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Our Favourite Play Activities for Newborns to 2 Year Olds

The first two years of your baby's life are filled with important milestones. You can help and encourage their development by engaging them in specific types of play


It's funny how 6 weeks in our lives can mean very little, but 6 weeks in the life of a developing child can mean the world. From discovering their hands and feet to actually being able to engage with your facial expressions, babies change on a daily basis, and parents often ask us what kind of play they should engage in with their child.

We asked the experts at Fisher Price what they recommend:

"Whether your baby is getting to grips with colours, shapes, first words, songs, or everything at the same time, we know that babies are happiest developing at their own natural pace. 94 per cent* of mums agree that babies learn best when they are having fun!"

Dr. Weber, from the Fisher Price team, offered some helpful advice for parents of children up to two years old. Take a peek at some activities you can try with your child!

Play Tips for 0-2Dr. Weber's tips for play activities

1 - 6 months

Help your baby learn the connection between actions and reactions with a play gym. Put the baby's hand or foot within reach of the dangling or kick at toys, and watch your baby connect and activate a fun response.

As your baby gets stronger, give them tummy time every day. This will help coordination and balance. Babies love to gaze at reflections; position a mirror in front of them so they can look at themselves in a new way.

By 6 months your baby will be beginning to learn how to play. Place a selection of colourful toys within reach to help develop coordination as your baby tries to grab them.

7 - 12 months

Our Favourite Playtips 0-2As your baby's physical skills blossom, play active games to exercise motor skills. If they are crawling, make a game of pushing the toys across the floor and encourage your baby to chase after them.

Use stacking and shape-sorting toys to further encourage motor skills and introduce simple describing words like 'big' and 'little' or 'top' and 'bottom'.

Play Tips for 0-213 - 18 months

Your child may well be walking - and very proud of it!

Boost their confidence. Help your new walker practice balancing and walking by encouraging them to bring a toy along on little excursions through the house. It will boost confidence until they are more secure.

What's different? For a lesson in action/reaction, point out how the sound and speed of the toy or object changes.

19 - 24 months

Play Tips for 0-2

"I do it myself!" That may be your toddler's mantra, embracing every opportunity to learn, do, and become more independent. Role-play toys that encourage pretending will help your child understand new experiences, bringing the big world down to size.

Nurture curiosity, discovery and problem-solving skills by providing gentle encouragement as they explore. Help them make noises - such as cars, planes and farm animals - to accompany their toys.

* Childwise Research of 1,500 mums - September 2013.

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