Activities To Do With A 5 Month Old

We've put together a detailed list of at-home Montessori-aligned activities suitable for a 5-month-old.

Here you will see age-appropriate activities for all areas, in our Ultimate Series Of Activities to try at home, where the emphasis is on providing a prepared environment and allowing the child to actively engage in self-directed learning.

So what is my child working on mastering at this age?

Between the 3-6 month age, baby's primary focus is on sensorimotor development, encouraging exploration through senses such as touch, sight, and hearing. Your baby is also beginning to develop basic motor skills, including grasping and reaching. Language exposure is important, and caregivers are encouraged to provide a language-rich environment. Additionally, fostering a sense of security and routine lays the foundation for your child's overall well-being.

1. Sensory Exploration:

* Fabric Texture Board: Create a fabric texture board with different materials for tactile stimulation.
* Provide a soft sensory mat with different textures for tactile exploration.
* Introduce a basket with safe, natural objects like fabric squares, soft brushes, or rattles.
* Soft Cloth Teething Toys: Provide cloth teething toys for gentle chewing and tactile exploration.
* Allow your baby to explore a variety of safe textures, such as soft fabrics and plush toys.

2. Visual Stimulation:

* Natural light and outdoor views: place your baby's play area near windows to allow exposure to natural light. Provide views of outdoor elements like trees and sky.
* Offer soft, squeezable mirrored balls for visual and tactile exploration.
* Floating objects in water: use a shallow container with floating objects, like rubber ducks or foam shapes, providing an opportunity for water play and visual focus.
* Place soft, natural-fiber toys in baby's environment: toys made from natural materials like cotton or wool, ensuring materials are safe for exploration and mouthing.

3. Auditory Stimulation:

* Use soft-sounding wind chimes placed in a gentle breeze to allow baby to hear different tones.
* Play recordings of nature sounds, such as gentle rain, birdsong, or ocean waves.
* Play soft lullabies or classical music during calm moments. Choose music with a slow tempo and soothing melodies.
* Introduce soft percussion instruments such as soft drums, tambourines, or maracas designed for infants, introducing them to different types of sounds.

4. Tummy Time and Movement:

* Soft Play Mat: Provide a soft play mat for tummy time and movement exploration.
* Gradually increase tummy time duration as your baby becomes more comfortable.
* Rock baby gently in a soft, secure swing or cradle, providing a calming motion and developing spatial awareness.
* Set up low, stable mirror for your baby to see themselves while lying down, supporting visual engagement, movement, self-awareness and exploration.
* Gentle leg exercises: encourage leg movements after nappy changes, supporting the development of leg muscles.

5. Grasping and Reaching:

* Offer soft, graspable toys with graspable rings for baby to hold and explore.
* Introduce a Montessori Grasp ball.
* Encourage reaching for hanging toys on a baby gym.

6. Exploration with Safe Objects and Mouthing:

* Soft Cloth Teething Toys: Provide cloth teething toys for gentle chewing and tactile exploration.
* Wooden teething rings: provide wooden teething rings for your baby to explore through touch and mouthing.
* Provide a small basket of safe, non-toxic objects for your baby to explore with their hands and mouth.
* Offer a teething toy or soft fabric for mouthing and sensory exploration.
* Explore baby-safe household items, such as a soft brush or cloth.

7. Interaction with Faces:

* Use a small hand mirror for the baby to observe their own facial expressions.
* Engage in face-to-face interactions, making eye contact and expressing warmth.
* Encourage your baby to imitate simple facial expressions.
* Offer a soft, plush toy with a friendly face for baby to focus on.
* Use a soft-touch book with photos of diverse baby faces, showing happy, sad, sleepy faces. You can make the same expressions.

8. Language:

* Engage in Baby Sign Language with your baby. To learn more about using Baby Sign Langauge click here.
* Read soft, cloth or board books with simple photos or beautiful illustations.
* Engage in conversations with your baby, narrating what you are doing or describing what they are seeing, to help them develop their listening and communication skills.
* Introduce soft animal toys introducing basic vocabulary through play.
* Sing gentle nursery rhymes and lullabies, introducing your baby to rhythmic patterns and melodic sounds.

9. Mirror Play:

* Introduce a baby-safe mirror for self-recognition and exploration.
* Encourage your baby to reach for their reflection and explore their own hands and face.
* Use the mirror during tummy time or once they begin sitting.

10. Nature and Outdoor Exposure:

* Introduce wooden animal figures for gentle play and exploration.
* Soft outdoor blanket: use a soft blanket for outdoor play and relaxation.
* Allow baby to feel the warmth of sunlight and a gentle breeze during outdoor time. Note: babies under 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight.
* Encourgae your baby to feel grass or leaves during outdoor play.
* Introduce safe natural items like pinecones or fabric versions for visual and tactile stimulation.

11. The Whole Child Development:

* Attend our weekly SensorStory Baby and Toddler Montessori parent-child sensory classes! Follow this link to enrol your infant here.

We hope we have given you some inpiration for activities to do with your 5-month-old!
Remember, follow the child, adapting activities based on your observation of your baby's developmental stage and individual interests. The key in a Montessori environment is to provide your child with real, purposeful, and age-appropriate tools and materials that allow them to engage in activities independently and at their own pace.

Disclaimer: Adult supervision is required for any activity suggested by SensorStory. Please follow any directions and/or warnings on the labels(s) of any materials used during such activity & be aware of any potential choking hazards or allergies.

Click here to see our Activities To Do With A 6 Month Old FAQ.