Boost Your Baby’s Social and Emotional Skills with Little Bloomer’s Weekly Playdate Activities

Boost Your Baby’s Social and Emotional Skills with Little Bloomer’s Weekly Playdate Activities

Need new ideas to play with your baby this week? We got you!  Little Bloomer Weekly Playdates are a series of playful activities tailored for babies and toddlers from birth to 24 months. This week’s playdate focuses on Social and Emotional Development. The simple ideas we share will help your baby bond with you, build social skills such as interactive play, and gain confidence and independence! At Little Bloomer, we love supporting you as you help your little one grow and learn.

Let’s play!

0 to 3 Months: Dance Together

Social Emotional Milestone: bonds with and learns to trust caregiver

Activity: Embrace the soothing rhythm of movement with your newborn in this calming activity. Find a comfortable spot in your home and softly sway to tranquil music or lullabies. Holding your baby securely, gently move from side to side or in a circular motion. Feel the closeness and connection deepen as you share this tender moment together. This simple activity provides a peaceful opportunity for bonding and relaxation, fostering a sense of security and comfort for both you and your baby.

3 to 6 Months: Anticipation Games

Social Emotional Milestone: Enjoys social play

Activity: Anticipation games are perfect for this age and so much fun! Try creating a simple song or rhyme that ends with a sweet kiss or gentle touch for your baby. Another idea is to play a "tickle, tickle" game: pause just before you tickle them a few times, building excitement, and then finally go in for the tickle. These games are great for making your little one giggle and helping them learn about back and forth social interactions!

6 to 9 Months: Peek-a-Boo Sounds

Social Emotional Milestone: Plays Peek-a-Boo

Activity: Try this fun twist on peekaboo that you can play before your baby is mobile. Step out of your baby’s sight, like behind them, and call out, “Where’s Mommy?” or “Where’s [your name]?” Wait for your baby to turn and find you. Once they do, move to a different spot and play again. This game is perfect for engaging your little one's hearing and sense of curiosity as they look for a preferred caregiver!

9 to 12 Months: Toy Peek-a-Boo

Social Emotional Milestone: has a favorite toy

Activity: Start by choosing one of your baby’s favorite toys. Sit with your baby on the floor and hold a soft blanket or cloth. Show the toy to your baby and let them hold or touch it for a moment. Next, gently hide the toy behind the blanket, keeping your baby’s curiosity piqued. In a cheerful voice, say, “Where’s the toy?” Pause for a few seconds, then reveal the toy with a big smile and say, “Peek-a-boo!” Watch as your baby’s eyes light up with surprise and delight. This activity not only entertains your little one but also helps develop their understanding of object permanence and enhances their sensory skills.

12 to 15 Months: Baby Faces

Social Emotional Milestone: shows facial expressions, begins to understand emotions

Activity: Gather pictures or books of other babies and familiar faces, and sit down with your little one. Point out different people, objects, and scenes in the pictures. Describe what you see, saying things like, "Look at this happy baby!" or "See the puppy playing?" When appropriate, mimic the expressions or emotions shown in the photos. If a baby in the picture is laughing, laugh along with your little one. If there's a surprised face, widen your eyes and gasp. This activity not only entertains your baby but also helps them learn about emotions, expressions, and the world around them.


15 to 18 Months: Mini Me

Social Emotional Milestone: uses caregiver as a base for exploration

Activity: Your toddler is becoming more independent all the time, but still uses you as a secure base for exploration. This can make getting things done around the house pretty tricky! Try involving your toddler in simple tasks, such as using a spray bottle to spray the table and a washcloth to wipe. This builds confidence and self-help skills!

18 to 24 Months: My Turn, Your Turn

Social Emotional Milestone: has difficult sharing

Activity: At a year and a half, your toddler is beginning to be more possessive of their toys. While sharing may be very tricky for them, one way you can practice is through playing “My turn, Your turn.” Grab a toy and play with it for a few moments, saying “my turn” if your child reaches for it. Then, tell them “your turn!” and pass them the toy. When they are done playing, say “my turn!” and continue passing the toy back and forth, smiling and having fun together.

These simple activities will help support your baby or toddler as they learn to relate to others with their growing social and emotional skills. Remember, every child develops at their own pace, so let your child's curiosity and interests guide these playful learning experiences. Enjoy these precious moments of discovery and connection, celebrating each small step and giggle along the way.

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