Thursday, August 26, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 69: fun in the mirror

Sit in front of a full-length mirror with your baby in your lap. Ask “where is mommy’s hand?” then wave your hand. Then ask “where is (baby’s name)’s hand?” and wave her hand. Your baby will find this new perspective of you and of her very stimulating.

Time in front of the mirror is always stimulating to a baby. Adding the interaction between you and your baby makes it fun stimulation!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 68: your newborn

Newborn stimulation activities are simple but important. Remember, your baby is getting to know you and has learned to find comfort from you.

While your newborn is lying in your arms or resting in her crib quietly repeat her name until you see some response. The reaction from a newborn may be as subtle as her pupils dilating or her lips moving, or as obvious as her eyes or head moving in your direction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 67: knee bends

“One two three, bend your knee!”

Lay your baby on her back. Hold her ankles or just place your hands firmly against her feet then bend and straighten her legs. But do not force the motion; the movement should happen naturally. You can sing a simple tune of “one two three, bend your knee” or any tune you enjoy. By singing and keeping eye contact with your baby you will be enjoying a fun, stimulating activity together.

Infant stimulation is primarily about the interaction between you and your baby: the feel of your touch on her skin, the look of your happy face, the sound of your comforting voice, and the smell of your familiar scent. So even with this simple activity there is so much happening to stimulate your baby’s brain.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 66: in the car

Tape or tie a few ribbons in the car that will flutter within your baby's view but away from his grasp. This will be a whole new type of stimulation for you baby while he is in the car. If he is more than a month old he may be accustomed to the toys on his carrier or car seat and therefore the stimulation factor is diminished. But colorful ribbons flapping in a breeze, well there is something new and exciting!

However, keep in mind that stimulation activities for the car are recommended for quick trips when your baby will be awake. Or you can choose a short period of time during a longer trip. An infant attention span is short and infant stimulation activities should be about 15 minutes and the time for an activity is dependent on your baby's mood and his reaction to an activity.

One important note of caution: if no one will be in the back seat with the baby be very certain that these stimulators are not within your baby's reach as anything you choose to do must be safe for unsupervised stimulation

Friday, August 13, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 65: fun in the kitchen

If you are in charge of the cooking and therefore are spending time in the kitchen with your baby, do not forget to let him explore this room too.

Language is a large part of his development, so tell him everthing you are doing. "Mommy is pouring the milk." "Daddy is stirring his coffee." Mommy is cutting the onion; it makes my eyes water!"

Also, there is no difference to a baby in learning words like duck, dog, and horse versus the words spatula, spoon, and cup. So show him a spatula and say "spatula" and so on for the many objects you are using. Then let baby hold, touch, and experience safe kitchen objects.

Finally, do not forget sounds. Note your baby's response to turning on and off the water, or hearing onions sauteeing, or the sound of the blender. Just always be certain that baby is in a safe and secure place when he is in the kitchen with you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 64: more stacking

Have you already been stacking blocks with you baby? It may be time to change it up and show baby that stacking works with other objects and other shapes. For example stacking boxes that you may already have around your home. Or how about something circular such as plastic containers.

Remember, infant stimulation is about your baby's brain development and the quality time you spend interacting with him. It is not about expensive toys!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 63: shadows

How much fun teaching your baby the joys of the dark! Making shadows is as much fun for your baby as it will be when he is older.

Find a place on a bare wall where you can make shadows. Sit your baby in his carrier, high chair, or even in your lap. Darken the room and using light such as a desk lamp, flashlight, or even a table lamp you place on the floor, make shadows. Show your baby shadows of your hand, your foot, and your whole body.

Move your various body parts (up, down) and change the speed in which the shadow moves (slowly, quickly).

Watch your baby's reaction to the different movements and make sure he is having a good time. This is a great activity for children of all ages. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 62: roll a ball down a ramp

This is a fun variation for rolling a ball with your baby. Set her up in front of a board (or other incline) and let her watch as the ball rolls down the ramp. Once she has seen this a few times help her hold the ball at the top of the ramp and allow her to let it go.

If it seems time for a change, alter her position so she is sitting at the bottom of the incline. This way she can view the different perspectives - the ball rolling away from her then the ball coming toward her.

Be sure to smile and clap and show how much fun you are having.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 61: baby massage

Massaging your baby can be as sensory satisfying to you as to your baby. Lay your baby on a warm towel and rub a baby-safe lotion or oil onto his arms, then legs, then chest, and back. Make small circles with your hands or use long gentle strokes. Watch your baby's reaction to your touch. Make sure he is comfortable with your movements.

Note about the video: this is NOT the massage described above, but it is still a fun time between Papa and baby that I thought I would share it!