Child's play – How to play with your baby from 4-6 months
Peek-a-boo can become more sophisticated at this age.
Your baby will start to exert some control over her individual digits and consequently, objects that she can hold and touch as well. A baby of this age is also beginning to differentiate colours, shapes and sizes, as well as developing association with various smells. Most importantly any activities that combine auditory, tactile and visual experiences such as holding, looking and listening to a book being read, or listening, moving and singing sounds in music, are ideal as they cultivate several of your baby's senses, all at one time.
- Lightly spray your baby's toys with safe, natural scents such as lemon, vanilla and peppermint (nothing that could cause irritation) and let her sniff them one by one. State the name of the smell and repeat it for your baby to hear. Do the same when coming in contact with bad odours such as when you change your baby's nappy or burn some toast – it aids your baby with the distinction of pleasant and unpleasant smells.
- Because babies can recognise a wider range of bright colours at this stage of development, ensure there is plenty of exposure to a broad colour pallet through toys and interior and external surroundings such as green grass, staring up at a blue sky or a bright red rose placed in a vase within their eyeline. In doing this, baby's become familiar with primary colours so that recognition of pastel colours follows shortly after.
- Line up materials of different textures (such as wool, velvet, towelling, lace) along a board and place it in front of your baby to pat and stare at.
- Roll your baby from side to side during tummy time to introduce the movements that are needed for your baby to flip from front to back and vice versa. Hold objects out of reach and watch your baby reach for them. Board books or cloth books are very good for babies of this age as they try to grab and turn the pages.
- Peek-a-boo can become more sophisticated at this age, with parents hiding behind furniture, doors and curtains, instead of just their hands. Making funny noises and laughing during peek-a-boo helps babies realise it's a game and that they're not being abandoned.