4 fun baby activities for cognitive and motor development


Our babies are naturally curious and as they engage with the world around them through play, they are actually developing their thinking, feeling, communication, understanding and memory skills. 

They love our attention, our interaction and our positive reinforcement as they look to us to help them understand and grow. So, activities are a great way to give your baby time to explore and play with your attention and praise at the ready. 

Try out these fun baby activities to encourage your little one’s physical and mental development – but don’t stress too much, your loving stare and attention are really all they need at this stage!

1. Introducing numbers activity

It will be a while before your little one can recite their 1-2-3’s but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to introduce numbers. Start counting things out aloud whenever you can. This could be anything – peas, cars, balls, apples or steps in changing a nappy. What you count isn’t important, rather that you are building familiarity with numbers.

What you’ll need 

  • Items to count


  • Problem-solving
  • Identifying ‘trends’ and similarities in objects
  • Counting
  • Analytical skills and making sense of information

2. DIY sensory mobile

Grab a wooden coat hanger and use string to tie different objects to it. Choose objects with noise or textures and put them within reach, allowing your baby to grab, play and follow with their eyes.

Vision development is important from an early age. To help stimulate your baby’s vision, decorate their room with colourful objects, artwork and creative mobiles. Hanging a mobile above their cot means they will practice following the stars or animals with their eyes before they fall asleep.

What you’ll need

  • Pom pom garland
  • Feather boa
  • Ribbons
  • Mini toys


  • Motor skills
  • Visual stimulation

3. Puzzle time activity

Simple wooden puzzles are great for little ones. Start with small puzzles, preferably with chunky wooden handles as these are easier for small hands to grasp. Remember to show your baby a few times, but then leave them to have a go for themselves.

A great way to promote your baby’s self-esteem is to include praise during playtime. Make sure you tell them how impressed you are with their puzzle skills as they go!

What you’ll need

  • Simple wooden puzzle


  • Fine motor skills
  • Sensory skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Social skills such as cooperative play

4. What’s in your bag?

Little ones love handbags! Place your handbag on the floor and you will be surprised how long they will entertain themselves going through it all. Be sure to hide away anything that shouldn’t end up in your baby’s mouth, or that can break.

An important part of your baby’s development is learning how things work.

They’ll love to ‘open and close’, take contents in and out, or try to fit certain things in different spaces.

What you’ll need 

  • Handbag with safe contents.
  • Empty wipe or tissue pouches, your baby will love the scrunch
  • Secure coin purse


  • Motor skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Cause and effect

It’s so amazing seeing just how fast our little babies grow within the first year of their lives. Taking time each day, or whenever you can sneak in a moment to engage their cognitive and motor skills with a fun activity, is a great way to bond with your little one and set them up with a strong foundation to enter their next stage of life with.

Related articles
Simple ways to encourage your baby’s development 
Baby communication & language
It’s never too early to start reading to your baby

Sign up Image Heart

Don't miss a thing!

Stay in the loop on all things parenthood as we share tips, hacks, products, inspo & everything in between. We promise not to clutter your inbox.