Baby Activity Ideas for 3-6 Month-Olds
My 40 baby activity ideas for 3 to 6-month-olds will help you to stimulate your baby and aid their development. There is such a big change for your baby at this age/stage and they will be spending much more time awake. Some of the milestones you can expect them to achieve include being able to: hold their head steady, bear weight on their legs, coo when you talk, distinguish between bold colours and turn towards sounds and voices. For more developmental milestones at this stage and other stages of your baby’s first 12 months, download my free printable.
Lots of tummy time is important to strengthen the physical muscles needed for rolling, walking and crawling. So lots of the activities suggested are designed to be carried out alongside tummy time. Remember to always stay in the same room and supervise your baby when they’re on their tummy and if your baby doesn’t seem to enjoy an activity, come back to it when they’re a bit older. Sometimes it takes them a while to get used to new things.
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1. Textured Cards
Stimulate your baby’s senses by making textured cards from things you have at home. Try to find things that feel different – soft, smooth, bumpy, rough etc. Once you have your things, cut pieces off of each item and stick them to cardboard squares (I used cereal boxes). I mostly used a glue gun when making mine, but you can use strong tape as well. Have your baby sit on your lap, hold the card and get them to feel it. As they get bigger, you can use strong tape to stick these cards to the floor as a way to encourage crawling.
2. Banging On Pans
Grab some different pots and pans and use a wooden spoon to bang on them. You could experiment with other pans to see if they make different noises. Try repeating this activity when your baby is older and can bang on the pans themselves – they will love it!
3. Water Play With Toys
Find a shallow dish and add some lukewarm water to it. Then add different toys that float and sink. You could also find everyday objects to use.
4. Homemade Drums
Try making your own homemade drums using containers and rice. You will also need cotton wool, 2 pencils, sellotape and cling film (bear with me, it sounds like a strange assortment of items, I know!) Start by adding different amounts of rice to the containers. Then cover them over with cling film (make sure it’s really tight) and sellotape it. Next, grab your pencils, put the cotton wool over the ends, and sellotape them. These are your drum sticks, which you can use to bang on the clingfilm.
5. Water Play With Different Smells
Try adding fresh herbs to a shallow dish with water. This is a great sensory activity using 4 out of the 5 senses.
6. Colourful Water Play
Adding food colouring to water changes up a water play activity and helps to keep babies interested.
7. Smelly Socks
All you need to this is a clean pair of socks and some dried herbs. Put a different herb in each sock and tie a knot in it. Hold in in front of your baby’s nose so they can smell it. If you’re a keen crafter, you could try making your own sensory bags using cotton material.
Baby activity ideas don’t have to be time-consuming to prepare. Peek-a-boo is an easy and popular game you can play with your baby that requires just you and a thin piece of material. Sarah’s Silks work really well for this activity. You can use them to drape over your baby’s face before revealing yourself again.
9. Hanging Toys
Hang toys for your baby to bat at and grab. Some baby gyms come with hanging toys already. However, they are usually quite high up, meaning babies struggle to reach them. Try lowering them by using linking chains. This helps to bring the toys closer. You can then lay your baby on their tummy and encourage them to move towards them.
10. Shadow puppets
For this activity, you need a torch and a dark room – doing this before bedtime when it’s getting a bit darker is ideal. Shine the torch at the wall and use your hands to create shadow puppets. If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own shadow puppets. All you need is black card and lollipop sticks (kebab sticks will also work). Draw an animal outline on the card and cut it out. Then tape the lollipop stick to the back of the outline and voila, you have your shadow puppet.
Finger puppets and glove puppets are a great way to entertain babies. Using them to make up different stories will encourage your baby to coo, which develops their language skills. If you don’t have any at home, try making your own by using white socks and felt tips.
12. Baby Massage
Baby massage is so beneficial for babies. Not only does it help to soothe them, but it’s also a wonderful bonding activity and helps to strengthen muscles. I miss not massaging K every night before bed – he became uninterested at around 6 months when he wanted to be crawling!
