Once your baby reaches the end of 3 months, you’ll be surprised to notice that he/she is much more active and ready to play. Now is the time to start engaging your little one in small games that aid development. Most mothers don’t realize that there are actually games and learning activities that not only keep your little one engaged and happy but enable learning too. Here are 8 such activities to start with. Of course, you can tweak and modify them to suit your and your baby’s needs. The idea is to set the ball rolling.
Skill Development Of A 3 Month Old
At this stage your baby begins to develop 5 basic skills.
- Fine motor skills: At this stage babies are able to reach out for and grasp things, but briefly. Grasping develops in phases, and here is a detailed information on this development. And you might need to watch out, for what is held in the hand might straight away head to the mouth
- Gross motor skills: Baby’s neck and back begin to gain strength. If you have not yet started tummy time, then it is highly recommended to start
- Communication: At this stage the house will be filled with babbling sounds and baby talks. Babies can laugh and smile. When you make funny sounds, they react to it. The baby makes eye contact, smiles at you and waves her arms in excitement as you bend to lift her up
- Learning: Surprisingly, babies as young as 3 months begin to learn a lot. They can follow toys and people with their eyes. They understand when the mothers are around and might cry when she leaves the room briefly
- Language: Babies whose parents talk to them often possess higher IQ and wider vocabularies than their peers – so interaction is highly important at this time. Babies of bilingual families benefit when both the languages are spoken regularly
So, the games and activities that you play with your babies are designed keeping in mind to strengthen these 5 areas further. Also, with these games begins a lifetime of playing and learning via playing. So, let your creativity flow and watch your baby enjoy and squeal with delight as they enjoy playing and bonding with you.
8 Engaging And Learning Activities For A 3 Month Old
- Reach out for toys: This is one of the basic activities that most parents engage in. Make your baby lie on his/her tummy and place small toys and rattles a little away but within reach. Encourage your baby to reach for them. Alternately, you can have your baby on your lap and hold out a toy to grab his/her attention. Gently move the toy sideways or up and down and encourage the baby to grab and hold them. You can put your baby down and make him roll over to grab the toy. This way he will try to roll over on his/her own gradually
- Talk, clap, sing, dance: Speak to your baby, sing a song, use the rattles to make different sounds and dance too. That way you will notice that your baby is following the sounds and the movements. Sometimes you can make the sound but hide the toy that makes it. Your baby will search for the source of the sound. Try to make the sounds from all sides of the baby—above, below and behind. Keep changing the speed and pitch of the sound and notice how your baby reacts to the difference
- Surprise!: Try placing a squeaky toy on your baby’s hands. Hold their hands to gently press it and notice the surprise when they hear the sudden noise. This way they learn about cause and effect. The moment you keep a toy in their hand they’ll expect it to squeak when pressed
- Flash it: In a dark room, move a flashlight focusing on the floor, ceiling, objects, people and pets. Watch as your baby moves his/her eyes and head along the direction of the light. Look at the surprise in his/her eyes and joy as he/she discovers new things. Babies enjoy this a lot. Each day you can keep different objects for focus and say aloud the names of things/people as you focus your light on them. That way your baby will begin to understand and learn names for things/people
- Feet/hands up in the air: Put your baby on his/her back. Hold the legs up and move them in a variety of patterns. You can change the speed and use music to follow a rhythm. Make the bicycle step, openthe legs on both sides, make circles, count toes, cross legs. Get imaginative and keep changing and moving. Once the legs are done, start with the hands. Kids simply love this and look forward to it
- Bang on target: Tie a rope and on it attach items that are lightweight and move easily when hit, like, balloons, ribbons, balls, pieces of cloth, paper plates and so on. Make sure they are colorful and of different sizes and textures. Hang them so that your baby can reach them easily. Watch as they bang on them and their excitement when the objects move with their touch. Playgyms can be a good choice at this stage
- Hold it tight: Help your baby sit and bring a toy in front of him/her. Help them grasp it with their fingers. Slowly remove your hands and see how long your baby can hold on to it on his/her own. In the beginning, it will be only for a few seconds. Continue with another toy. Try to use objects of different textures. Let them feel the change. Gradually, their grip will strengthen and they will be able to reach out and hold toys on his/her own and for long
- Move, sway, rock: Hold your baby in your lap and gently sway from side to side. Lift him/her and put them on your chest and gently roll over. Sit on a chair and slowly spin and rock. Carry him/her and go out so he/she can see the world around. Keep changing positions to avoid boredom and add excitement. Notice which one your baby enjoys most. May be you could continue that for a while longer. Always, always remember never to throw your baby in the air or shake her vigorously
As already mentioned, there is no end to the number of games that you can play with your little one the moment they start moving around a bit. The more creative you are, the more your baby will enjoy. And you will notice that with each game/activity that you play with your baby, he/she learns, enjoys, plays and most importantly, bonds with you better. These are the little joys that parenting brings along. Take time out to enjoy them while they last.