1. Tummy time

For babies, tummy time is one of the earliest opportunities to learn to play and move. Although infants should always (!) sleep on their backs, regular tummy time while away is also important.

On their stomachs, babies learn to train the muscles in their neck and upper body. In addition, they gain more control over their own head. As soon as a baby gets older and stronger, you can also place a toy in front of your child in order to promote crawling, grasping and body motor skills.

So when can tummy time start? In general, you can start on the baby’s first day back from the hospital. The best way is to lay your baby on their stomach up to three times a day for three to five minutes.

2. Explore faces

Discover the world! Babies do especially well with their sense of touch. You can use this as a learning activity – and allow your baby to touch and get to know the different parts of your face.

Whether the eyes, nose or mouth: say the names of the parts of your face when your child touches them. Guide your baby’s hand on their own face and help them to understand and feel their own faces.

With this game, you can also make different facial expressions. This is how your baby can learn how we use our faces to communicate. The faces of plush animals or dolls can also be explored.

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Stand-Up Mouse

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Doll "Hanna"

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3. Fun with boxes and containers

You don’t always need toys! Sometimes a simple box can amust babies while training their motor skills. Just fill a few boxes or containers (such as empty egg cartons or shoeboxes) with newspaper or gift wrapping paper.

Your child will discover the boxes with lots of curiosity. They can stack the boxes, knock them over and build them again with your help. Your baby will shake the boxes and learn how they open – and they’ll love the sound of the paper ripping. Naturally, you can also hide other objects in the boxes, too.

4. Toys on a string

Almost every toy can be attached to a string. Simply attach a piece of thread or a shoelace to the toy (such as a toy car or a plush animal) and encourage your baby to pull on it.

Infants‘ eyes will light up when the toy suddenly moves. If your child can already crawl, you can put the thread just out of their reach. Then the baby has to move in order to grab the thread and pull the toy towards them.

5. Make them laugh

Is there anything more wonderful than laughing together with your baby? Absolutely not! Laughter is not only good for the soul. It also helps your infant develop a sense of humour – and that is known to be an important part of human communication.

Pay attention to what your baby finds funny and repeat it. Use objects such as silly hats, big sunglasses or mirrors and make your baby laugh. Make funny faces, speak in silly voices or smear a little baby food on their nose when they’re eating. Babies often laugh at the most unusual things!

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Rattle Little Bell

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6. The Decision Game

Now think carefully! Which toy is the best? Give your baby two toys, one in each hand. Offer them a third toy so that your child can develop their decision-making skills.

Should I switch one of my toys for another one? Can I try to hold all three?! This game is great exercise for both your baby’s body and mind.

7. Discover surfaces

Has your baby started to crawl and scoot around? Then lay different objects with various textures on the floor and let your baby explore the different surfaces.

Pieces of loose carpet, double-sided tape, crinkling aluminium foil or fun bubble wrap are only a few ideas. You can also carry your baby and let them discover various walls, trees or stair railings.

8. Water games

Splash, splash! Fun with water doesn’t have to stay within bath time. Simply fill a small plastic bucket with water. Look for different objects that you and your baby can use to make splashing toys, such as plastic cups, spoons or similar objects.

A bubble batch also provides lots of fascination. You can also put a few drops of food colouring or fragrant oils into the water. But this is important: never leave your baby unsupervised near water. Not even for a short moment!

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Water Toy Sailboats

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Water Toy Wind-Up Whale

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Water Toy Wind-Up Canoe Pelican

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9. Discover the world

Pointing at others with your finger is impolite – unless you’re a baby! Carry your baby around and point to different objects while saying the name of the object at which you’re pointing.

This is how you can discover the world together. Even when your baby can’t speak yet or even make noises, they will still listen to you and watch you while you speak! At some point, switch roles in the game and ask your child “What is that?” One day you’ll be amazed when your child suddenly answers.

10. Catching game

Even easy catching games are great for babies. Such games challenge all their senses and help infants to improve their hand-eye coordination. So what can you throw? Light, brightly coloured scarves are great options. Just toss them into the air and let them slowly float back down.

Alternatively, you can use soap bubbles, or combine the catching game with the next bath time. Lay colourful plastic balls in the bathtub and give your baby a bucket. Show your child that they can fish out the floating balls and put them into the bucket.

More about the author

Lena, Marketing Manager

at small foot since
2 Children, A girl (5 years), and a boy (2 years)
Why do you like working for small foot?
I like the informal, personal atmosphere. The individual departments work together like big gears and use teamwork to create a wide range of high-quality products which have been accompanying children for now over 30 years.
What's something you particularly like about small foot toys?
The focus on wood as a material, the loving details (e.g. the graffiti on product 11377 (Freight Train Station with Accessories), the exclusive designs.
What is your favorite small foot toy?
The Houses of Locks! Kids loves keys, and their first attempts to open different kinds of locks playfully trains their fine motor skills. I'm impressed by the high level of long-lasting playtime value and the possbility to lock up little treasures!

After the birth of my first baby, I placed a lot of value on sustainable materials. The wooden Balls of Fun Rattle unites two things: sustainable material and a child-friendly baby toy. The noises that the rattle makes really made my baby grin and laugh. I especially like the fact that the rattle fit well in the hand and is saliva-proof. In their first months, babies really like putting toys in their mouths and experiencing them with all their senses. The German TÜV certification gave me peace of mind when buying the small foot Balls of Fun Rattle.