13. Sensory den
Good baby activity ideas are ones that stimulate baby’s senses. Stimulate your baby’s senses by creating a den by using blankets and pegs. Drape your blankets over sofas or chairs. Next, add some toys and put on some music and lights. We used a light projector teddy that plays lullabies. Try laying next to your baby for this activity – you will enjoy seeing the faces they pull!
14. Read books
Reading books with your baby is so important. It helps to develop their language skills and foster a love of reading. Touch and feel books are fantastic for developing your baby’s sense of touch because they are textured. Some of the books I recommend include, That’s Not My Zebra and Never Touch a Dinosaur. They use simple language and the colours are bold. There are also many more books in both of these series.
15. Juggling Scarves
There are lots of baby activity ideas you can make up with juggling scarves. You can tie toys onto them and hang them from baby gyms and use them to play hide and seek. You can also use them to develop your baby’s sense of touch on different parts of their body. I did this after a massage when K was naked. I then threw a scarf up in the air so that it floated down and landed on his body. He also loved watching them float down.
16. Tummy Time Pillow
Use a tummy time pillow helps develop your baby’s physical skills and strengthen their muscles. Lay them over it and hold their body to gently roll them back and forth. Most pillows also come with a few toys on them for babies to play with too. If you don’t have a pillow, try rolling up a big towel and put it into a pillowcase. You will need it to be a log shape.
17. Use Books During Tummy Time
You can use normal books for this activity, but board books work better because they are stronger. Lay your baby on their tummy and prop the books open in a semi-circle in front of them. This will encourage them to reach and grab them.
Some babies get their first tooth when they are as little as four months old! K (now 9 months) still hasn’t got even one tooth yet. However, he did show signs of teething around 4 months and teether toys came in handy. 3 to 6 months is also the age/stage when they want to put everything in their mouths. I spent quite a lot of money on all the popular teethers but the things that he liked to chomp on the most (and still does) are wooden rings. They are cheap, babies can easily grip them and they are great for loose part play when your baby gets older.
Play balls can be used for a number of baby activity ideas and can be enjoyed in lots of different ways. Try putting balls in front of and around your baby for an easy tummy time activity. In the picture, I used a Bright Starts baby gym to keep the balls contained – it folds up into a mini ball pit. You could also lay your baby on their back and place a ball into one of their hands to encourage them to grasp it. Playing with play balls was one of the first objects that K learnt to grasp.
20. Crisp Packet
This was the unlikely item that encouraged K to do mini push-ups in an attempt to get it. It worked better if the bag was unopened. The colour of the packet was red and he loved it because of the sound it made when it was scrunched up. Maybe it’s just a weird thing that my baby liked? It probably says more about me than it does him!
21. Wrist and Sock Rattles
At this age/stage, K loved pulling his feet to his mouth. It’s impressive how flexible babies are! Wrist and sock rattles are great for babies to build on this skill and also make babies more aware of their hands and feet.
22. Rock and Roll
This activity doesn’t require any resources. All you have to do is lay down on the floor and have your baby lay on you with their back to you. Gently rock from side to side and sing them a song. After this, lay them on their tummy and repeat. This activity is good to encourage rolling. Once they are a bit older, you can rock a bit faster as lots of babies love rough and tumble play.
Create your own lightbox for your baby and have them lay in it to look at the lights. You will need a fairly big cardboard box and some fairy lights for this. Poke the lights through the top part of the cardboard and plug them in. Remember to turn them off when you’ve finished this activity and always supervise your baby.
24. Dance Party
This is one of the most fun baby activity ideas on the list! Put on some music, hold your baby and dance with them. Try different genres of music and try to dance to the beat. It’s a fantastic way to exercise as well. Salsa is a great one to dance to and you will get lots of giggles from this one! As your baby gets older, you can dance a bit faster and add in some more daring moves!
