Baby development activities are actually a fancy way of saying play activities for infants! Babies learn through play and you can help your baby develop coordination and skills by assisting their exploration and play. These fun developmental activities for newborns are great for use at home or at daycare.

Baby development activities - baby - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s play with baby today!

Baby Development Activities

Here are two dozen different activities we and other kids activities bloggers have done with their infants to help connect and interact with them.  

Related: More baby activity ideas

Babies naturally develop through play and exploration. These simple play ideas that don’t require any set up will help you interact with your baby in a developmentally appropriate way letting baby learn fine motor, gross motor and sensory skills.

Play Development Ideas

24 baby activities to help your child play and explore - collage of 3 baby development activities with smiling baby
Let’s play some developmental games with baby!

1. Playing With Building Blocks

Building Blocks are a versatile toy that will take you through babyhood into the preschool years. Newborns like to bat at the blocks, growing infants like to chew on them or bang them together. Crawling babies love to knock stacks over and tots like beginning to make piles/stacks.

2. Fun Brush Sensory Activity For Babies

Help your child experience different textures with a collection of brushes. We made a pair after reading the post by Make, Do and Friend (link no longer available) and my 12m old loves being stroked. Consider making “wands” with feathers, ribbons, cotton balls and whatever other supplies you have around the house.

3. Mirror Play With Babies

Play with mirrors. Babies love to watch themselves and other children interact with a mirror. This is a fun game for a one year old – it is so much fun watching them discover themselves.

4. Baby Bath Time Activities

Bath time can be a great time for interaction. Add blowing bubbles to their tub experience and lather on the lotion after your child has been dried off.

5. Play Fetch With Your Baby

Play fetch. This is mu hubs favorite baby game. During tummy time put something on the edge of their reach for them to get, then, when they are crawling throw it so they can go get the item. When your child is a tot they will begin throwing items for you to go get.

6. Help Your Baby Dance and Bounce

Jiggle and Bounce. Babies love to be jiggled. Hold them up in the air or bounce them on your knees. It is sure to get a smile every time.

Infant Play Activities

Activities for babies: 24 ways to play with your infant

7. Fun Baby Sensory Tub Activities

Baby Sensory tubs are great place for discovery. Babies learn cause and effect as they interact with a variety of objects. Play with large dried pasta noodles.

8. Help Your Baby’s Muscles Develop With These Fun Activities

Help your infant develop core muscles. Help them roll onto a ball, exercise with them by holding them against your legs as you do crunches/leg lifts.

9. Chewable Sensory Bin Activities For Babies

Make a “chewable” sensory bin for your baby (more baby games) using old hair scrunchies. It was a one year old activity “hit”.

10. Baby Pretend Play Activities

As infants learn about the world around them, they begin to play pretend. Have fun with your infant by feeding and being fed pretend foods.

11. Playing With Finger and Toes Baby Activities

Fingers and toes mesmerize small tots. Consider learning some finger plays  to entertain your child.

12. Make Music and Explore Music With Your Baby

Make music. Look in your recycle bin, look for any cardboard tubes, old formula cans, an empty tin, cover it and allow your children to explore sounds as they bang with a variety of objects. Listen to music together!

13. Rhyme Singing Activities With Your Baby

Babies language development is rapidly growing even before they are able to make words. Help their vocabularies by singing rhymes with your infant.

14. Copy Games and Activities With Your Baby

Help your infant develop language skills through motor control over their tongue.   Stick your tongue out at your newborn, they will start sticking it back at you. This was our infants first interactive “game”.

Baby Games

Development of play in babies, oh. so. important.  Here are a ton of activities for your infants

15. Explore Textures With Discovery Boxes

Explore textures with your child and a collection of scraps in a discovery box. Kidadl has a wide variety of suggestions of things to put in your basket/box to keep it full of surprise for your child.

16. Silly Ways To Play With Your Baby

Infants and babies love to be surprised. Think of ways you can pleasantly surprise your child – you can come up behind them and give them a kiss, or peek your head out of a door at them. My infant loves to have us blow raspberries on his belly.

17. Fun Fine Motor Skill Games For Babies

Help your baby develop fine motor skills and improve their pincher grasp as they pick up pom-poms and drop them down a tube. This will keep your tot engaged for awhile (at least it did mine).

18. Difference Games To Play With Your Baby

Teach your child to differentiate with two separate types of items with this infant activity.  In Learn with Play at Home, they had a collection of blocks vs balls for their baby to explore. You could do the same activity with animals vs cars or dolls.

19. Water Play Games For Your Babies and Toddlers

Water. Do your babies love to splash? Mine do! Make water play a fun post-meal time game for your toddler. They help soak off the grime between their fingers and the crevices of the highchair all while learning about cause and effect.

20. Give Your Baby Lots Of Kisses

Give lots of kisses! Nose kisses, butterfly kisses & raspberry kisses are some of my child’s favorite ways to be loved.

21. Fine Motor Skill Games For Babies

Babies love to learn how things work. In this busy kids activity, Give your child a box of straws and a colander. It is so much fun to watch them discover how to thread the straws through the holes of the colander.

22. Play Tag With Your Baby

Play chase with your baby. Young infants love it when you exaggerate your movements as you are coming towards them. Once your child is mobile chase them and then give them a hug when you “catch” them.

23. Help Your Baby Learn About Their Eyes, Nose, and Toes

Help your child learn to identify body parts by touching their eyes, or nose, or toes and saying what they are. Help your child touch your body “parts” and identify them.

Favorite Books for Babies

books for baby
Click to find our favorite books for babies!

Activities by Age from Kids Activities Blog


What is your favorite baby development activity?

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  2. The baby teacher at the daycare i work at made snack time a sensory activity. She put rice cereal and the Gerber puffs (could use any finger food snack of course) and the yogurt melts on a tray for the babies to reach in and grab. Even if they get a little rice cereal with their snack its not bad. Put them on the floor or in the high chair. She used the floor because she had 3 11 month olds. Plus when its all done just pick up any snack off the floor and vacuum or sweep up the rice cereal.

  3. This is a collection of such AWESOME ideas! Enjoyed reading through and hope to entertain little ones at home and among my loved ones with some ideas – just wanted to invite you to my parenting page on Facebook. For Conscious Parenting tips and tidbits, motivational/inspirational/fun quotes and photos, check us out at – see you there!

  4. I wish I had this when my youngest were babies. I love how so many of these ideas don’t require the purchase of fancy toys and can really be done anywhere. Fabulous list that I will be passing along to my new mommy friends and pinning.