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.