a game for as long as 20 minutes, but more often you'll need to modify the game every five minutes or so.

You'll know your baby's loving your antics when they're turning toward you, smiling, or laughing. But if they squirm away from you, look away, or cry, it's time to take a break.

Not every baby will catch on to every game. Don't worry if your baby isn't interested in some of the activities you try. But if you have any concerns about your baby's development, or suspect a possible developmental delay, talk to your baby's doctor.

To make the most of your baby's playtime, try these suggestions:

  • Play when your baby is happy and rested. And be sure to stop when they've had enough. Children have different thresholds for stimulation. When yours seems bored, fussy, or tired, it's time for a break.
  • Let your baby play alone. You might be your baby's favorite person, but they don't need you to play with them all the time. Your baby might enjoy some "alone time" while you're doing another task nearby. Put them in a safe space on the floor with toys nearby, or on a play mat with hanging toys they can kick with their feet.
  • Think of "toys" more broadly. If you've ever seen a baby enthralled with a cardboard box, you understand how babies can find fun in almost anything. Let your baby bang pots and pans together in the kitchen or pour water from plastic cups in the tub.
  • Add fun to your daily routine. Every interaction you have with your baby can be full of fun and learning – from playing "This Little Piggy" with their toes while you change their diaper to singing songs while they splash in the tub. Your baby will love playing during these everyday interactions.
  • Don't fear boredom. Our busy, modern lifestyles can rob children of the free time that's an important part of learning through play. Allow for downtime in your baby's day whenever you can, and use these moments of calm as a time for your baby to play.

Best games for babies

Games to play with newborns (birth to 3 months)

Newborns can't play like older babies just yet, so your best chance of connecting with them is to engage their senses of touch, sight (remember, your newborn can't see very far), smell, and hearing.

It may take your newborn several seconds to respond to you, or they may not respond much at all. Be patient – you may need to wait until they enter an alert, responsive state.

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Slow dance

Turn on calming music and hold your baby in your arms for a gentle dance. Very little babies will prefer slow swaying while resting on your shoulder. Later on, they may enjoy being gently rocked in your arms. (Just be sure to offer head support.) Touch facilitates bonding, which provides the security your baby needs to learn.

When your arms get tired, you can put your baby down and keep up the dancing for your tiny audience. Cheerful and silly play is a great way to connect with your baby.

Show and tell

During these early months, your baby is learning to coordinate their head and eye movements. You can encourage this developing skill with a game of show and tell using objects like a board book, a stuffed animal, or a rattle.

When your baby's alert and responsive, pick up one of these objects and hold it in front of their face. Once they take notice, move it slowly from side to side so they can track it with their eyes. You're helping them hone their vision!

Story time

It's not too soon to start reading to your baby. By making reading a part of your daily routine, you're encouraging language skills. They might not follow the story or understand the words you say, but your baby is learning about language by listening to your voice. Plus, daily routines create security, and babies' brains develop best in a reassuring environment with people they love.

Babies don't tend to sit through a whole story, though, and when they're a few months older they may grab the books from you and close them. This is all normal. Babies love looking at books and cuddling close to you, but they usually don't care about the plot.

Funny faces

Newborns learn a lot about the world by watching, and often imitating, the people around them. Even when they're very young, they'll try to mimic you. You may notice your baby experimenting with making faces at you, and you can turn this into a funny game. Get down on their level and smile or stick your tongue out. With time, you'll notice them trying to follow suit.

Don't stop at funny faces: Your little one will enjoy hearing you make funny sounds, too. You can start teaching them animal sounds, songs, silly laughs, and car noises long before they can make them back. These copycat games can help your baby learn basic language skills.

Tummy time

It's important to have your baby spend time on their tummy, even if they protest. Tummy time is a crucial exercise for young babies, helping them build strength in their neck, back, and arms and preparing them for future milestones like rolling over, sitting up, and crawling.

To make tummy time more fun, get down on the floor with your baby and show them a toy or board book. You may want to put your baby down on a towel and use it to gently roll them from side to side. Try saying, "Oops-a-daisy, Oops-a-daisy" as you roll them. Or, lie on your back and put your baby tummy-down on your belly.

