Your sweet tiny nugget is no longer a newborn and suddenly they want real entertainment. What do you do?! 3 – 6 month old playtime is all about building muscle and growing teeth. You’ll spend a lot of time finding new things to chew on and new ways to encourage prolonged tummy time or sitting distractions while they build those muscles.
Everyone always talks bout how fast your baby leaves the newborn stage and I will totally admit to asking ‘where my baby went’ but then I remember how exciting it is watching how fast they are learning in the 3 – 6 month range. SO many firsts and the arrival of true baby giggles and big toothless grins are totally worth it.
Invitations to play broken down month by month for 3 – 6 month old playtime
I broke down my 3 – 6 month old playtime ideas into a month by month format, but PLEASE continue to offer the previous month’s activities and don’t be afraid to circle back to something that they seem uninterested in at the time!
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Classic Baby Playtime ideas that just never get old!
Read to your baby – If you are doing one thing for your baby’s development if should be reading and reading often. You don’t have to stick to baby books or even children’s books. They are not hearing the words so much as the cadence and language structure. Listening to reading helps that little baby brain develop so much and it is a breeze to add to 3 – 6 month old playtime so no excuses!
Mirror – My statement still stands, if you can get a mirror incorporated into your baby playspace its a wonderful addition to your baby playtime. Babies LOVE to look at faces and they really like to look at their own face. This has been a great way to change up an activity that she might be otherwise getting bored of.
Baby playtime at 3 months old
Play links – skinny and light, easy to hold onto and easy to get into the mouth these quickly became a favorite for Miss Bean and we always have a few laying around.
Ribbon Mobile – As soon as you notice your baby starting to grab your hair is a great time to introduce the ribbon mobile. It’s easy to grab a hold of and super satisfy for them to tangle their fingers into. Make sure and hang it with elastic
Crinkle Paper – this made a major comeback for us right before the turn to 4 months. She LOVED anything crinkly. Bubble wrap was a particular favorite.
Baby playtime at 4 months old
Teethers – I noticed at about 4.5 months the drool started and she was consistently putting everything in her mouth. This is the time to introduce teethers. Her personal fav is this orange one. But she also likes cool ones so we have a set of teether keys as well. It’s a good idea to have a variety on hand as you never know what they will gravitate towards. I have considered this rainbow one as it is similar to the play links, this Comotomo one as it is highly rated among Montessori moms, and this one Tikiri Toys Octopus just because its cute.
Tummy Time invitations – I’ll be the first to admit I WISH I had done some more of the awesome ideas you see on Pinterest, but we were in the process of moving during this time and I honestly just didn’t have the time. But there are LOTS of great ideas for ways to encourage your little to spend more time on their tummy for 3 – 6 month old playtime. And we all know how important that is to build muscles for sitting and crawling!
More often than not what I did do was set up a toy or a book in front of her to give her something new to look at and something to try reaching for. One invitation I did do was a rimmed baking sheet filled with water for her to splash in.
Baby playtime at 5 months old
Activity table – As soon as they are sitting independently you can bring out the next evolution of the baby containment device. Don’t leave the baby in an activity table for long periods of time and makes sure their feet are touching down flat not on the tiptoes, but an activity table or exersaucer can be a great way for the baby to play when you need to get something else done and you dont want to have to worry.
Silicone straws and Silicone muffin liners – I’m going to let you in on a mom hack right here. silicone straws are a fabulous teething toy. they are flexible and feel nice to bite. They’re cheap and easy to wash. they can get all the way back to the molars for older babies and they don’t hurt when you get hit with them. Silicone muffin liners are also really good because they’re even more flexible and basically cover the whole fist in a chewy covering
Spinning drum – for any baby who loves to hit and bat at things This is a great toy to add, it has been a BIG hit as we approach 7 months. It can be a little tricky to track down the easiest I found is through Lovevery, in the Senser kit.
Discovery baskets – a classic invitation to play found in any Montessori baby play space. It is quite simply just a small basket filled with everyday items for your baby to explore and discover. You will often find them themed around a particular color or concept such as shape or texture but at this early stage are like to create mine a little more well-rounded covering all of the ” basic” baby toys such as rattles crinkle paper teethers play links etc
If you want a more detailed look at our what our discovery basket contains at 6 months check out this post HERE
Baby playtime at 6 months old
Swing – We introduce the swing right at 6 months and honestly we could have done it sooner we just didn’t have anywhere to put the swing!
Pikler Triangle – This is going to be much more dependent on your individual baby’s gross motor skills. Miss being had been standing with assistance in lapse and on the floor for almost a month before she was stable enough to offer her something else to hold on to. I like using pickler for this because the rings are the perfect size for her hand and the angle of the slant means she’s not perfectly vertical and she’s not fighting as much gravity
Peek a boo – using our place silks to cover her face I would then slowly pull the silk off her face and say boo the addition of the play silk or a light Muslim blanket adds some sensory input versus just covering your own face
Rattles – Just in the last couple of weeks has she started to really move her arms around just to witness the impact of hitting her hand on the table or the sound of shaking a rattle. My personal favorites are still the Skwish and bell cylinder. She doesn’t seem to have much of a preference.
Don’t be discouraged if they don’t want to play with anything at all
In the 3 – 6 month range, most babies are super focused on learning to sit and crawl so they may be so focused on mastering those skills that they could care less about any toy or invitation to play you put in front of them. Know that this is totally normal and just keep encouraging the gross motor development and come back to the toys later!
If you want to see some of these and other fun invitations to play in action you can check out my Instagram where I post all about what we are up to in the day to day