Sunday, November 14, 2010

Playing with 9-12 month olds

9-12 months
Your baby is now more social, playful, expressive, and mobile. During these three months they may start to say mom, dad, and show affection towards parents. Their motor skill start improving and some are able to walk along furniture.

  • Begin with simple clapping patterns using various body parts. Wait to see if your baby copies your movements. If not, take her hands and repeat the pattern.
  • After you do it a few times, let baby try it alone. Once she gets the pattern down, try changing the tempo-slower, then faster.
*This game can help practice baby motor planning, pattern recognition, and turn taking

  • Encourage your baby to copy your movements as you sing "The Wheels on the Bus."
  • Hold your arms out parallel to the ground. Move them in big circles and sing, "The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round....
  • Raise your arms above your head and move them up and down, while singing, "The people on the bus go um and down..." and so on
*This game will help build up your baby's motor movement and muscle control
  • Before starting to play, clear some space in a room and set up a goal at one end using two large toys or chairs as markers
  • Now the game's on: hold your baby under her arms, gently lift her, and swing her legs toward the ball for a kick
  • Follow the ball wherever it lands, holding baby as you run and swinging her to kick the ball again
  • Swerve this way and that as you head toward the ball, and help baby kick until she gets the ball into the goal. Cheer her on the points scored!
*Your baby will get a kick out of this game and it will help boost body awareness and positioning.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Playing with 6-9 month olds

6-9 months
Now your baby is much more active and alert. During these three months your baby will take big leaps forward developmentally offering more opportunities for interaction and play.

  • Grab a stuffed animal or picture of an animal...say, a lion- and start to move it around by pouncing and roaring. Now tell your baby to do the same: "It's your turn to be the lion!"
  • Keep playing and really ham it up, using different animals such as a dog, cat and horse. The more expressive you are, the more fun for your baby!
  • Once you've played with several animals, start again. But this time, pause for a few seconds after you show him the animal so he can anticipate your sounds and actions. This will heighten the excitement for your animal act.
*This game can help you build up baby's listening and motor skills

  • Start by gathering some soft items of differing weights, then put an unbreakable container on the floor next to your baby.
  • Now put on a show for baby! One at a time, hold an item up in the air and say in a high pitched voice, "So high!"
  • Then drop the object so it falls into the container and say in a low voice, "So low!"
  • After you do this a couple of times, encourage baby to follow your lead. Show him how to fish out the object and drop it back in again. Don't forget to cheer each success!
*This game helps practice eye-hand coordination.

  • Start by gathering two plastic cups and two safe items that will fit under them. Hide an item under each cup.
  • Then have your baby lift up or knock over one of the cups. Say in a high pitched voice, "Look what you just found!" Pick up the item and describe its name, color, shape, and texture
  • Do the same with the other cup. Then encourage baby to cover up the objects with the cups again. As she starts to get the hang of it, she'll probably want to check over and over again that the items are still there!
*This game helps babies grasp the concept of object exist even when you can't see them. It also helps develop their language skills.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Playing with 3-6 month olds

3-6 Months
Your growing baby is becoming more curious, mobile, and vocal. She smiles spontaneously, gurgles, and coos when she hears sounds. She is also starting to be able to hold small things, imitate several sounds, and turns her head in all directions.

  • Start by grabbing an empty container, then stick something inside like your keys or coins (do this without your baby seeing).
  • Next, give the container a good shake and roll it back and forth on the floor so your baby can hear how it sounds. Ask baby, "What is inside? What could it be?
  • Now for the big reveal: Peel the top off and take the object out. "Oh, it was the keys!"
  • Toss another item into the container for more "shake and take" fun.
*By keep your baby guessing while helping her practice her visual and audio tracking

  • Lay your baby on her tummy and put a favorite colorful toy a few inches in front of her
  • When the toy catches her attention, press your palms against her feet in order to trigger the "walking reflex." (When baby's feet press against something solid, she instinctively stretches our her legs.)
  • Keep moving the toy and pushing against baby's feet until she's moved forward a couple inches. Almost there!
  • Don't forget to clap and cheer every time your baby moves forward. Before you know it, she'll be zooming around on her own.
*Give your baby a head start on crawling by helping her tone up at tummy time.

  • When your baby touches your head, have a toy or your hand pop out from behind your back
  • When she pulls on your finger, stick out your tongue and make a loud noise
  • Fill your cheeks with air. Then take baby's finger and use it to push in your cheeks while you roll backward with her in your arms
  • Once you've done each routine a few times, your baby will begin to expect what may happen next.
*This game can help teach your baby cause and effect and help with her mental development.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Playing with newborn babies

Time to Play!

After nine months of great expectations and wondering what your child is going to be like, the time is finally here! Now is the time for feeding, diaper changing, cuddling, and some fun tummy games with your new baby. Playing with your baby helps with with mental development and emotional health while building a strong bond with parents.