Feel and grab

You haven't spent a lifetime accumulating a closetful of bright, tactile clothing for nothing. Dig into your closet and show your baby your cashmere sweater, your cottony-soft favorite jeans, or your silky robe. Run soft fabrics over their face, hands, and feet. Spread fuzzy sweaters down on the floor and put your baby on top of them.

In a few months, your baby will want to run their hands over anything beaded, embroidered, or otherwise embellished. But for now, they may just be content to gaze in wonder.

Grasping objects is a milestone that's in the near future for your newborn. (They'll be able to grab things between 3 and 4 months old.) Help them practice this skill during playtime by keeping objects they can reach for nearby, like a teething ring or soft toys hanging from a play mat.


You may have a terrible voice – but your baby doesn't know it! Now's the time to set the diva inside you free.

Your baby may like absolutely anything you sing, but there are some classics to familiarize yourself with. Add "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "The Wheels on the Bus," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," and "Patty-Cake," to your repertoire. Don't forget to learn hand movements while you're at it!

You may feel silly at first, but as your child gets into the songs, so will you. Try adding your baby's name to the song: "Old Mac Ethan had a farm," "Kate is my sunshine, my only sunshine," and so on. Try songs with silly sounds or animal noises in them, like "Witch Doctor" or "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"

Try singing songs with a hand puppet (or a napkin or sock willing to play the part of a hand puppet). Singing to your little one can be seriously fun, and it's a learning experience, too. When your baby listens to you sing, they're learning about language and preparing to say their first words, too.

Games to play with 4-month-old to 6-month-old babies

At this age, your baby will become a lot more physical, rolling over both ways and even sitting up. Games can get more active now, too. Your baby might enjoy "pony rides" on your knee or tickle games. They're also more responsive to you, making noises and meeting your eyes.

Super smells

You're in the kitchen, trying to throw some kind of dinner together when your baby starts wailing. Take them over to the spice rack and introduce them to the intoxicating scent of cinnamon. Rub some on your hand and put it up to your baby's nose. (Don't let it get in their eyes or mouth.)

If they like it, try others: Vanilla, peppermint, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, and many other herbs and spices have intriguing fragrances that your baby might love. Other household goods are fragrant, too: shaving lotion, hand cream. Sniff out everything yummy – just be careful not to let your baby eat it.

A simple game of "what's that smell?" can help your baby make connections between the information their senses are taking in and the world around them. And once your baby's ready to start solid foods, introducing them to different flavors (and even some spices and seasonings) will help expand their taste palate as well.

Narrate your day

Your baby loves to listen to your voice, so don't be shy about keeping them informed about what you're doing and thinking throughout the day. You can describe what you're up to while you're making your lunch or picking up around the house. On a walk, point out the things you're passing or describe how the weather feels. When you're at the grocery store, mention items on the shelves by name as you roll past with the shopping cart.

You might feel like you're talking to yourself, but all of this chit-chat is already paying off even though your baby can't answer back. Language development begins in the womb and continues each day that follows. Listening to you talk is one important way your baby will begin to piece together the meaning of words and eventually learn to say those words back to you.

Bubbles everywhere

There's something magical about bubbles, and at this point, your baby can see far enough away to focus on them. Blow bubbles when they're getting fussy and watch the tears dry up. Blow bubbles in the bathtub, at the park, or on the front porch.

Bubbles are cheap, easily transportable, and endlessly fascinating for babies. Similar to watching moving toys or a mobile, watching bubbles float helps babies strengthen their ability to track objects with their eyes. At this age, babies are learning cause and effect, and they'll enjoy seeing what happens to each bubble they hit with their hands.

I'm gonna get you!

Your baby is old enough to have a sense of anticipation. And no baby can avoid giggling when you're coming at them with a joking threat of hugs, kisses, or tickles. Here's what you could say: "I see you over there sitting up! Well, that just makes you closer to my lips and I'm going to come over there and kiss you! I'm going to steal a kiss, baby! I'm coming! I'm coming! I... gotcha!" Then cover your baby in smooches.

Expect your baby to laugh or even give you a happy scream. Responding to your teasing and kisses with laughter is a social skill, their way of letting you know they're having a good time.

This little piggy

Touch your baby's toes in turn, starting with the big toe. Say, "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee-wee-wee all the way home."

As you say that last part, squeeze your baby's little toe gently or run your fingers up your baby's leg. This game is useful for putting on socks and shoes or distracting your baby during diaper changes. You can also play this in the bathtub with a squirt bottle targeting your baby's toes. Like many baby games, this one showers your baby with the love and laughter that are so good for their developing brain.


