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Playing simple games like peek-a-boo with your baby during their first year is fun, and is important for their development.

Your baby may already be giving out signals that he or she is ready to play.

They may be taking more interest in you or other people, reaching out or smiling.

Remember that babies may get tired of games after a while - with obvious signals like crying - or perhaps just looking away.

Here are 10 games you can play with your baby to help them develop:


Classic fun for a baby as your face disappears behind your hands - but then mysteriously appears again as the hands move away while saying "Peek-A-Boo"!

It takes until around 9 months for a baby to work out that your face is still there behind the hands. You'll know because they may grab your hands to reveal your face for themselves.

As well as being great fun, the baby learns that mummy and daddy do come back even if they seem to go away for a time.

Mummy see, mummy do

Join in with baby's coos and gagas by copying the sounds they make. If they smile - smile back. It is like the start of a conversation and helps build baby's self-confidence as you have fun together.



Obviously baby's dancing will have to wait until after they can walk - but that doesn’t stop you dancing together while holding them.

Boost baby bonding with a dance to fit in with their mood - a playful jig - or a soothing slow routine.


Clap along as you sing "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can. Pat it and roll it and mark it with B. And put it in the oven for baby and me."

This song is silly and repetitive - but that's a good thing. It is fun, and even helps with language skills.

If you involve your baby with gentle clapping in time with the song - it stimulates their sense of touch - and eventually motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination as they learn to join in.

Where's your nose?

All you need for this game is a nose, a finger and a funny singsong voice.

Ask: "Where's your nose"? Then touch their nose - very gently of course - while saying "There's your nose!"

It doesn’t have to stop with noses - move on to other parts of their body or things around you - and slowly it helps put names to things.

Fun with fabric

You can get special soft toys with different fabric surfaces - or you can play it yourself with some scraps of material with different textures. Fake fur, corduroy and satin all feel different and can be fascinating for a baby. Handling the pieces of fabric also helps with coordination and muscle movement.

First-year baby games

From peek-a-boo to pat-a-cake! The top games to help your baby learn.
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