0-3 Months
Your newborn is doing much more than just sleeping, eating, and crying. He is learning and absorbing new things every day. It is important to keep it simple the first three months. Choose toys that are easy to grab and made with different materials and textures. It is easier for newborns to see high-contrast colors and patterns. Also it is important to give your baby one toy at time. Alternate toys and keep it fresh, you don't want to overstimulate your baby and allow them to get bored with their collection of toys quickly. You can always set aside some of their toys to reintroduce them at a later time. As your baby grows they will discover new aspects of their toys that they were too young to notice before! Here are some games we recommend playing with your newborn:

  • Start by gently placing your baby on his back. Now form a "bee" by pinching your index finger against your thumb.
  • Now for the fun part: Start moving your bee above your baby in large, swooping circles while saying in a high pitched voice, "buzz, buzz, buzz...the bee is going to tickle you!"
  • Buzz your bee around baby's tummy, almost landing, before rising again. Your little one will love the suspense!
  • Now land your bee on baby's belly and give him a tickle, tickle!
*This game will help develop your baby's eye coordination.

  • Start by lying on your back and placing baby on your stomach (your babies tummy resting against yours).
  • With your face just inches from hers, gaze into their eyes and start to sing, talk or make sounds. This will encourage your baby to lift her head so she can see where the sounds are coming from.
  • As your baby grows, spice up the game a bit by gently rubbing her back in a circular motion. This stimulates the muscles your baby uses to hold up her head and push up with her arms
  • Another idea: Place your baby on the floor on her tummy. Hold a toy in front of her at eye level. Now slowly lift the toy upward, which will encourage your baby to lift her head.
*This game helps develop your babies neck and arm strength - which helps pave the way for big milestones such as rolling over and crawling.

  • Feed your baby's curiosity by giving her lost of interesting textures to touch and feel. Just gather some fabrics from around the house (like a soft washcloth) and a few things from outdoors (leaves or flowers).
  • Now gently caress your baby's skin with these items. Some ideas: Tickle her toes with flower petals, brush her arms with soft grass, or rub a leaf against her hand.
  • You can also use cotton, silk scarves, or anything safe and appropriate for your baby skin. And of course DO NOT let the baby put any of the items in her mouth.
*This game will help to boost babies sense of touch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Preparing your nursery for baby...

Paint and wall paper is one of the fastest and easiest ways to create a mood in your child’s nursery. Light colors are calming; bright colors create energy. Sometimes a nursery acts as both a bedroom and a playroom, so it’s important to consider what colors to use. Also, if you think another child might inherit the room, steer clear from gender-specific palettes. Along with painting the walls, you have the option of using decal stickers to create a theme.

Conventional Paint

When deciding on which paint brand to use, remember to take into consideration that most commercially produced paints include significant amount of volatile organic compound, or VOCs. These chemicals are what keep the paint wet while in the can and speeds up the drying process. VOCs are bad for our health and can lead to kidney and liver damage. If exposed in smaller doses, VOCs can cause dizziness, disorientation, loss of muscle control, and irregular heartbeat. Even if you don’t plan on repainting, check what’s on your walls. Older homes may still have lead present and can pose a serious hazard to your little ones.

Natural Paint

The great thing about living in today’s world is that many companies now produce beautiful nontoxic and zero-VOC paint. Paints and other products are now available that are manufactured from trees and plant oils, resins and herbal extracts, minerals and vegetables pigments, citrus-peel thinners and beeswax. You can even nowadays find food-based aromatherapy paint, with aromas like fresh lemons or vanilla.

With all the options and choices to pick from I don’t see why not have a little with your nursery. The underlying purpose of a nursery is to provide a stimulating environment for children learning, brain development, provide opportunities for exposure to new materials, and support children in helping them become capable and balanced in their activities. The goal is to have children gain an understanding of their world, achieve enriched development and be eager learners for the rest of their lives.

Extra Precautions

Unless the paint of your choice is 100% nontoxic or zero-VOCs, you shouldn’t really paint while pregnant. If possible paint when the expecting mother is not home. Most importantly, paint several months before the baby is due. You never know, your baby may come early and nobody wants to bring a baby home to a house filled with paint fumes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

October Play class now taking sign ups!

Early Education Begins with {Play}

“The Importance of Infant & Toddler Play”

A Complimentary Class for you and your baby.

How does play enhance intellectual development?

How can parents plan for play?

Which toys are best for young children?

Play is the main way that babies and toddlers learn. This class will explain how play boosts brain development and what age appropriate activities and toys encourage curiosity, exploration and provoke wonder. Bring your baby and come play!

Instructor Biorgraphy:

Susan Shepardson, The Play Architect, owns an extraordinary children’s design firm which specializes in “play” rooms for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and beyond. Susan has over 25 years of experience working with children and a Masters degree in Child Development. She designs play spaces utilizing the latest child development theories, research, neuroscience, and “green” products. Susan incorporates the art of interior design and the science of child psychology to create play environments that are not only aesthetically pleasing and fun but most importantly, promote intelligence. She also provides consultation services to teach parents how to create learning environments for their children. She can be reached at 949.306.7557

Date: Sunday Oct 17, 2009

Time: 9:30- 10:30 AM

Place: Currant Baby & Mommy

Paseo Colorado Mall

289 E Green St

Pasadena, CA 91101


(Park near Gelson’s, next to Camille’s Sidewalk CafĂ©)

Space is limited to 15 adults.

Call now to reserve your spot.