Now that your baby can hold their head up, help them continue to strengthen their upper body by hoisting them in the air. You can play that they're a rocket ship, flying them over you and making rocket noises. You can pretend that your baby is in an elevator, which jerks up floor by floor before sinking quickly to the bottom. Or pretend that your baby's doing a helicopter traffic report. Just watch out that your little one doesn't suddenly drop their head down onto yours, which hurts like crazy.

If your baby has a strong upper body, they may enjoy playing airplane. While you're lying on the floor on your back, rest them on your shins (while holding their hands). Then use your legs to "fly" your baby around.

Games to play with 7-month-old to 9-month-old babies

Your baby's becoming an expert at sitting and may soon be crawling as well. Encourage these physical feats by celebrating each new milestone with applause and a cheer.

Band practice

If your baby has one object, they'll bang it on the table. If they have two objects, they might bang them together, hold them up to the light, squint at them, bang them separately on the table, hit the table with both at the same time, see if the object sounds different when hit using the left hand rather than the right hand, and on and on. Help them out by handing over objects that make interesting sounds: hollow containers, wooden spoons, or bells.

Your baby is doing so much more than making a lot of noise. At this age, babies are learning about cause and effect. When they bang an item against a table, it's a mini-experiment, their way of checking out what will happen next.

Obstacle course

Once your baby's crawling, they may enjoy the challenge of having to move over things. (This is great for developing their motor skills, too.) Couch pillows, empty boxes, and piles of laundry make good obstacles. Just make sure to supervise your baby so they don't get stuck under or in anything.


Your baby now understands that when an object moves out of sight, it hasn't disappeared from the face of the earth. This discovery makes games like peek-a-boo a favorite.

The classic: Cover your face with your hands or a blanket, then reveal your face with a loud "peek-a-boo! I see you!" (repeat until your baby stops laughing). You can vary this game in a million ways. Hide just out of your baby's line of sight or behind a chair and pop out. Hide a stuffy behind your back and have it pop out and say "peek-a-boo." Or, keep a selection of hats behind the couch and pop up wearing a different one each time.

A surefire laugh-getter is to put a hat on your head, low enough to cover your eyes, and let your baby take it off, saying "Oh!" in surprise each time they do it. (This will also guarantee that you'll never wear a hat in peace again.)

Roll play

Babies are fascinated by balls and how they move. You'll get a big laugh by juggling or tossing balls up in the air and letting them hit the floor while you make a silly sound effect: "Whoops!" Roll a soft ball toward your baby and watch them grab and squeeze it. Around 9 months old, babies start learning how to roll a ball back toward you. They might not get it at first, but with practice, they'll figure out how to send the ball back your way.

Games to play with 10-month-old to 1-year-old babies

Developmentally, your baby has suddenly morphed into an almost-toddler. Games that allow them to practice gross motor skills such as standing and cruising are important for them now. Your baby will also enjoy working on their fine motor skills by fiddling with the tag on your shirt or the pages of a book.

Home organizer

Your baby is figuring out connections between things. They'll love to stack and arrange objects, as well as fill and empty them.

Give your baby a box that's easy to open (like a shoe box) and show them how to put things inside and take them out. Another way to play this game: Get a bunch of cups (maybe even stackable measuring cups) and show your baby how to pour water, sand, or cornmeal from one to the other, or into a larger container.

Your baby's fine motor skills are just beginning to improve. Games that involve stacking, grabbing, and moving toys are one way to help them grow in this area.

Cruising practice

Once your baby is up on their feet, you can encourage "cruising" (walking while holding on to things for balance). Place a favorite toy at the far end of the couch or over on the coffee table. Try enticing your baby by putting one of your toys, such as your sunglasses, a distance away and cruising on your knees toward it. Your baby may find this amusing and attempt to join you.

Your baby may enjoy pushing an object around the room, like a push toy or a large, empty box.


Games that involve rhyming and repeated movements and words are good for building language skills and improving your baby's memory. Pat-a-cake is a classic baby game that encourages these skills, as well as clapping.

Use these words:

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man

Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

Roll it, and pat it, and mark it with a "B"

And put it in the oven for baby and me!

