4 Months and Older
I See You
Playing peekaboo -- hiding your face behind your hands and peeking out at baby -- is an exciting game.
What Babies Learn: By the time your child is 4 months old, she can begin to understand the notion of object permanence -- that you or an object still exist when out of sight. Playing peekaboo helps reinforce this concept as well as build her memory skills. "Children never outgrow peekaboo because it provides an element of excitement and surprise," says Goldberg.
Game Plan: Try all sorts of variations. Cover a toy car with a blanket and ask your baby "Where did the car go?" while looking perplexed. "During bath time, have toys disappear under the bath water, then magically reappear," says Stacy DeBroff, author of The Mom Book: 4,278 Tips for Moms (Simon & Schuster). Clarissa Zulick of Carlsbad, California, mother of 18-month-old Noah, says her son's favorite game is a version of peekaboo for toddlers: "He waves and says 'Bye,' which is my cue to sneak off somewhere quietly. Then I pop out and surprise him."