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Having fun together

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Your wee one may only be tiny, but spending time with you is a big deal to them as it helps them form an attachment with you. And by having fun together, you can help them in so many ways.

Playing, talking and reading with your baby will bring you closer together, which helps them become sociable and makes it easier for them to form friendships later on. It can also help with their movement, letting their bones, muscles and heart grow strong. The stimulation also boosts the growth of little brains, and can make a positive difference to your baby’s health and happiness in the future.

You don’t need lots of time, toys or expensive equipment for playing, talking and reading together - you can fit these little activities in easily with your everyday routine. And because they will all help your baby learn to play for longer before they get bored, it may even mean fewer mini meltdowns, temper tantrums and tears! So why not have a go? Here are some great tips to get you started.

What the parents say

Tip #1: Read before bed

Tip #1: Read before bed

Tip #1: Read before bed

Read together before bed. Your voice will soothe your little one, and it’s a lovely excuse for a cuddle. You might think they don’t know what the words mean, but babies’ brains are like wee sponges – you’d be amazed what they pick up even when they’re tiny.

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Tip #2: Sing!

Singing to your baby while you go about your day is a great way to keep them entertained. And babies learn by hearing your voice. They don’t care if you’re not Rihanna - they’ll love your voice more!

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Tip #3: Take your baby to the park

Tip #3: Take your baby to the park

Tip #3: Take your baby to the park

The park is a wonderland to wee ones. Ducks, trees, squirrels, flowers – it’s all totally new and amazing to them. It’s also a bit of fresh air for you.

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Tip #4: Use simple toys

Babies don't need lots of new toys to be happy. Wooden spoons, plastic tumblers, a drink bottle filled with colourful items and sealed shut – anything can be a toy! Just make sure it can’t be swallowed, and there are no loose, sharp or removable parts.

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Tip #5: Entertain them with a mirror

Who’s that in the mirror? Try letting your baby look at their reflection and see if they recognise themselves.

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Tip #6: Hands-on playing

Tip #6: Hands-on playing

Tip #6: Hands-on playing

As your wee one gets older, they might try grabbing everything around them. So pop them on a blanket and scatter some objects around them. And give them a kiss and a ‘well done’ when they reach them.

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Tip #7: Make a mobile

Making a mobile is great way to keep babies interested as their eyes develop and they focus more. They’re easy to make at home too. Just cut out different colourful objects from magazines, back them with card, attach them to string on a coat hanger - and you’ve got an instant mobile!

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Tip #8: It's tickle time!

Tickling can be a lovely way to bond. When you're changing your baby’s nappy, tickle their toes or tummy – they love how it feels.

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Tip #9: Point out things to your baby

Is that a car? There’s a doggie! Point to things when you’re out and about. Your wee one will learn to focus on where you're pointing, and you’ll both be entertained.

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What the professionals say

"Connecting with your child might happen straight away, but for some parents it may take days, or even weeks – and all of this is normal. Child experts say relationships form from an intense feeling of attachment – a strong desire to care for and protect your baby. Over time, this creates an overwhelming sense of love and affection. Playing together can help build strong bonds. This can be anything from a family stroll around the block or having a cuddle together while playing peek-a-boo at home."

More information

Remember that if you have any worries about your relationship with your child, it always helps to talk things through with someone. You can speak to your health visitor - and you can also read about creating a secure attachment with your baby on the Ready Steady Baby website.

This article was created as part of 

Last updated: 31 Oct, 2018


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