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Developmental play

Early Developmental Play Activities

Keeping babies active and stimulated is vital during the early months of development. We’ve put together some fun ideas for you to try! Remember, if you have any concerns talk to your GP or give us a call at Movement Solutions!

Head Control

  • Tummy time is very important for developing head control and preparing for crawling and rolling. When baby is awake place them on their tummy for short periods throughout the day with toys for play.
  • Holding your baby across your lap or over your arm, on your chest, or on your bed with you sitting on the floor talking to baby can also be used as other forms of tummy time.
  • Carry your baby over your forearm, or high up on your shoulder with both their arms in front of them.
  • Turn baby onto their side. With your hands around baby’s chest, tilt slightly forward as you pick baby up. Unless your baby has a medical condition that requires you to support the head, you need not do so as long as you come up slowly.

Hand/Feet Play

  • Give your baby rattles and toys to look at and start to interact with. Early exploration will be swipes and grasps.
  • Encourage baby to bring hands to midline (line running down the middle of their body) and hands together (e.g. clapping and play with their fingers). Baby taking hands to mouth is part of this early learning process.
  • Placing baby on their side at playtime enables hands to midline without the effects of gravity.
  • Encourage your baby to reach for and hold their feet, rocking side to side in preparation for rolling.

Nappy Change Time

  • Place baby on a pillow to enable good eye contact.
  • Make sure their head is in the midline and their chin is tucked to their chest: this makes it easier for them to focus.
  • Allow baby some nappy free time to kick and move freely.
  • Tickle baby’s tummy and ‘blow raspberries’ to encourage good abdominal activation and control.
  • Bring arms or feet together and encourage baby to play with their fingers or toes.

Stimulate the Sense

  • Massage can be a very positive experience for babies and parents.
  • Encourage eye follow horizontally from 6 weeks, vertically form 8 weeks and in a circular motion from 12 weeks. That’s when they start following a mobile.
  • Music can be both stimulating and soothing.
  • Holding and playing with toys or fabrics of different textures, sounds and lights can provide different sensory experiences as well.


  • Use many different position experiences for playtime (tummy time, side, back, supported sitting).
  • Ensure when baby is sleeping on their back that they spend equal time with head left and right to decrease the moulding/flattening effects on their head. If you notice any moulding or baby develops a preference to one side seek advice from our experts at Movement Solutions.

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