- Puppet Fingers
From birth, your baby prefers to look at human faces above all things. Something about the nose, eyes and mouth attracts your baby’s attention. Puppet fingers is an activity that plays on that fascination. This activity helps your child with the ability to focus, recognise faces and even social interaction skills.
- Nursery Rhymes/Songs
Communication is very important for newborns. In order for your child to learn how to talk, you need to communicate with them all the time. One way to do this is to sing songs. Nursery rhymes are repetitive and good for children to hear. Although any type of song will do. After all, it can be tiresome singing nursery rhymes for three continuous months.
Another way to communicate with your child is to narrate everything you do throughout your day. You basically become a commentator and give a running commentary on everything you do throughout the day, no matter how mundane it may be to you.
You can also read books to your child. It doesn’t really matter what genre it is, just as long as you are communicating with your baby.
- Whisper Game
This activity introduces to, and teaches your child about, different noise levels and voices that can be used. You can say anything in a whisper and even carry out an entire conversation. It is also a different sensation for your baby to feel on his ear.
ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR BABY
- Aeroplane Game
Every child loves this game and its a sure way to get a giggle or two out of your little one. Parents love this game too. Just make sure to not play it right after feeding your infant. Hold your baby gently and mimic the movement of an aeroplane, going through the house and weaving and bobbing. He will love the house tour and the movement created.
- Smell Test
This activity is fun and works on your baby’s sense of smell. Grab a few spices from your kitchen and open them up. Bring them over to your baby and put them near your baby’s nose but not right underneath it. Watch your baby react to all the different new smells he is experiencing.
- Dancing Round the Room
This is a great leg activity. This is a really simple one. Hold your baby up to a standing position and have them dance on their tippy toes. More often than not, your baby will start jumping up and down trying to get their feet to touch the ground.
Peek-a-boo helps your baby learn about object permanence. You can vary this activity in so many different ways. Apart from the traditional way of hiding your face behind your hands for a few seconds and “peeking out” from behind them, you can also use a baby toy that your child is fond of.
How do you do this?
You take the baby toy and show it to your baby. You then cover the toy with a blanket or cloth. Ask your baby, “Where did the toy go?” Then lift the blanket to reveal the toy. Do this over and over again so your baby learns that when something can not be seen, it can still be there.
MORE ON THE BLOG?
- Baby Massage
Your baby begins to respond to touch immediately after birth. In fact, the first welcome your baby receives is the tactile comfort of your touch as you hold him. A baby massage is delightful to your little one. It teaches him body awareness, an enhanced sense of touch and also helps with his social interaction. All you need is a soft towel, some baby oil and your baby, of course.
- Tootsie Roll
Your baby needs months to gain full control of his body movements and you can help him during those early weeks with a game of tootsie roll. Your child will master the roll over in no time. All you need is a soft blanket/ towel and a soft surface. This activity helps your baby with directionality, locomotion and motor control.It is really simple. All you have to do is lay your baby on the blanket and then pick up one side of the blanket slowly raising it to cause your baby to tilt to the side. Continue to slowly roll your baby over, talking to him as you go, and using a hand to spot guide him as he turns. Repeat until baby is tired of playing.
- Magic Mirror
Babies love to see their reflection. It makes them feel like they are playing with another baby. The best way I like to do this is to put my baby on his tummy facing the mirror. This makes him do two things at once: tummy time and mirror play. He loves to see his reflection and make faces and be social with “the other baby” in the mirror.
- Rattle Game
Using a rattle is another way to stimulate your child’s sense of hearing. I love using one because it is a toy that can be used for quite a while. In the early months, mom uses it to train baby’s sense of hearing and in the late infant to toddler years, your baby is strong enough to grasp it himself and use it as a soothing toy or as part of musical activities.
- Practice walking
This is an activity we find ourselves practicing unconsciously and unplanned. It is quite simple. When enjoying ‘wake time’ with your little one, pull them up to a standing position with their feet planted firmly on your thighs and supported by you. Do this a few times a day each day and help your child strengthen his leg muscles.
- Scarf Play
Playing with scarves is very enjoyable to babies. This activity can keep them occupied for a long time. I will dangle the scarves above my baby, tickle his face, cheeks, under his feet, palms, arms, legs, belly and any other parts of his body. He longed to see the different colors and the feel of the scarves on his body. This also helps train and play with his sense of touch.
- Tummy Time
Babies need to spend about 30 minutes on average daily on their tummies to help them train their neck muscles and help them learn to lift up their head and to roll over. There are different ways of modifying tummy time and making it adaptable and fun for your baby. I usually do tummy time with my babies on a play mat. Some babies prefer to be a little elevated and you can do this by propping a pillow/boppy under their arms to lift them up a bit. Sometimes we would do tummy time on my bed and that worked well too. It helps holding your baby’s favorite toy above them to help them try to lift their head.
- Bike Ride
This is a fan favorite. It helps train and strengthen their leg muscles and also eases their gastro-muscles in alleviating gas. I would take my baby’s legs and gently move them in a cycling motion, mimicking the movement of one pedaling a bike. While doing this, I would make up a song about cycling or repurpose “wheels on the bus” to fit the cycling activity. This is a great activity to exercise your baby’s legs and get him ready to roll, crawl and walk.
- Bubble Bath
Bath time is fun for most babies, although some do not seem to like the water. No matter what reaction you get from your child, you can make bath time more fun by adding a few baby bubbles into the mix. This activity is a good way to train your baby’s body awareness, language development, listening skills and sensory stimulation. While washing your baby down, you can sing to him, mentioning the part of the body currently being washed. I repurpose ‘wheels on the bus’ for this.
I hope you enjoy doing these activities with your newborn baby! Enjoy the time you have at home with just you and your baby because before you know it life will get so busy!