advice

playing peekaboo:
games to make your baby giggle

Playing games with your baby is one of the little joys of parenthood, and your little one is certainly not complaining either! As well as keeping them happy and entertained, playing with your baby is essential for their development, and every game you play together is helping them learn more about their world.


beautiful smiling baby ready to play games

gentle games with newborns

Even tiny babies will reach out and grab things. They want to learn and experience their new environment, and their sense of touch is an excellent place to start.

When your baby is lying somewhere comfy, and is in an alert and content mood, try touching their bare tummy or tiny hands and feet with different soft-textured things – a velvet scarf, a fluffy toy, a (clean) feather. Your baby will enjoy the new sensations, and will reach out for the item with their little fingers.

mum playing newborn baby games with her baby

games to play with babies under one month old

At around four weeks, it's a good time to start baby massage. Your baby will love the soothing sensations of being stroked, and it’s a lovely bonding moment for you and your blissed-out little one. You may even both sleep better afterwards!

Place your baby gently on a towel in a warm room, and gently rub their tummies and limbs with baby massage oil or olive oil. A tummy rub can really help a colicky baby, and most little ones seem to generally enjoy being massaged. If your baby isn’t so sure about being bare, leave their vest on and just massage their legs.

games for babies under three months

Babies love faces, and by about two months old, your baby has decided that your face is the most interesting thing they've ever seen! Have fun pulling silly faces, and be rewarded with huge gummy grins.

Try poking your tongue out at your baby. You’ll probably see a look of concentration cross your baby’s face – and a little while later, they might stick their tiny tongue back out at you! Chatting, singing, and pulling faces at each other are great fun for you and your baby – and will really help with their development.

great games to play with babies up to six months

Your little one loves music and the sound of your voice, and is chatting back to you in a delightful babble. Cast your mind back to your childhood – what songs and rhymes did you like? It’s lovely sharing these with your little one. Old favourites like This Little Piggy will have them squealing with delight as you tickle their toes. Try nursery rhymes with lifting actions such as The Grand Old Duke of York (and get a bonus upper-body workout), or rocking games like Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Your happy baby will join in with some adorable squeals and giggles.

toddler playing hide and seek

playing with your older baby

Your six month old is really receptive to so many games. Textures are still fascinating – see what your baby makes of water splashing games, and running sand through their fingers. Blowing bubbles is always a hit – watch their little faces track the bubbles as they sail into the air (and a tip for parents: blowing bubbles can be a great de-stressor for you, too).

Now your little one understands that things don’t vanish if they can’t see them, Peekaboo will become a great favourite. You’ll find yourself playing this on and off for the next three years!

As you can see, playing with your baby needn’t involve lots of toys or fancy trips out – quite often, all you need is your face and your voice. Lose any inhibitions about singing, and just enjoy the simple nursery rhyme years.