Ever wonder what sort of activities to do with your infant?

Do you know What is developmentally appropriate activities?

Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) is an approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development.

 Get ideas with this guide to developmentally-appropriate play.

Phase One : Birth-1 month

  • Visual play

    • Gaze at baby at close range
    • Hang colorful toys (high contrast) 8 -10 inches in front of baby’s face
    • Hang mobile with black  and white patterns above baby
  • Auditory play

    • Talk and sing to baby
    • Play CD with lullabies or other soft music for baby
    • Have ticking clock or other rhythmic noises nearby
  • Tactile play

    • Hold, caress, and cuddle baby
    • Swaddle baby
    • Keep baby warm
  • Kinetic play

    • Rock baby in a rocking chair
    • Pat baby on the back
    • Let baby ride in a stroller for walks“Wear”baby in an infant carrier

Phase Two on the Next Page

Phase Two : 2-3 months

  • Visual play

    • Make room bright with high contrast pictures
    • Hold brightly colored toys in front of baby and slowly move them up, down, right, left, and in a circle
    • Take baby to various rooms while completing chores
    • Smile at baby
  • Auditory play

    • Talk to baby
    • Laugh when baby laughs Involve baby in family gatherings and activities
    • Shake rattles for baby
    • Expose baby to various sounds in the home (e.g., dishwasher, vacuum) and outside of the home (e.g., cash register, honking car )
  • Tactile play

    • Caress baby during baths and while changing clothes
    • Give baby a massage
    • Comb baby’s hair with a soft brush
    • Help baby touch different textures (e.g., soft stuffed animal, smooth table top )
  • Kinetic play

    • Use infant swing and/or bouncer
    • Place baby on tummy for tummy time
    • Move baby’s extremities in swimming motions
    • Utilize toy bars and infant play mats


Phase Three on the Next Page

Phase Three : 4-6 months

  • Visual play

    • Place baby in front of baby – safe mirror
    • Provide baby with brightly colored toys that can be grasped
  • Auditory play

    • Talk to baby; mimic sounds baby makes
    • Call baby by name
    • Crinkle different papers by baby’s ear
    • Help baby grip and shake rattles
  • Tactile play

    • Give baby toys of various textures
    • Allow baby to splash in bath
    • Place baby on a soft, furry rug
  • Kinetic play

    • Bounce baby in lap while holding in standing position
    • Support baby in sitting position
    • Place baby on floor to roll over, crawl, and sit


Phase  Four on the Next Page

Phase Four : 6-9 months

  • Visual play

    • Give baby toys that have moveable parts and make noise
    • Place baby in front of a baby -safe mirror
    • Play peekaboo with baby
    • Make funny faces at baby; mimic the faces baby makes
  • Auditory play

    • Repeat simple words such as “ dada, ” “mama,” and “ hi ”
    • Name body parts, foods, people, and colors when playing with baby
    • Narrate to baby what you are doing Use “no” only when necessary
    • Give simple commands
    • Show baby how to clap hands
  • Tactile play

    • Let baby touch fabrics of various textures with hands and feet
    • Let baby manipulate foods of various textures
    • Help baby “ catch ” running water and pour water out of cups
    • Encourage baby to “ swim ” in a bathtub or shallow pool
    • Give baby a wad of sticky tape to manipulate
  • Kinetic play

    • Help baby stand upright and bounce
    • Say “up” when lifting baby up and “down” when putting baby down
    • Place toys out of baby’s reach to encourage baby to move to get them
    • Play pat-a-cake
    • Dance with baby in your arms


Phase Four on the Next Page

9-12 months

  • Visual play

    • Show baby pictures in books
    • Take baby to places where there are animals, people, and a variety of objects (e.g., zoo, shopping mall)
    • Help baby roll a ball
    • Help baby build a short tower out of blocks
  • Auditory play

    • Read nursery rhymes and simple books to baby
    • Point to body parts and name them
    • Imitate sounds of animals
  • Tactile play

    • Give finger foods of various textures to baby
    • Let baby squash food
    • Let baby play with cold and warm objects; call them “cold” and“warm”
    • Let baby feel a breeze (e.g., fan blowing)
  • Kinetic play

    • Provide large push – pull toys for baby
    • Place furniture in a circle around baby to encourage cruising
    • Help baby practice walking