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There are loads of ways you can have fun with your baby at home. Once they turn 6 months, playing is helping them get ready for crawling and standing, and the exploring never stops. We’ve got a bucket-load of ideas on what to play indoors with your baby that can let both of you have some fun, bring you even closer and it even helps your wee one's development!

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Playful time

Babies are born ready to explore the world and learn. But for the first 18 months at least, the most interesting thing in the world is you. They don’t need expensive toys – just all the attention you can give them.

Make dedicated playtime for them whenever you can, but don’t worry when you can’t. Just focus on making life playful instead. This can include “chatting” to your baby as you cook, clean, shop or get ready for work.

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What the parents say

Tip #1: Boo!

Playing games like ‘peek-a-boo’ can be a real treat for your baby. Hiding behind a cushion or even your hands and then reappearing with a ‘peek-a-boo’ always makes them laugh and smile. It’s a lovely game that can also help to teach them that if you go away for a second, you’ll always come back.

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Tip #2: This little piggy

Games like ‘this little piggy’ are fun ways for you to share some lovely moments together. Don’t forget the big tickle at the end! You can find lots more games like this in the Bookbug Song and Rhyme Library.

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Tip #3: Reaching tips

When your little one is just learning how to stand up, help them practice by getting them to reach for toys on your sofa.

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Tip #4: Passing games

Photo of a baby with a ball in living room

Once your little one is sitting up happily, you may want to start playing some ball games. Passing a soft ball to each other is a good way to start. Sit close together to begin with, and as your baby finds it easier to do, you can start moving further apart.

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Tip #5: Bath beards

Making bubble beards at bath-time is a great way to keep your baby laughing while you wash their hair. Try making bubble beards on each other to see who can look the silliest.

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Calm time

We all need space. Even babies. So you don’t need to be interacting with your baby every waking hour. Babies are fine to amuse themselves: watching the hustle and bustle of family life can be very entertaining, though keep an eye on them.

Spending time with your baby is really important, but too much stimulation can be confusing for them. Periods of “down time” when they can just chill out are good for them too. It helps them proces all the information they are taking in.

Look out for signs that your baby needs to pause the playtime – sometimes they turn their head away to show this. Your baby will let you know when they are ready for some more playing and talking, or need something else, so all you have to do is watch out for those signs.

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“Playing with your baby doesn’t need to take a lot of time or be expensive. There will be plenty of things around the house that you can use to entertain them. Just looking at pictures in books or magazines, singing songs or reading nursery rhymes together can be wonderful fun for both of you. The most important thing is to get down to their level, get your babies attention and have fun together. Your baby will learn more from you than they will from any toy.”

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