Even before his first birthday, your child can enjoy these rollicking games that help develop both his muscles and his budding sense of identity.

Lap Rides

A moderate amount of movement from the safety of your lap is a real thrill for your baby, especially when accompanied by a nursery rhyme. Just be extremely careful not to let him fall or to jostle his head or neck.


This favorite is never out of style with infants, and it is great for helping them understand that you are still there even when they can't see you.

Where Is It?

Let your baby see you hide an object under a blanket and then ask, "Where is it?" As your baby becomes adept at finding a single object, help lengthen his attention span by hiding two or three objects.

Patting and Clapping Games

Rhymes that include action, such as "pat-a-cake" and "This little piggy" involve many of your child's senses, and as he becomes familiar with these games, he delights in anticipating your next move.

Find Your Nose

Your baby loves all of his many parts and pointing them out can be a real thrill. Ask, "Where is your nose?" "Where are your toes?" and watch your child thrill at his ability to point to the right place.

Come and Get It

Place a toy or other appealing object just out of your child's reach and encourage him to grab for it or crawl toward it. Be sure to let him enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching his target.

From The Parents Book of Lists: From Birth to Age Three, by the editors of Parents Magazine with Marge Kennedy. Copyright © 2000 by Roundtable Press and G+J USA Publishing.

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