Explore Through Movement and Play
Babies are like scientists who love making discoveries. Watch to see what interests your child, then encourage their curiosity and help them learn when they play and explore.
With Your Infant (0-12 months)
- Do tummy time. Babies should sleep on their backs, but during the day while they are awake, make sure your baby gets some "tummy time."
- Move arms and legs. When you are dressing your baby or changing their diaper, hold and gently move their arms or legs. Talk or sing about what you're doing.
- Give objects to handle. Provide objects of different colors, shapes, and textures. Use safe, everyday objects. You don’t need fancy toys to keep your baby’s attention!
- Play peek-a-boo. Hide your face with your hands and then open them up to show a big smile. You can also hide objects under a towel or blanket.
With Your Toddler (12-36 months)
- Go on a walk. Stop when your child shows interest in something and talk about it. If it is something that is safe to touch, let them touch it to find out how it feels.
- Play obstacle course. Make a simple obstacle course using blankets, pillows, or boxes. See if your child can go “over,” “under,” “around,” and “through” them.
- Make art. Your toddler will enjoy scribbling with a crayon or chalk. They can also experiment with folding or tearing paper.
- Let them problem-solve. If your toddler is concentrating on something, stand back and see what they can figure out by themselves. If they get stuck, give just enough help so they keep going and don’t give up.
More tips and resources
- Download the full Explore through Movement and Play tip sheet