When she can hold her head up, lay her on her back on the floor and gently pull her into a sitting position by her hands, saying ‘boo!’ when she’s upright.
She’ll enjoy interacting with you, and it’ll strengthen her back and neck muscles.
Pat-a-cake, Round and Round the Garden, etc - show her how to clap her hands at the end.
It encourages her awareness of her hands and gives her an early lesson in language.
Sit your baby on your lap and, holding her hands, rock her backwards and forwards as you sing.
She’ll develop her sense of balance as you rock and bounce her on your lap, and will learn more about language.
Fill a bag (not a plastic carrier) with a variety of baby-safe items – a rattle, a soft toy, some building blocks etc. Let her empty the bag then fill it up again.
It introduces her to simple concepts like ‘empty’ and ‘full’, ‘soft’ and ‘hard’, and improves her hand-eye co-ordination as she handles different objects.
Play by hiding under the bed sheets first thing in the morning, or behind the sofa when you’re playing in the house.
She’ll begin to understand object constancy – the idea that just because she can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s no longer there.
Buy a pretend tea set and host a party in the garden for your little one’s dolls and teddies.
Pouring ‘tea’ (or water) teaches her about volume and tests her co-ordination, and entertaining her teddies boosts her social skills.
Go out for a walk round the park and get your tot to collect objects from a list – a big, smooth stone; a feather; a pine cone (you can also download treasure hunt lists from here).
It helps her object recognition, gives her some physical exercise and picking things up improves her dexterity and gets her used to shapes and textures.
Set up a ‘shop’ on the kitchen table with pieces of fruit and tins from the cupboard. Get your tot to be the shopkeeper and find what you want to ‘buy’.
She’ll learn about social roles and what different foods look like, and handling tins and boxes improves her hand-eye co-ordination.