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Developmental Stages of Play

Babies love to play – and during their first year of life, the way they play can change a lot. Learn more about playtime and what it might look like for your baby.

Baby Boy playing with toys in class

Your baby’s first year is filled with many new experiences. Play is the perfect way for your baby to learn what she can do while discovering the world around her.

At this age, babies don’t quite understand how to play with others yet, and they’ll tend to explore and play on their own. However, when others are playing around them, babies will often observe their surroundings and sometimes even react. In fact, it’s common for a baby to move closer to the “action” and observe, but still remain non-engaged with the activity.

Babies may not be ready to play with others just yet, but at this important stage, they’re absorbing it all – and getting ready for that next step.

Parent Tip: Offer your baby safe, age-appropriate toys within arm’s reach so she can reach and explore objects on her own.

When playing with your baby, it’s okay to have him just watch you. Get down on the floor and look at your baby as you describe what you’re doing. Even if he isn’t participating in the activity, he may start mirroring what you do with his own toys!

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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