This is a game I call finger tag. It can be played with babies or children between four months and ten years old.
Have the child in a safe location, ideally sitting up with her hands and upper torso free. For babies, it can help to put them in a high chair.
What you do
Using one hand, starting a few feet from your child, wiggle your fingers. If you have a high chair, a couch, or other surface, you can tap your fingers against it and make noise. Once the child notices your hand, move it slowly toward them an inch at a time, still wiggling your fingers. Watch your child – as soon as they make a motion toward your hand, pull it away a few inches! Then repeat this game – moving your hand closer and retreating away in response to their actions.
How it works
You are simulating a curious animal with your hand. It wants to investigate the child, but is scared and tentative. When your child moves, or reaches towards your hand, it runs away – it is much less brave than your child! This encourages your child to reach out, giggle, and feel powerful because she can make your hand “run away”. If the child sits still long enough, you might even get close enough to tap her gently with one finger, the way an animal might sniff a child. Then when she moves, it is full retreat!
Play long enough to get the child interested, reaching, and trying different strategies (such as sitting still to draw in your hand). Stop before she gets bored!