Tell Me Baby > Articles > Baby > Baby play & development > Play ideas for your 3 to 6-month-old baby
Baby play & development Play at Any Age

Play ideas for your 3 to 6-month-old baby

Share it

This is part 2 of our Play at Any Stage series with Fisher-Price. See other age groups, from birth to 12 months, here.

Your baby has changed so much over the last three months. They’ve now formed an attachment to you and are loving all the time you’re spending together. 

At this age, baby is hopefully settling in and starting to get a feel for this new world they are now living in outside of the womb. They know your face, your voice and your laugh, and they will smile at things they like. That said, the idea that you are a separate person won’t come until around 7 months of age. 

“This is such a fun age because this is when their personality really explodes,” says Lauren Celenza, child development specialist and researcher at the Fisher-Price Play Lab. “You will really start to get a lot more laughing at this age, they start to think things are funny.”

Watch the full chat with Lauren – with lots of play and development advice for babies from 0 to 12 months – on Facebook.

What to expect when playing with your 3- to 6-month-old

While parents should still be playing with their baby every day, it’s important not to overstimulate them. Babies can still only cope with short bursts of play and will let you know when they’ve had enough. 

Signs your baby is overstimulated include:

  • crying
  • turning their heads away or in opposite direction
  • clenching their fists
  • waving their arms and kick
  • appearing tired.

Tummy time is still a really important part of your baby’s play routine. Hopefully this has increased from a few minutes a day to 10-15 minutes several times a day. This involves popping baby on their tummy and letting them kick their legs and wave their arms. To keep this fun, Lauren suggests changing the way you do it. “You can put your baby on your chest, facing you,” she says “That angle where your chest peaks down is a really nice spot for them to lift their head up and you can really get some nice face to/face interaction.”

At this stage your baby is becoming much stronger and may have started rolling from side to side and pushing their chest up with their arms. Their feet and hands are also gaining in strength and there’s a lot more play activities they can do. 

“You’ll see in the 3 to 6 month age range, they find their feet so they’ll be really into their toes,” says Lauren. “Anything that makes a sound, you can put on their wrists or put on their hands or have them hold foot rattles, anything that gets them thinking in a different way; this is a great age to introduce something new.”

Baby milestones to keep an eye out for

While every baby is different, there are some milestones to look out for around this age:

  • Social and emotional milestones: laughs while playing and imitates facial expressions.
  • Physical milestones: turns head in all directions and begins to roll over, some may even sit up by the end of 6 months
  • Cognitive milestones: imitates sounds and actions, also likes textures and examines objects. 

Play ideas, games and toys for 3 to 6 months

  • Sing, read, talk: keep doing what you’ve been doing since your baby was born. The more you interact with your baby the better your baby’s communication development will be. Baby will start to listen to you and then reply (even if it’s just babble).
  • Fisher-Price Tambourine & Maracas Gift Set: this is just the right size for little hands to stimulate the senses. Start your own little band!
  • Foot rattles: Great for floor play, putting a foot rattle on your baby encourages them to reach for their toes, improving fine and gross motor skills. The noise of the rattle is an added bonus for baby. 
  • Make faces: Your baby can recognise and imitate facial expressions, and changing facial expressions will provide lots of entertainment. In fact, smiling at your baby releases chemicals in them to make them feel happy and safe, so don’t hold back! 
  • Adjust the volume: when singing songs or listening to music, alternate between your normal singing voice and whispering to show baby the different ways you can use your voice. 
  • Noisy toys: Choose toys that baby can easily grab, manipulate and make a noise, for example anything with a crinkle, bell or chime
  • Move toys around the house: For a baby at this age, an old toy in a new spot can suddenly become interesting again.
  • Bubbles: Not just for toddlers, bubbles are also a great way to encourage baby to reach out and touch them. 

Speak with your GP or child and family health nurse if you’re concerned about baby development or you need support.

Get prepared: read tips on playing with your 6 to 9-month-old.

Featured recommendations

Get stories like this and exclusive offers delivered to your inbox.

Earn gift cards for your opinions

Review baby products to earn Coles, Kmart and Target gift cards. It's so easy!