25. Treasure Baskets
Baby activity ideas that use treasure baskets have been around for centuries. Traditional Treasure baskets are usually made up of natural, everyday items found around the house. However, you can add toys in too. These are then put into a basket for your baby to freely explore. At 3 months, you will need to take the items out for them to explore but as your baby gets older, they will start to do this themselves.
26. Famous Faces
Faces fascinate babies, especially their Mummy’s. Try printing out pictures of your family members and showing them to your baby. Laminating them will mean they last longer, so they can be saved for another activity further down the line.
Mirrors are fun to use with babies, they love staring at your face and their own reflection. Try using a mirror as part of a tummy time activity.
Using musical instruments with your baby will help to develop their hearing. These are a great investment as babies will start to use these by themselves as they get older.
29. Kicking balloons
Encourage your baby to kick balloons. Simply tie helium-filled balloons to your baby’s wrists and feet.
30. Sensory Bottles
Use a clear plastic bottle and add sensory items for your baby to look at and listen to. Adding in dry foods such as pasta, rice or dried lentils will make nice sounds.
31. Circle of Toys
To do this activity, simply get all of your baby’s toys and put them in a circle around them. This will encourage them to roll over and do mini push-ups to explore them. Doing this activity when they are around 6 months old, will encourage them to crawl and strengthen the muscles needed for this.
32. Hanging Ribbons
Hang ribbons from a baby gym to encourage your baby to bat at them and grab them. Ribbons are easy to add because you can tie them on and cut them to the length you want.
33. Play Airplanes
Now your baby is becoming stronger, you can play the much-loved kids game of airplanes. Lay on the floor on your back and raise your knees so they are pointing towards your face. Place your baby on your knees (on their tummy) and gently move your knees up and down to pretend they are flying.
34. Teddy Talk
You will need a few teddies for this activity. First, start off by laying your baby on their tummy and putting the teddies in front of them in a semi-circle. Once your baby is bored of this, try laying your baby on their back and placing the teddy in their baby grow so they can see it.
35. Foam Blocks
Foam blocks are great for building towers and knocking over. Because they are soft, it doesn’t matter if one accidentally falls on your baby. Build towers for them and encourage them to knock them down. As they grow, they will start to be able to knock them down before you’ve even finished building!
Singing to your baby is a great way to bond and communicate with them. You can sing songs from the radio, nursery rhymes or sensory songs. There are some great Spotify playlists with Nursery rhymes for kids to be found. Nursery rhymes are beneficial because they are short, often rhyme and easy for babies to learn when they are older. Some of our favourites include: 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer, Miss Polly Had a Dolly, Hop Little Bunnies, I Had a Little Turtle and 5 Little Elephants Balancing (this is K’s sleep song – it works like a charm!) At 9 months, K is now dancing to his favourite nursery rhymes, one of them being Miss Polly Had a Dolly.
37. Water Mat
Water mats are a no-mess activity idea that will stimulate your baby and help them to enjoy tummy time. Once you have filled the mat with water once, you can leave it in there ready for the next time.
38. No Mess Sensory Play
Make your own sensory bags by using a ziplock sandwich bag, paper and paint. First, add the paper to the bag. Then squirt different coloured blobs of paint onto the paper and close the bag. Use strong tape to stick it to the floor. Then have your baby explore it while getting in some all-important tummy time. If you don’t tape it to the floor however, your baby will just scrunch it up. You could then repeat this activity another day with other sensory items like water beads, rice, or peas.
39. Getting Out and About
Just taking your baby for a walk in their pushchair helps their development as they are exploring the world. Also, getting some fresh air every day helps babies to sleep better.
Last but not least is swimming. I’m a big advocate of this because there are so many benefits. Having said this, I know how daunting and difficult taking a baby swimming can be, but it’s worth it!
So there you have it – a huge list of 40 activity ideas you can do with your 3 to 6-month-old baby. That’s over a month’s worth of activity ideas! I hope you enjoy these activities as much as we did!
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