Games and Activities to Promote Early Childhood Development

Within the first few days, months, and years of their lives, kids acquire a range of new skills that promote development in a number of essential areas. From physical strength and critical thinking to language development and so forth, it is important to use simple games and activities to help early learners develop and grow.

Newborns and Infants:

At this early stage, kids will not have the physical strength to play and interact with parents or caregivers when it comes to developmental games and activities. However, it is still important for newborns to be visually and mentally stimulated when they are not sleeping.

Although newborns will not be able to fully understand conversation, it can be really helpful to start chatting with kids to introduce them to the basics of language development. Besides talking, newborns will also appreciate being visually stimulated. To help promote development consider introducing them to new things by showing them fun pictures, flashcards, or simply seating them in stimulating settings. In its simplest form, parents could even utilize a basic crib side mobile to do the trick. Other popular activity choices for newborns include peek-a-boo or tummy time.


When newborns become toddlers, they begin to physically develop new strengths, often learning how to walk and talk. Because of these big changes, they are often full of energy and ready to explore and experiment with new games and activities.

Besides imaginative play, at this stage, the development of cognitive skills is extremely important for toddlers, so reasoning and memory games are perfect for helping with brain development. Toddlers might easily gravitate towards simple puzzles or physically engaging obstacle courses that encourage them to learn to work through challenging situations. Other activities that promote cognitive growth include block play or direction guided games like hide-and-seek.


At the preschool level, kids start turning basic letter recognition into early reading and writing skills. At this stage it is important for kids to fine tune their motor skills by engaging in simple activities like coloring, writing out letters, cutting paper, or even playing with modeling dough.

Additionally, as they start school and begin regularly interacting with other kids their age, they might develop new social cues and skills. Because of this, it might be helpful to engage in etiquette focused activities during other games that allow them to come to terms with the idea of right and wrong. As a fun activity, consider having them problem solve through imagined social situations to see how they would go about resolving certain issues.

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