As you say "pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake" you can clap and then gently touch your baby's tummy with both hands. You can also pretend to roll and pat the cake, trace the "B" in the air in front of your baby or on your baby's tummy, and pretend to put the cake in an oven.

Water play

Encourage your baby's fun by adding lots of toys to the tub. Plenty of stuff around the house can be endlessly filled, drained, poured from or into, and floated. Pile up some plastic cups, yogurt containers, funnels, and squeeze bottles, and bring them into the bath along with any of your baby's favorite bath toys. At this age, your baby is still learning about cause and effect. Filling and draining bath toys is one of the many ways your little scientist can experiment.

How to entertain a baby


From the first days of life, a child should feel the care and attention of parents. If in the first months an emotional and personal contact is established with the baby, then, starting from the third month, it is necessary to introduce into communication the simplest educational games that will help him learn about the world around him, develop the right reaction to various phenomena and the behavior of others.

We offer several play activities for children from 3 months to a year old, which will give pleasure not only to babies, but also to adults. nine0003

Here you can download a mega selection of games with babies by months -


This is one of the most popular games in the world. Its meaning is that you hide behind a barrier or simply cover your face with your palms, newspaper, pillow or other object. After a few moments, you show up with the words “cuckoo”.

At first, the baby will not be aware of your presence, but by 8-10 months he will begin to make attempts to search (push your hands or the object behind which you hid). The game teaches the baby to adequately respond to the absence of adults, develops a sense of humor. nine0003


Depending on the age, your baby makes a variety of sounds. Starting from 2-3 months, this is cooing, i. e. prolonged pronunciation of vowel sounds. After 6 months of life, the child begins to pronounce the first syllables. To demonstrate your interest in the little world of the baby, repeat after him his babbling.

The same applies to the child's facial expressions and movements. If he smiles, is surprised or waves his hands, copy all his emotions and gestures. As they grow older, the child himself will begin to echo your words and movements. nine0003

"Dance warm-up"

Dance to the sound of cheerful but quiet music in the child's field of vision. You can also involve him in the dance, throwing him over his head, circling in the air, or making smooth swings with the arms and legs of the child, if he is lying. The child will get great pleasure from such communication. Before going to bed, you can do a calm dance to slow music to lull the little one faster.

“Where is our nose?”

Kids love this question game. Ask questions in an affectionate way: “Where is our nose?”, “Where is our mouth?” etc. , and then touch that part of the body. Similarly, you can explore various objects: a book, a ball, a cup. When the baby grows up a little, he himself will reach in the right direction. nine0003

Personal video greetings from Santa Claus:

This game replenishes the child's vocabulary, develops memory and coordination of movements, introduces him to the surrounding objects.

"Into the hole!"

Similar lap games can be started from 8-9 months. They are the fruit of folk art, so jokes are very diverse. For example, "Over the bumps, over the bumps, over the little stumps and into the hole, the rooster fell through!". At the same time, put the baby on your knees and gently toss him, depicting a ride. At the words “Into the hole, boom,” slightly spread your knees to the sides so that the child falls a little. nine0003

This fun workout develops a sense of rhythm, coordination, auditory memory and serves as a test of your baby's attention.

"Properties of objects"

In a playful way, you can introduce your child to the objects that surround him every day. At the same time, it is important that the child not only remember their names, but also understand the physical properties, learn to perceive objects of various structures by touch.

To do this, let the child touch various objects, at the same time characterizing their physical features. For example, the mirror is smooth, but the carpet is rough, the sofa is soft, but the closet is hard, the water is wet, etc. Such an activity will expand the horizons of the baby, improve memory. nine0003

Building toys

Every child has a pyramid in their toy arsenal. It may differ in appearance, have a different number and size of parts, but the functions remain unchanged. Parts can be folded, selecting according to size, or removed one by one from the base rod. Toys of the "Matryoshka" type have similar functions, the parts of which fit into each other.

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Here you can download a mega selection of games with babies by months -

These toys can be bought from 10-11 months old. They develop logical thinking, train visual memory and fine motor skills of hands. At first, you will have to help the baby before he learns to complete the task on his own.

We also read:

  • TOP 10 games with babies under one year old;
  • 11 most unusual ways to have fun with children at home.

