• 9 Games Kuya or Ate Can Play with Baby

    Build a stronger bond between your kids with these simple yet fun games
    by Vira Diego .
  • 9 Games Kuya or Ate Can Play with Baby
    IMAGE kiankhoon/iStock
  • Having a sibling is usually a great excitement for young kids, because finally, they are not alone anymore. Sometimes they even wish for the baby to grow up fast so they could play games together. In the meantime, Kuya or Ate can still have fun with bunso with these games that promote interaction and a stronger bond between sibs:

    “Eat…bulaga!” (Peek-a-Boo!)
    Cover your face with your palms and…bulaga! This game is highly entertaining for babies, and also develops the baby’s sense of object constancy, or the ability to recognize when someone is still there even if he cannot see them, as when they are hiding. It develops the baby’s trust that even if his older sibling leaves for a moment, he will definitely come back for the baby.

    “Sawsaw suka, mahuli taya!”
    The thing about Filipino games is that you just have to use your body, no props needed! In this game, the older sibling has to catch the baby’s index finger as the latter darts it in his palm after the game’s chant. This game can gradually develop the motor movement and alertness of the baby and the older sibling’s patience too. Parents just need to remind Ate/Kuya to always be gentle when grabbing the baby’s finger.

    Sing and dance time
    Everyone loves music, especially children. Playing nursery songs with actions and gestures like “My Toes, My Knees”, “Watermelon Song”, “B-I-N-G-O”, and “If You’re Happy and You Know It” develops their balance, body coordination, and posture. While babies cannot sing clearly yet, it can be a way to improve the baby’s vocabulary and soon enough they’ll be able to sing these songs together with their older siblngs!

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    Play an instrument
    Aside from singing and dancing to music, let them play with toy instruments too. You can encourage them to role play about having their own concert or musical parade. As your baby begins to coo or babble, she can also join in by tapping the instruments. Make sure to remind Ate/Kuya to play the instruments a little softer than usual to avoid startling the baby. This way also, they develop their empathy towards their baby brother/sister.

    “Align align align”
    Filipinos can surely relate with this chant! It is a simple game where the baby tries to imitate the gesture of the hand of his playmate and connect each other’s hands, which helps develop his hand-eye coordination for better reflexes.

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    Stacking/nesting
    Playing with paper cups, small boxes, and building blocks is a good way to develop the baby’s ability to grasp. The older child can help the baby build his own stack, or to try different ways to stack them. 

    Fill and spill
    This is a little similar to stacking/nesting. Make use of a big container and rubber balls. The siblings will help each other fill the container with the rubber balls scattered on the floor, and they must fill the container on a given time. This game is an exciting way to develop their teamwork.

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    “I’m gonna catch you”
    If the baby is already at the crawling stage, then this is a game they can play. Lay the baby on a safety mat. Ate/Kuya will say “I’m gonna catch you” and the baby will start to crawl to avoid being caught. Expect shrieks of laughter as the baby avoids getting caught! This fun game helps develop baby's leg and arm muscles. Again, remind your older child to be gentle as possible and never leave them unsupervised while playing this game.

    Drawing and scribbling
    Give your children a sketch pad and some crayons. Ask your older child to guide his younger sibling's hand and help him to draw by gently holding the baby’s hand. It’s going to be a very sweet sight for mom! The end-product would also be a precious little memento that you may want to frame and hang on your wall.

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