Are you looking for baby play and activity ideas? Talking, singing and reading books are all great for your little one’s development. But sometimes you need different activities to entertain them. And to keep you occupied when you’re at home all day too.
I’ve been there!
So today, I’m sharing a super easy idea you can try with your baby today. This activity involves your baby playing with a teddy bear. And it’s a great way to introduce stuffed animals to your little one. I tried this with my baby when he was almost 3 months old. His reactions to the soft toys were the cutest. And I also managed to take some good photos too!
But before we talk about the activity itself, let’s talk about why teddy bears are a great toy to have around.
Why Do Babies Like Stuffed Animals?
Babies love stuffed animals because they’re soft, cuddly and provide emotional comfort. They’ll quickly grow attached to them from an early age. It’s thought that most babies will show they have a favourite soft toy between the ages of 6-12 months old. This is when they start to realise they’re separate from their parents. So they find something to ease their anxieties.
As they get older, you’ll notice your baby playing with a teddy bear in different ways. They’ll start caring for their toy and use them to act out the different things they’ve seen you do. Like giving them a bath or brushing their hair. These role-playing games are how they learn and make sense of the world.
How Can Soft Toys Help My Baby’s Development?
A baby playing with a teddy bear is a great activity for infants that aren’t yet rolling over consistently. It’ll also help them to reach the following 3 month old milestones:
- Purposely move their head to look around them
- Shows more interest in toys
- Starts making gurgling and cooing noises
- First smile
- Follows objects with their eyes when they’re moved slowly in their line of vision (tracking)
How To Start Your Baby Playing With a Teddy Bear
For this activity, you will need:
- A soft toy like a teddy or stuffed animal
One is enough, but you may want to use 2.
Make sure the toy is tall enough. It will sit on their tummy so you want to make sure your baby can see it when they’re lying down.
Once you have your chosen toy, find somewhere comfortable and lay your baby on their back. A soft, comfortable activity mat is ideal for this.
Next, undo some of the poppers on their baby grow. And slot the bottom half of the teddy bear inside. You should still be able to see the top half.
The bear will now look as if it’s sitting on your baby’s tummy. Before you start playing, do up some of the poppers on your baby’s clothes. This will help the stuffed toy stay in place.
Watch your baby playing with a teddy bear on their own first. Look at their reactions. Did they make different gurgling and cooing noises? Were they smiling or laughing?
Next, encourage your baby to talk to the stuffed animal if they haven’t already. Or get them to babble some more. Simply place your hand behind the teddy’s head. Then move it from side to side. Try talking to your baby in the teddy’s voice too.
Get older siblings involved and encourage them to try this too.
Once your baby’s had fun with one soft toy, swap it around and use a different one. Place it inside their baby grow again and watch what they do. Are their reactions the same or different? Do they prefer this teddy over the last one? Are they smiling or babbling more?
Other Ways Your Baby Will Love Playing With a Teddy Bear
Your baby can play with a teddy bear during tummy time too. Put the soft toy in front of them and encourage them to focus on it. Try making the teddy talk again. And slowly move it to the left. Then to the right. This will encourage your baby to turn their head and follow the toy with their eyes.
Use a stuffed animal to play a simple game of peek-a-boo. It’s another easy way you can encourage your baby to move their head to look around them.
To do this, hold the toy in front of your baby’s face so they can see it. Then slowly move it and hide it behind your back. Ask your baby – where’s teddy gone? Then slowly move it to their line of vision and say ‘peek-a-boo.’
This game is great for babies of all ages. And it’ll help them eventually learn that objects are still there even though they can’t see them (object permanence).
Teddy bears are an important part of growing up and they provide kids with so much comfort.
You don’t have to wait until your baby’s older before introducing them to one! A baby playing with a teddy bear is one of the cutest things to see. So make the most use of their soft toys now and try this fun baby play activity today.
Give your baby time to focus on the teddy without distractions. Then try to make it move around a little and give it a voice. Don’t forget to use the soft toy during tummy time sessions and to play a fun game of peek-a-boo!
Remember to never let your child sleep with a teddy bear. It puts them at risk of suffocation.
Looking For Other Baby Activities?
Take a look at our water sensory play for babies.