When my little ones were 3-month-old babies, I could not have written this post. I could not have formulated coherent sentences to write about learning activities for 3-month-old babies. And if I had found the time—and words—to write it (miraculously), I would have certainly opted to sleep.
But now with my youngest growing up way too quickly, I am able to head back and fill in some gaps in this space. We have loads of activities for toddlers, preschoolers, and even big kids—but not too many for the littlest learners.
I thought I would start right from the beginning with learning activities for 3-month-old babies (and if you are reading this with a little one younger than three months… Oh, mama… please, please go to sleep!).
I have also made a FREE printable for you of adorable high contrast animals. These are perfect for printing and using to build your baby’s coordination, tracking skills, and more! You can find that freebie below. I hope you love it!
Babies, of course, develop in many different areas all the time—emotionally and socially, absolutely—but I want to focus here on four specific areas of development for 3-month-olds:
- Fine Motor
- Gross Motor
- Communicating and Imitating
Fine motor skills for a 3-month-old are just beginning to develop. Little ones are just beginning to reach for objects, and some may be able to grasp and hold a toy briefly. If they do, that toy likely heads right for their mouth.
Gross motor skills for 3-month-olds focus on strengthening their little necks and backs. Time on their tummy (while rather controversial in some areas) continues to be recommended by Pediatricians here in Canada.
Communicating and imitating involves beginning to make a few noises and babies will begin to smile and laugh at about this time. You will likely see your baby respond to you when you make silly sounds and noises.
Learning is already being well established! Three-month-olds are beginning to track people and toys with their eyes and learn that their smiles and giggles can have an impact.
In each of these four areas of development, there is a ton that can be learned! Games and activities appropriate in each of these four areas are fun and wonderful ways to promote bonding as well as begin their journey on a lifetime of learning.
Learning Activity Ideas for 3-Month-Old Babies
Note: As I find the time—while I don’t have a 3-month-old babe anymore, I am still a Mama to four little ones!—I will add in oodles of specific activities for each of these ideas. If the words are highlighted in a different colour, please click through to read more detailed ideas.
1. Reaching for toys. Lay baby on her back or tummy and hold toys out for her to reach.
2. Singing clapping songs and helping baby to clap his or her hands. Pat-a-cake or these action songs for babies are great.
3. Providing toys for little ones to grasp and mouth. Help your little one grip toys of various sizes and shapes (remember babies can choke on anything small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll).
1. Practicing supporting his or her own head when properly supported by the waist and chest. Put babe on your lap facing you and carefully supporting her neck and back as she requires. Encourage her to look up at your face by making silly sounds and noises, smiling and giggling.
2. Tummy time. Put babe on her stomach with some brightly coloured toys in front of her. Encourage her to reach for them. Lay in front of her with a smiling face and encourage her to look at your face by pushing up on her little arms, strengthening her little body and your bond all at the same time.
3. Change positions often. Have baby lay on her back, tummy, sit well supported, or carry her looking over your shoulder. The different views of the world will encourage her to look around to see new things. Be sure to chat with her about all she sees.
Communicating and Imitating
1. Encourage baby to follow your voice. Walk to various parts of a room and call your baby’s name. When she looks your way, be sure to respond with a smile and snuggle.
2. Encourage baby to imitate. Lay baby on your lap facing you and when she makes a facial movement or sound, imitate it back to her. Be sure to respond with smiles so she continues this form of communication. She will begin to realize that her sounds hold meaning and can get a response from Mama.
3. Talk and sing. Paint a picture for baby with your words. As you are playing with baby, tell her about what she is seeing: “Look Genevieve, the cat is coming over. Isn’t she a big kitty? Her brown fur is so soft.” Little ones are already beginning to develop an understanding of language. The more words they hear now the better, though it is also incredibly important that little ones have lots of time for rest and silence.
1. Practice tracking toys and people. Lay baby on the ground and gently roll a ball in front of her. Encourage her to follow the ball with her eyes. This can be done with tons of different toys or even people. A rattle may help to add in a little encouragement if she doesn’t seem interested at first.
2. Use babe’s name. When you are talking to your baby use her name. Sing songs using her name. Her name is one of the very first words she will begin to attach a meaning to.
3. Sing lullabies and nursery rhymes using high voices, low voices, and soft voices.
4. Provide baby with different textures to explore. Sensory boards can be easily made, though are not really necessary. Let baby feel the carpet, the grass, wood floors, and cushions.
Learning activities for 3-month-old babies may seem quite simple… and they are! It doesn’t take much to give these little ones a wonderful start. Remember to also give babe lots of quiet time to process all the learning that happens in a day.
Most importantly, enjoy this time with your little one! She will spend her entire life learning new things, ad now is the perfect time for a Mama to know that she will learn at her own pace, perhaps faster or slower in certain areas, whenever she is ready.
Thank you for reading!
P.S. Don’t forget to download your Free High-Contrast Images:
You’ll also love these How Wee Learn best-sellers: