Little Bloomer’s Weekly Playdate: Social Emotional Play Activities for Babies and Newborns

Little Bloomer’s Weekly Playdate: Social Emotional Play Activities for Babies and Newborns

Try these simple play ideas for interacting with your baby or toddler. Each idea in this week’s play date is filled with ideas to help build social emotional skills such as bonding, imitating, playing interactive games, and managing big emotions! At Little Bloomer, we love supporting your newborn, baby, and toddler as they play, learn, and grow!

0 to 3 Months: Imitation


Social Emotional Milestone: shows interest in faces/facial expressions

Activity: Get ready for a delightful game of mimicry with your baby! Encourage imitation by sticking out your tongue and watching closely as your little one observes. With a twinkle in your eye, wait for their response – whether it's a giggle, a curious stare, or even their own tiny tongue poking out in return. This simple yet engaging activity not only fosters bonding but also lays the foundation for important developmental skills like communication and social interaction.

3 to 6 Months: Mirror Faces

Social Emotional Milestone: enjoys social play

Activity: Delight your baby with a playful mirror adventure! Set up a safe and sturdy mirror, such as the Little Bloomer Soft Mirror, at your baby's eye level and watch as they explore their reflection. Make silly faces together, pulling funny expressions and watching as your baby reacts with giggles and smiles. This joyful activity not only promotes self-awareness and recognition but also encourages social interaction and strengthens the parent-child bond. 

6 to 9 Months: Mommy See, Mommy Do

Social Emotional Milestone: bonding

Activity: Build connection and joint attention with your baby by copying the movements or sounds they make as they play. Is your baby banging toys together? YOU bang toys together, too. Is your baby cooing or babbling? Babble right back to them! Enjoy this cheerful back and forth!

9 to 12 Months: Baby Faces

Social Emotional Milestone: shows several facial expressions, such as happy, sad, mad, and scared

Activity: Look at pictures of other babies in a book together. Talk about what you see in the pictures. Mimic the expressions or emotions expressed by the subjects in the pictures, making sounds such as “boo hoo” for a sad baby or “yay!” for a happy baby. Try making different emotion faces in a mirror with your little one! Through this interactive play, you'll not only strengthen your bond with your baby but also foster their understanding of emotions and empathy.

12 to 15 Months: Musical Copy-cats

Social Emotional Milestone: joint attention

Activity: Explore the world of music and movement with your baby through sing-along songs, dance parties, and musical play. Use Egg Shakers, scarves, and props to create sensory-rich experiences that engage your baby's senses and promote exploration.

15 to 18 Months: Toddler-Led Nature Hike

Social Emotional Milestone: uses caregiver as base for exploration

Activity: Take your toddler on outdoor adventures such as nature walks, visits to the park, or trips to the beach. Let them lead the hike, going at their speed and stopping to explore the wonders of nature together. Toddler led nature hikes foster a sense of awe and wonder while strengthening your bond.

18 to 24 Months: Calm Down Corner

Social Emotional Milestone: experiences “big” emotions, like guilt, shame, and embarrassment

Activity: Transform a corner of your home into a tranquil oasis dedicated to helping your toddler manage big emotions. Fill a basket with comforting items like soft blankets, favorite stuffed animals, or calming sensory toys. Encourage your little one to retreat to this cozy space when they need a moment to breathe and regroup. By providing a designated calm-down area, you're empowering your toddler to recognize and regulate their emotions in a safe and nurturing environment.

These simple activities will help support your baby or toddler as they build understanding and skills for social relationships. Parents and caregivers can help their little ones form secure attachments and an understanding of emotions from a young age - setting them up future success! 



Looking for more play ideas? Check out our previous playdates:

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