Explore Through Movement and Play

Encourage curiosity, discovery, and a healthy body.

Navigation Arrow
View Tips
Navigation Arrow

Sink or Float

During bath time, guess whether an item will sink or float. Then place it in the water to find out. Try a different object. See what happens and talk about it.

On and Off

Help your older baby push buttons or turn things on/off (with supervision). Think doorbells, light switches, or faucets. Talk about what they did and what happened.

Container Play

Once your baby can grasp objects, they will enjoy picking them up and dropping them into containers. What objects/containers could they use? Describe their actions using position words.

Move Arms and Legs

When playing with your baby, help them experience new movements. Gently bicycle their legs. Or clap their hands or feet in a rhythm as you sing or chant.

Help with Experiments

Your infant discovers how the world works by experimenting. They also learn through repetition, so they might drop a spoon over and over to see what happens. Watch and assist!

Play Peek-a-Boo

Hide your face with your hands and then open them up to show a big smile. You can also hide objects under a towel or in a box for your baby to find.

Mirror Play

Give your baby a small mirror to play with or sit in front of a large mirror together and make silly faces. Point to and label their body parts.

Five Senses

Provide objects with different colors, shapes, sounds, and textures. Your baby will love to examine items from your home and nature, like keys, sponges and pinecones. Sit back and see what interests them most.

Practice Reaching

Hold a toy over your infant’s head or put one on the floor just beyond their reach to encourage movement.

Tummy Time

Your baby should sleep on their back, but during the day while awake, make sure they get supervised "tummy time." Start with just a few minutes until they get used to it. Make it fun by getting on the floor with them.

Let Them Move Around

Give your baby time and space to explore their surroundings by reaching, rolling, scooting, and crawling. Just make sure they are safe.

Why This Matters

Infants and toddlers are like scientists—curious and excited to learn about their surroundings. Children explore and learn about the world through movement and play. There are many kinds of play: exploring objects and their features using the senses, silly games with loved ones, imaginative and pretend play, creative activities such as drawing, and physical play, such as crawling or rolling a ball. Movement and play keep children healthy and build their coordination and strength.


Your child benefits from  spending some playing with others, and some time playing alone, figuring things out independently (with you nearby). Help them build on their interests and see where their curiosity takes them.