Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 54: make some music

You may have heard about playing music for your baby, but how about making music? Tap out a rhythm on a drum, jingle some bells, or play a simple tune on the piano. See what effect different instruments and different tunes have on your baby.

And do not feel limited by any lack of instruments in your home - put some beans in a plastic container, get a spoon and a pot, or ring some chimes.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 53: mimic

Not only is it important to converse with your baby so he can learn language, intonation, and pitch (see infant stimulation activity 31) but it is just as important to encourage the sounds he is already making. To do this simply mimic his sounds. When you are both relaxed, happy, and ready for some fun, repeat a sound he is making, especially those that are common to your language. For example, if your baby says "ma ma" then you should look happy by smiling and clapping, and then you should repeat "ma ma." Your baby will understand that making those sounds makes you happy. He will therefore be more likely to continue to repeat them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 52: animal sounds

More new sounds for baby! How fun!
Pair animal sounds with pictures from a book or flashcards, toy animals, or even the real thing!

Like pastel-colored turkeys?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 51: the mobile

A baby's eyes are naturally drawn to things in motion. By watching moving objects a baby learns to coordinate his eys to move at the same time. Therefore, a little time looking at a mobile that moves is some great infant stimulation, especially for a newborn.

To make this interactive you can manually move the various parts of the mobile and talk about what you are doing. "Mommy is moving the moon to the left and back to the center." "Daddy is moving the bear to the right and now to the left."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stimulation Activity 50: baby's name

Don't forget to teach your baby his name! It is so easy to have a baby hear so many terms of endearment, but don't forget to say his name. And naturally this is a fun stimulation activity. It can be as simple as you and your baby looking at one another while you say, "Who is Landon? . . . you are Landon" while you point to his chest or gently touch his chin. You can also sing his name (check out the video). It is also fun to incorporate your baby's name into a song (think of B-i-n-g-o or Pat-a-cake or Thumbkin - and insert the name of your baby).

By the way, who is Landon? Well, that is my son's name.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 49: bubbles

Bubbles are mesmerizing to babies and therefore a great activity for you and your child during all the stages of childhood. For infants (0-6 months) bubbles are most importantly used as a tool for interaction with you. Your infant will experience your facial expressions and hear your excited voice. Infants will also practice tracking, ie focusing on an object and learning to follow it, as he watches the bubbles float away. As your baby learns to use his arms and hands, he will start to reach out for the bubbles and practice hand-eye coordination. Eventually he will pop a bubble, and learn a lesson in cause and effect: if I swing at a bubble, it will pop!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 48: newborn sensory stimulation

Blow gently into your baby's palm, then stroke it, then give it a kiss. Continue this activity for 5 to 15 minutes. For a newborn simply doing these actions is stimulation enough. As your baby grows into infancy (within a month) start to vary this activity by telling your baby what you are doing, "Mama is going to kiss your hand" then "Mama kissed your hand." You can also vary the activity for speed, stroking your baby's hand slowly or quickly.

This is a great activity to start with your newborn and continue into infancy to see how your baby's reaction to it changes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 47: balance ball

Balance balls can be a great tool for playing with your baby. Have your baby lay on top of the ball on his back so he can see you. Roll the ball gently and be sure you are smiling and showing him what a great time this is.

Eventually place your baby face down on the top of the balance ball and roll the ball gently back and forth. Once your baby is able to sit you can place him in a sitting position on top of the balance ball while you bounce it or roll it back and forth.

It is fun to put this activity together with a song such as Rock-a-Bye Baby or Row Row Row Your Boat – and roll the ball to the beat of the song.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 46 : walk & rub

Walk and rub is an especially fun activity to do with your newborn baby. Take baby in your arms and walk a few steps, then look into his eyes, then touch nose to nose and rub. Look into his eyes again and smile. Remember, infant stimulation is all about the connection between you and you baby, so touch is vital especially when your baby is a newborn.

Repeat this activity up to 15 minutes as long as your and your baby are enjoying it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 45: music

If you haven't already been playing music for your newborn, start immediately. Soft instrumental music is great beginning music for newborns as the soothing repeated melody is a similar to his days in the womb.

Vary this activity by changing the music selection to a more upbeat instrumental melody and see if your baby reacts any differently - look for changes in his eyes as well as his face and movement of his hands and feet.

Begin to choose a variety of musical selections and continue to watch the reactions of your baby. . . to this day my son's preference is still the country music his father usually had playing in the house and car.