It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post on therapeutic activities for infants, so I wanted to share with you two of my favorite games to play with the little ones. I like these two games because you are exposing the baby to language as well as positive touch. Generally I sing these two games to the babies, but you can always chant the words instead!
The first one is called “The Little Train”. This one is very quick and easy, though many babies want you to repeat it over and over again. Start by touching your baby’s hand gently and say the words “The little train goes up the tracks” while walking your fingers up your baby’s arm to her shoulder. Next say “It goes Choo Choo!” while pretending to pull down on an imaginary chain with your hand. Finally say “And then it comes back” while walking your fingers back down her arm to her hand.
I like to say the first two lines slowly, then say the last line quickly, but you can vary the speed of the chant however you like. A word of caution though, be aware of how much pressure you are putting on your baby’s arm. Some babies find a light touch to feel like you are tickling them and it is uncomfortable. If your baby is extra sensitive, try a bit firmer touch and do the game slowly.
The second game is called “Creeping Little Flea”. This one is a bit longer but it also is helping the baby to learn the names of body parts. This game is great for diaper changes or anytime your baby is lying on his back. As you say the lines, walk you fingers along your baby’s body, touching each body part as you name it. You’ll be starting at the toes and walking up to his nose and back with your fingers. Here are the words:
Creeping creeping little flea
Up my leg and past my knee
To my tummy, on he goes
Up my chin and to my nose
Now he’s creeping down my chin
To my tummy once again
Down my leg and past my knee
To my toe that little flea…
When you say “gotcha” gently grab your baby’s foot and wiggle it. If you are curious, the tune itself is fairly simple, you are just slowly going up the musical scale as your fingers go up the body and down the scale as your fingers go down. Again, just like the other song, make sure you are gentle when touching your baby, but don’t do it too light that it feels uncomfortable. Both these songs are great for promoting bonding, language development, and normalization. Try them out and tell me what you think!
Baby Games Activity Notes
Ages: Birth to 2