Do you want to be the first to read our materials? Subscribe to our telegram channel or VKontakte group. nine0007

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Games for children from 1 to 4 years old - what are the educational games for kids

≈ 5 min read time


  • Games with children from 1 to 2 years old nine0082
  • Educational games for children
  • Games in 2 - 3 years
  • ball games nine0082
  • Games in 3 - 4 years
  • Top games for kids aged 3 to 4
  • nine0081 Games with peers
  • Away games
  • Mom's helpers nine0082

Why are games important for the development of a baby, what to play with children, how to teach a child to play on their own, and when do babies begin to actively play with each other?

If your baby has recently turned a year old, he is probably just starting to walk and is trying to learn about the world around him with redoubled interest. The child is happy to study new objects, tries to try them "by the teeth", shifts from place to place, turns over, pushes, stuffs - in a word, he always shows some kind of activity. She certainly needs to be encouraged, and joint games are perfect for this: playing with parents, the baby develops faster and learns the world around him. Here are the main areas of play with children aged one to two: nine0003

  • Fine motor games;
  • Educational games;
  • Water games.

You can read about activities for the development of fine motor skills in our material “Fine Motor Skills: Development from Birth”. Equally important are games with water: they have a beneficial effect on the entire body, contribute to harmonious development and, of course, children really like them. Here's what a one-year-old baby can do in the bathroom:

  • Play with the water jet, put your hands under it and splash; nine0082
  • Pour water from one cup into another;
  • Decorate yourself (and your parents!) with bath foam, burst soap bubbles;
  • Bathe your toys;
  • Learn to distinguish hot from cold;
  • Color water in different colors with special aqua paints.

Active play is very important for kids. It can be hide-and-seek, tag, chasing, racing or a horse game loved by children, when one of the adults - most often dad - rolls the child on his back. nine0003

How to replace watching TV or playing games on your phone or tablet

Oksana Sergeevna Mishchenko

Child psychologist

Particular attention should be paid to educational games that will help the baby learn colors and shapes, develop observation, memory and speech. Here are some examples: nine0003

  • “Find a toy”: hide your favorite toy from your baby and ask him to find it;
  • "Find by sound": discreetly turn on a musical toy or player, hide it and start searching with a young detective;
  • "Let's look and find": take some picture and study it carefully together with the child, telling what and where is drawn. And then ask the kid to show something specific in this picture. So, if the picture shows different animals, then you first need to tell about each of them, and then ask the kid to find a horse or dog in the picture; nine0082
  • "Learning colors". Start by learning the four primary colors—red, blue, yellow, and green—and then ask your child to point to each of them in a picture, among toys, among home furnishings, on the street, in a shop, on clothes. Balloons, pyramids, paints, colored pencils and crayons, colored paper and any other improvised means can help the baby learn colors;
  • “Learning forms”. Memorizing a square, a circle, a triangle and a rectangle follows the same principle as colors. When the baby is well versed in these figures, you can start playing with a sorter, mosaic, build houses and castles from rectangular, triangular and square blocks, play geometric lotto with him, draw and make applications. And of course, ask the child to identify this or that geometric figure in the world around him. nine0082

It is best to engage in educational games with your child at the same time so that he gets used to a certain daily routine. This is important for the assimilation of the information received by the baby.

By the time the child is 2 years old, this is no longer a helpless toddler, but a real little person who is aware of his own "I". During this period, children begin to show a keen interest in the surrounding reality, and parents must satisfy the curiosity of their kids, not being afraid of endless "why". nine0003

Up to 3 years, the child still prefers the company of parents to games with peers. He can probably play on his own for some time, without calling for help from mom or dad. If the kid does not know how to occupy himself, you should try to teach him this: independent play develops a sense of confidence, imagination and imaginative thinking.

Role-playing games can become such an independent pastime. It is at 2-3 years old that kids begin to actively play with cars, dolls, plush toys, simulating this or that situation and acting as several heroes at once. Girls may have a favorite doll that will need to be fed, watered, put to bed and walked in a stroller. And the boys pretend to be drivers, pilots and machinists, builders, playing with cars, planes, trains and constructors. nine0003

Often for role-playing games, children involve their own parents - do not deny them this. Popular subjects are “family”, “shop”, “hospital”, “kindergarten”. Give your baby new ideas: why not play “guests”, “beach”, “candy store” or “toy factory”?

