How your 5-month-old might play now

    • She can reach out and grasp toys
    • He smiles at other babies—and his own reflection!
    • She can now "multitask"—for example, babbling and reaching for something at the same time
    • When offered a toy, he adjusts the position of his hand to accept it
    • She can roll from belly to back
    • To explore his world, he begins mouthing objects
Toys that help develop a sense of self
  • crawlerImg

    Go Baby Go!™ 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail

    Balance & Coordination Curiosity & Discovery Sensory
  • crawlerImg

    Disney Baby FINDING NEMO Activity Mirror

    Fine Motor Gross Motor Sensory

Help your baby learn more:

    • Start by exploring. Hold your baby on your lap and position the toy in front, like you would hold a book. Explore all sides of the toy with your child and describe what you see as you go.
    • Who do you see? Initiate baby's sense of self-recognition by pointing to her reflection in the mirror, then to your own. "Peek-a-boo! I see you. Do you see Mommy? Who else do you see?" And point out your facial features. "See my eyes? Do you see your eyes? Here they are!" That's how connections begin for babies.
    • Tummy time is important for developing neck and torso muscles. To encourage your baby to play on his tummy longer, give him something to look forward to by placing the mirrored side of a toy within arm's reach.
Infant play gyms
  • crawlerImg

    Discover 'n Grow™ Kick & Play Piano Gym

    Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor Sensory
  • crawlerImg

    Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl Gym

    Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor Sensory

Help your baby learn more:

    • What do you see? Get down at floor level to get baby’s view of overhead toys. This will help you know where to position her for the best vantage point. Change your baby's position every once in a while to freshen the view.
    • Play together to encourage communication and add fun to playtime. Pick a time when baby is in an active play mode, not sleepy or hungry or overly stimulated. You'll be able to tell; if the toy looks too busy for him at the moment, he'll close his eyes.
    • Talk about it. To help your baby learn there's a connection between words and actions, move the parts and talk about them as you go: "Shake-shake-shake. See the silly little face smiling at you?"
    • Hum or sing along to the music on the gym and point out light-up features. The more you talk to your baby and directly engage him, the more you're benefiting his development.
Activity toys
  • crawlerImg

    Brilliant Basics™ Musical Tummy Fun™ Playmat

    Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor Sensory
  • crawlerImg

    Cozy Fit™ Playtime Tummy Wedge

    Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor

Help your baby learn more:

    • Touch and try. Invite your baby to explore all the features of a toy by going through them together, helping him feel the different textures and activate the sounds and movements. All of this sensory stimulation prepares a memory bank of experiences that will continue to grow.
    • Playtime, anytime. Let baby enjoy activity toys with lots of colors and actions that tempt her to reach out and touch. This will enhance eye-hand coordination along with thinking skills.
Toys with music and lights
  • crawlerImg

    Rainforest™ Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym™

    Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor Sensory

Help your baby learn more:

    • What’s this? Before you start playing, point out the different features of a toy to your baby. Have fun activating the different lights and sounds.
    • Sing along. Encourage your child to vocalize to the music, and sing along with baby as you go.
    • Let me entertain you. When baby seems to need attention while you're busy nearby, start the music and lights to keep him entertained.

Open and Close

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For several months after your baby is born, she has a reflex to grasp objects in her palm, but she has trouble letting go. Here's a game to help her gain further control of her hands and her grasp reflex.

Materials

Medium-size toys easily grasped in your baby's hands, such as rattles, stuffed animals, teething rings, blocks, and so on
Table or highchair

Instructions

Collect a variety of graspable toys that fit in your baby's hands.
Seat your baby in your lap next to the table or in her highchair.
Place a toy near your baby, so she has to reach a little to grasp it.
Encourage her to take the toy.
After she has grasped the toy and enjoyed it for a moment, gently peel open her fingers and remove the toy.
Place it back on the table.
While your baby's hands are free, sing the following song as you open, shut, then clap your baby's hands.

Open, Close Them

Open, close them, open, close them,
Give a little clap!
Open, close them, open close them,
Put them in your lap!

Safety

Since your baby is sure to put all toys into her mouth during these months, be sure they are clean and have no sharp edges or small parts that could come loose and become a choking hazard.
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