How to entertain your 3 to 6 months twins: Games and Activities
Wonder what activities to do with your more alert and active 3 to 6 months old twin babies? This post will arm you with lots of ideas to keep them entertained and learning.
At this stage your babies are more settled into a routine and take 3-4 naps during the daytime. This means that they now have more periods of being awake (1 to 2hrs at a time) that are not dedicated to eating or other routine tasks such as changing and bath time.
Majority of the activities below are focused on using play to assist in developing important motor, intellectual, language and social skills.
Before engaging in any of these activities, I recommend that you assess your babies individually to see what development skills they have acquired and which ones need more practise (see my recent post on twin development milestones at 3-6 months).
I recommend blocking off no more than 2 sessions of scheduled play per day and always follow or seek their doctor’s advice if you are concerned about their readiness or abilities. If any of your babies gets fussy or does not seem interested in the activity just try a different game or another time of the day.
So here we go:
1. Reach So High
This game from the Best Beginnings Alaska website involves encouraging your babies to take note of moving objects and reaching out to grasp them.
You can make your own toy as suggested in the guide or use a crib mobile or ribbon streamer.
Twin tip: position your babies flat on their backs on a play mat (or sitting up in a bumbo or seat and sit between them with your back supported in a chair or against the sofa/wall if you are on the floor.
2. Name Dropping
During this stage your babies will be learning to recognise their own name so use every opportunity to refer to them by name:
- When talking about them to another person in their presence say their name instead of ‘the babies’ or ‘the twins’. Make an effort to either nod and look in their direction or place emphasis on their name and touch them to make them pay attention and notice their name is being said.
- Call each baby by name when you are entering the room and notice if they turn to respond. During any one-on-one activity (such as changing, transferring from crib or cleaning up) use their name in the conversation and announce loudly for both to hear. This way they will begin to recognise their name as well as that of their twin and begin to understand their own identities.
The Best Beginnings Alaska website shares this cycling game for exercising the leg and abdominal muscles and helps your babies practise control over their movements.
Twin tip: This involves a bit of one-on-one interaction so if you (or caregiver) are alone with the twins you can do this with them during the time when one wakes before the other.
If they are both awake you can sit on the floor and practise cycling with one baby in front of you while the other one lounges in their seat or on playmat beside you and involve them in the song as you do the motions and switch them out.
4. Tummy Time Fun
Most babies are not fans of tummy time activities, however it is crucial to strengthen head, neck, and upper body muscles. Tummy Time is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and most if not all Pediatricians will mention the importance of this activity.
Babies spend a large portion of this stage sleeping on their backs (for safety reasons) and then when they are awake they are propped up or lounging in swings, bouncers, bumbos and other activity stations.
This leaves little room for play while on their tummies (this is even harder for twin moms who depend heavily on activity stations/seats to contain & entertain both babies).
Here are a few tips to incorporate tummy time activities in your day:
- Prop them up on their tummies using a boppy pillow (or rolled up receiving blanket), leaving their arms free to explore and reach out. You can then have them face each other and entertain themselves or place objects (toys) directly under the pillow and in a semi-circle around them to distract them and encourage movement to reach for the toys.
- Incorporate tummy time into other activities such as reading time (prop them up on tummies and get down on the floor with the books), burp them face down across your lap, play time with a sibling, or even while lounging in bed or in a recliner (one at a time place them tummy down on your chest and talk or sing to them)
You can also read this article on why tummy time is important for more tips with helpful pictures.
5. Reading Time
This one is easy and can be done as a consistent activity every day. Positioning both babies for tandem reading time may seem tricky at first but you can either have them seated facing you in their swing, bumbo or the TwinZ Pillow. You can also get on the floor in front of them during tummy time and read that way.
6. Go Outdoors
Run an errand
It can be intimidating and scary to think about attempting errands with the twins by yourself but it can be done and is a great activity to get babies learning new sights and sounds. You can point out colors and narrate what you are doing along the way.
A change in scenery can be an awesome activity for your baby to learn by taking in colors, textures, sounds and movement around them (all you need is a big blanket/rug and a few books or toys on the porch or lawn to set up or just snap them in your stroller/carrier and take a walk)
7. Mirror Play
Babies LOVE mirrors (even when there is an identical twin in front of them). Incorporate mirrors in tummy time play on the floor or in their cribs using plastic mirrors. They can explore their reflection on their own or you can get involved as they get older and point out parts of their face while looking in the mirror.
8. Turn the music up
Put on some music and sing and dance with them (both on your hips or one at a time). You can also get brief periods of rest by entertaining them with the music from the crib mobile. They can enjoy it while in the crib- just wind it up or detach the music part and take it with you to any room of the house.
9. Rotate Activity Toys
Exersaucers, Jumperoo and the Step-n-Play Piano activity centers are great options for allowing for play without much of your interaction (great for getting chores done as long as you are close by). You don’t have to feel pressured to buy 2 of these, one is enough. Just put them close to each other so they can reach out and explore the other toy and rotate them after about 10 or 15 minutes of play.
10. One-on-One Free Play
Babies are very easily entertained and once they have your attention they are content. Simple games to do can include:
- Pulling them gently from laying or sitting position up to standing
- Hold them up in the air like an air plane and gently swayed them around in the air (one at a time or secured under each arm when they have mastered head control)
- Shower them with kisses on their cheeks and their belly and toes (sing “this little piggy” song too)
- Make funny faces and sounds, just be silly with them and laugh a lot.
- Play peekaboo with a blanket or while folding laundry
- Bouncing them up and down on your knees to the “Dukes of York” song
More Activities to dig into
Here are a few other sites with lots of activities to try at this stage:
- Play Puppet, Baby on the Bus, Roaming Spotlight & more games – Fisher Price
- Lullabys, tickle, crawling and water games – Kidspot
- Shadow show, Rollercoaster, Pass the Hat & more games – BabyCenter
As you can see from these suggestions, it is not necessary to have a running list of unique daily activities with your babies at this stage. Babies actually get overstimulated easily with scheduled activities.
Don’t feel bad to just let them roll around and explore on their own sometimes (plus they always have a play partner anyway). Establish a routine and try to get in one or 2 of these activities per day and that should be enough.
‘Til Next Time!