Learning Games to Engage Baby

By simply engaging with your baby everyday, you can begin to boost his brain power and have lots of fun while doing it. Try these easy and stimulating baby learning activities perfect for snuggle time, on the go, or as you’re handling your daily routines. 

Cheryl Butler
3-minute read

Once you’ve settled in with your precious new baby, in between feedings, diaper changes, naps, and all those cuddles you’ll be sharing, you can also add in a little play time.

By simply engaging with your baby in positive, everyday ways you can begin to boost his brain power and have lots of fun while doing so. Try these easy and stimulating baby learning activities perfect for snuggle time, on the go, or as you’re handling your daily routines:

Imitate Baby    

One of the easiest and most adorable games you can play with your new baby at a very early age is to imitate what he’s doing with his mouth and sounds.  Sport him a big smile when he smiles.  Soon he will begin making facial expressions back at you.  Repeat his cooing and other baby sounds when he is talking to you, and when he sticks his little tongue out, slowly stick your tongue back out and watch in delight as he copies you.  

Where’s Baby’s Mouth?

Want to work on developing language skills and make baby giggle at the same time? Then this silly, simple baby game is perfect for you.  Get your singsong voice ready and ask your baby “Where’s your mouth?”  Then gently touch your baby’s mouth and squeal in delight “There’s your mouth!”  Repeat over and over again and use different body parts. 

Give Baby a Tour

When you hang out with your baby throughout the day, spend some time narrating what’s going on.  “Mommy is putting a dry diaper on you. But first, we're going to use soft wipes to clean you.” Speak slowly and use simple terms.  Don’t feel silly either.  Months before they talk, babies understand much of what you're saying and may even start making connections.  So go ahead and point out your paisley drapes, your new leather boots, and even who the people are in your framed photos.  Talk away and let baby soak it all in.

Do You See What I See?

Keep a little stash of objects beside you and sit with your baby.  Every few minutes take out a new object that you can label and hold up for your baby to see.  “Look Annie, it’s Brady's baseball.”.  Hold the object still about a foot from baby's face and stare at it yourself.  Take different things out during the course of your playtime and delight in the expressions when your baby sees these brand new sights for the first time.

Introduce Textures

When baby is little, the world is a vast sea of new sensory experiences. The best development games provide ways for your infant to explore his environment safely.

Watch how your baby plays when you give him pieces of fabric with different textures -- such as burlap, corduroy, satin, and velvet. The variety of textures will intrigue and interest him. At the same time, holding pieces of fabric and waving them around will help build muscle strength and coordination.

Shake it Up

There's a reason baby rattles are so popular. Not only do they help baby develop, but they're great fun to play with, too.  And today, there is such a variety you and your baby will never get bored.

When baby is little, try shaking her rattle as she watches you. You can then move it out of her sight and continue to rattle it after you're sure you have her attention. Pretty soon, she'll turn her head in an attempt to find the source of the rattling.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.