1. Talk! (And read, sing, and listen)
We can’t emphasize this enough. The absolute most critical part of developing literacy for infants is to introduce them to lots of languages. You can do this simply by telling the baby about your day, showing them different things in the house (“This is the refrigerator. We store all of our yummy food in here!”), or even talking about pets, other family members in the room, pictures, etc. Make sure you give your baby a chance to respond, too. Although 3-6-month-old won’t understand what you’re saying, they love hearing your voice and soaking in all of the sounds that eventually will mean something for them. They probably will even try to respond with sweet coos and sounds of their own, and you should acknowledge that they are trying to communicate with you.
Of course, reading is a great way to expose your baby to language, too. Opt for the soft books that have textures for the baby to explore. Here are some of our favorite books for babies including 3-6-month-olds.
2. Hang toys on the activity gym.
Using a playmat/activity gym is such a great activity for infants! Babies who are 3-6 months old are just beginning to develop the coordination to reach and grab objects, so reaching activities are great choices. If you don’t have an activity gym, you can simply hold toys above baby when he/she is lying down to incentivize your little one reach for it.
3. Put rattles or bright-colored socks on baby’s feet.
Kick, kick, kick! Kicking their legs is a favorite playtime activity for infants. But at this age, a crucial milestone is reached in which baby can actually raise legs straight and see their feet. You can make this more fun by attaching little bells/rattles to socks, or just use bright, fun colored socks for baby to look at.
4. Create a tummy time station on a Boppy.
By 3-6 months old, babies should be gaining head control and begin propping themselves up on their elbows. A fun sensory activity for infants is to play with different objects and textures during tummy time. Here’s a great resource with activity ideas for your 3-6-month-old.
5. Play games with bright colored scarves (or any kind of cloth).
Scarves are soft and easy for baby to grab and grip, so doing different tracking games and then letting baby reach and grab the scarf will be a hit! Here are the play scarves we’re referencing.
What are your favorite activities for infants who are 3-6 months old? We’d love to hear your ideas, too! And if you need quality infant childcare with providers who love to help babies develop — check us out!