Updated on April 22, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
This list will give you some clever ideas on how to engage your little one while helping them reach the next major milestones. Hopefully you will also get some more hands-free time so you can get other things done!
See our free activities for five-month-olds at the end of the page for more ideas that won’t break the bank.
21 Engaging Activities For 5-Month-Olds
Babies and children love balls. My son finds them hilarious. This one is definitely one of his favorites. With the different textures and the rattling, this one really helps with development of motor skills.
My 5-month-old loves these balls. They are all different textures and sizes. He learned how to start passing toys back and forth between his hands. They’re also soft, so he was able to learn how to grasp toys with them as well. This set includes so many fun things for baby to play with.
At this point, my son was beginning to sit up on his own, but wasn’t quite ready to sit up totally unsupported. We used this for several months to learn how to sit up. The toys attached are wonderful and he loved playing with them.
How adorable is this caterpillar? It’s bright, colorful and incredibly functional. It’s a soft and safe place for baby to sit and can transform into a tummy time fun time! Absolutely a winner at a great price.
This teether is great because your baby will be able to grasp it and begin learning how to pass it between hands. Brightly colored and with a center that rattles, its design is great for helping your baby develop while soothing their gums.
This is honestly still a favorite at our house, even after he’s a year old. These keys are adorable and functional. One of the great things about this is that you can put it in the freezer to chill and give a little extra comfort to those sore gums.
This is another great teether and will keep your baby occupied while it cools and soothes their tiny mouth! It can be frozen to give your little one a little bit more relief, which is just what they’ll need. Teething can be hard!
This plush toy has it all. Lots of sounds and plenty of toys. For my husband and I, having a lot of activities was important for us to keep our five-month-old engaged during tummy time. And we found that the more our son did tummy time the faster he wanted to push up and attempt to crawl. It was so fun to watch!
Boppy is a well loved name in most households. It’s no surprise here that they have a great option for tummy time. We used the regular Boppy to help with sitting up as well as for tummy time. This one is an added bonus with toys attached to keep baby occupied.
10. Go outside!
While this is not an activity per se and is on the pricier side, having a play yard for baby to have a safe place to enjoy outside and fresh air is a huge bonus. This one is great because it includes a UV protecting covering and will keep pesky bugs away.
11. Enjoy the pool!
While you’re outside, grab a float and head to the pool! If you have older kids, this will also give them an opportunity to get out and enjoy a fun time! There’s nothing like getting in the water to enjoy some quality time out of the house.
12. Read a book
Sometimes, the best thing to do is go back to the basics. Enjoying time while your 5-month-old sits on your lap is one of the most treasured moments that we have. This book in particular gives me the opportunity to remind him how much I love him.
13. Trace the toy
Helping baby continue to develop their eyesight is key. Having a toy that makes sounds while moving, both sight and sound will also help with recognizing sounds. Baby Einstein has many toys that help with development, including this adorable octopus.
At this point, most babies are able to enjoy sitting on their own while in the tub. Adding some bubbles is a great way to add some fun. Bonus, when you’re giving baby a bath before bed time, having a lavender scented bubble bath can help them to relax.
Babies are learning to communicate their needs, but still don’t know how to speak with you. It’s important to find a way to start communicating to help build a strong relationship. Sign language is a great alternative to help your baby get words out while they are still learning to form them to speak.
This one will require a little more creativity from you, but it can be a fun time for both you and baby. Getting colorful puppets will help baby develop eyesight. It will also help with social bonding while you talk through the “show.”
17. Stacking cups
Set of stacking blocks for baby to put together and tear apart are great for development and fun. They will enjoy the noise and chaos of knocking the cups down. They will also enjoy exploring the cups. Make sure to start guiding their hands and helping them learn how to build the cups up or fit them inside of each other.
18. Make music
Babies at five months love making noise. Getting a music making toy helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as it lights up with each touch. An added bonus of this specific xylophone? It turns on and off, so, when you’re ready for a little break, you have that option!
It’s never too early to start talking through shapes, colors of numbers. Doing wooden puzzles with baby can help develop many skills. At this stage, my son was more interested in putting the pieces in his mouth than on the board. However, by talking him through the colors and shapes at this age and by guiding his hands to placing the pieces in the puzzle board, he’s able to put all of the pieces in the board on his own now at 13 months.
20. Enjoy a jumper
Not all parents agree on jumpers, but we loved this one. Babies at this age have tons of energy to get out. Having a safe place to do so is a great lifesaver. One of the best benefits is that this one grows with baby. It’s convertible once your baby outgrows the jumper stage. I also love that there is a kick board underneath for support.
For those that may not have access to the pool, bring the pool home with you! Sometimes splashing around and just enjoying the day in the water makes everything better. What’s great about this pool is that it also includes an umbrella for shade as well as interactive toys to keep baby engaged.
7 Free Activities For Five-Month-Olds
Bonus time! Now that we have made it through some great options, here are some free activities you can do with just you and baby or by collecting a few household items.
Determining how developed your child is at this age will be important for this activity. They should be able to hold their head up on their own and be working on sitting up. My son and I still love playing airplane. To do airplane, lay on your back and place your baby’s tummy on your shins. Hold your baby’s hands and gently rock them back and forth. This feels like such an adventure for baby and you get to look up at your cute baby’s face.
2. Play peek-a-boo
Enjoying a good peek-a-boo game is a great way to encourage a 5-month-old to begin recognizing you and your voice. It’s also incredibly special to hear the giggle when you pop out to surprise your little one. You can play this game practically anytime of the day or night and your child will be sure to laugh.
3. Sing and dance
One of my favorite things to do with my son when he was this age was to sit him on my lap and dance while singing to him. We liked to watch Little Baby Bum. I would sing the nursery rhymes to him while moving and dancing. He truly loved this and it was a great workout for me!
4. Mirror Play
This was by far my baby’s favorite game. We would spend many hours of the week hopping in and out of view of the mirror. My son loved seeing his reflection. My baby learned how to interact with the reflection and seeing him find joy in the reflection was inspiring.
5. Bubble play
Go outside and enjoy some bubbles! As previously mentioned, five-month-olds at this stage are learning to track things with their eyes. They are really beginning to enjoy bubbles as they try to trace them around the sky. So grab a bubble wand, or make some bubbles using dish soap and water and watch baby follow the bubbles around.
6. Go for a walk
This one seems simple, but again, babies are developing so much and the whole world is new to them. Grab your stroller or baby carrier and simply go for a walk. Let baby see and feel the world around them while you both get some fresh air.
7. Make a sensory box
Grab a box and fill it with items around the house. Fill a bag with beans, some of babies favorite toys, or rattles. Get creative! Anything that you think baby will enjoy feeling and exploring. Let him feel around in the box, and encourage him to dump it out to explore the contents.
So there you have it, a list of activities to keep baby occupied, engaged and entertained. These toys and activities are also a great way to help keep baby’s development on track. Don’t forget that everything is new to your baby, so, on those days when you don’t have the energy to do anything, just spend time with your baby enjoying each other’s company. What are some activities that you do to help keep your baby engaged?