It is very important to pay attention to the physical development of a 2-3-year-old child. An ordinary ball is perfect for this: playing with it improves coordination of movements, develops dexterity, eye, reaction speed, increases observation and concentration. Here are some ball game options: nine0003

  • While sitting, roll the ball to each other;
  • Collect balls scattered around the room in a basket;
  • Roll the ball in a confined space such as a tunnel;
  • Throw the ball up;
  • Play football;
  • Throw the ball at the target;
  • Throw the ball to each other;
  • Play "edible-inedible".

The older the child becomes, the more interesting and varied the games with him can be. Some of them will help not only develop attention, but also, for example, learn the basic rules of the road that a child will need in everyday life. nine0003

Such games include "Traffic Light". It is necessary to prepare two cardboard circles - red and green - and show them to the child in turn, setting him the task of crossing an imaginary road. The kid must obey the signals of the "traffic light": when an adult shows a red circle, you need to stop, and on a green one - go to the goal. Thanks to this fun game, the three-year-old will better navigate the rules of the road.

Treasure hunt

For this game, you will need several jars, boxes or caskets in which you can hide "treasures": coins, small toys, stickers. Hide them in your house, yard or nearby park and go looking with your child. You can draw a real pirate map that will show you the way to the treasure. nine0003


This game is great for hiking and helps develop observation skills. Think of different objects that you see on the street and ask the child to guess them by saying: “I see something yellow / round / wooden that you do not see!” Then switch roles.

Word game

In order to develop a child's vocabulary, alternately name different animals or cartoon characters, cities, words with a specific letter, fairy-tale characters. nine0003

Puppet show

At this age, children are ready to “establish” a home puppet theater. Actors in it can be your favorite plush animals, homemade toys or special finger puppets. It is not necessary to play only the plots of your favorite books and cartoons - write your own script together with your child!

Deeper breathing

Three year olds love breathing games. Try blowing soap bubbles and balloons together, blowing on strips of paper while holding them in the air, blowing out candles, using your breath to move pieces of cotton wool or small balls around the table. nine0003

After 3 years, children actively begin to play with each other, because they can already express their thoughts, wishes and objections quite well. They are interested in running races, drawing together with crayons on the pavement, sculpting snowmen or building snow fortresses. Very often the game consists in the fact that children repeat the same action or phrase one after another. This is absolutely normal: imitation is an important stage in the development of a child. At the age of 3-4 years, a competitive spirit wakes up in children, which can be encouraged in a playful way by arranging all kinds of marathons and competitions for kids. nine0003

After 3 years, children often lack communication in the kindergarten or on the playgrounds - the era of guests begins. The inviting party should understand that after joint games the house will look like a battlefield, and the guests themselves should be ready to leave with a scandal at any time. Alas, a peaceful game of three-year-olds can turn into a quarrel in an instant. Here are the simple rules for a good play date for 3-4 year olds:

  • The number of children should not exceed 3 - 4;
  • 2 hours is the optimal duration for away games; nine0082
  • Favorite toys of the little owner, which he definitely does not want to share, it is better to remove;
  • Offer children toys that they can play together - a construction set, a set of plasticine, a railway, puzzles, board games, a puppet theater;
  • Give your little ones a break with a healthy snack;
  • Conclude by asking the children to put the toys away together;
  • In order to make the parting less painful, invite your friends to plan the next meeting. Discuss what you can do: bake cookies together, play ball, build a Lego castle. nine0082

It is important to remember that more than anything in the world, children from 1 to 4 love to "play" in adult activities: cleaning, cooking, gardening. This hobby should be encouraged, because very soon it can turn into real help. At any age, there is something for a child to do: a one-year-old baby can get things out of the washing machine, a two-year-old can knead the dough for a pie, and a three-year-old can sweep the floor and wipe it with a rag. Arrange competitions in the spirit of “who will wash the dishes faster”, buy miniature brooms, rolling pins and mops for your child and be sure to praise him for his success. This is how, in a playful way, you can instill in your child a love for homework and find a real little helper. nine0003

Article on our channel Yandex.Zen


  1. Dmitrieva V. G. 200 three-minute educational games for kids. Moscow: AST Publishing House, 2007. - 192 p.
  2. Subbotina L. Yu. How to play with a child. Games for the development of motor skills, speech, attention, memory, thinking, perception. Yaroslavl: Publishing house "Academy of Development", 2011.

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