Thursday, September 30, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 79: The Pumpkin Patch

Your baby’s first trip to the pumpkin patch can be a wonderful time for infant stimulation; the cool crisp air, the crinkling of leaves, and of course those pumpkins and gourds. It is definitely a great place to introduce baby to the words and textures of smooth, rough and bumpy.

First find a nice smooth pumpkin and stroke it with baby’s hand. Say, “The pumpkin is smooth. Feel the pumpkin? It is smooth.” Then find a nice textured gourd and again stroke it using baby’s hand. Say, “The gourd is bumpy.” Find some burlap on a scarecrow or some hay/straw and do the same for the word and feeling of "rough".

Be sure to have your camera nearby as the faces baby will make will be priceless too!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 78: visual stimulators

Don't you get bored taking the same route to the grocery store or the same route to work every day. Wouldn't you get tired of watching the same movie over and over or reading the same issue of a magazine again and again with no change. Well, if your baby is looking at the same thing all the time then he will get bored too! And the stimulation factor of whatever he sees, hears, smells or touches is diminished too. So change it up. Pictures in the crib, toys on the carrier, or even his mobile.

Certainly a baby, particularly newborns, do not need a new picture or mobile every day - there is enough stimulation going on in life - but perhaps after a month something different in the crib or something new on his carrier will be exciting and stimulating!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 77: more texture and sound

Another wonderful texture and sound activity is easy and inexpensive. Is it Fall in your area? Get some of those brown leaves and let your baby enjoy the tactile sense of the leaf, the auditory sense of the crinkle of the leaf, as well as the emotional enjoyment of being and interacting with you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 76: texture and sound

Infant stimulation doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be worth it. You can introduce your baby to texture with just some pieces of paper or a brown paper bag. First, hold the paper in front of baby and with stoke the paper with her hand. Say, “The paper is smooth. Feel the paper? It is smooth.”

Then take the paper and crunch it up slowly and deliberately so baby can hear the sound. Say, “Do you hear that sound? The paper is crinkling. Hear it?” Finally, take baby’s hand, stroke the crinkled paper and say, “The paper is rough and bumpy. Feel the paper? It is rough and bumpy.” You can repeat it several times as long as your baby continues to be interested. Once she turns her head away or becomes fussy end the session with a big hug and kiss!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 75: ribbons in the breeze

Your baby will be absolutely delighted in seeing the effect of turning a fan on and off. This is best experienced by tying ribbons around a stick or ruler and placing it in a planter full of soil or rocks. Place the stick and ribbons in front of a floor fan or where the breeze of a ceiling fan will make the ribbons flutter.

Have baby sitting up away from any ability to touch the fan or th ribbons. Watch his response to the ribbons flying in the breeze. After a minute a two turn off the fan and see if his reaction changes. Be sure to tell him when the fan is off and when it is on. If possible, let him see and hear that you are moving a switch and what that does to the ribbons. Cause and effect is an important brain development activity.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 74: bicycle made for two

Daisy, Daisy,Give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy, All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two.

You should be singing aloud as you lie your baby on his back, then gently hold his ankles and help him make a cyclying motion by bending his knees one at a time and moving his feet as if he were pedaling a bike. Remember, the motion should be easy and gentle, and never forced. If your baby is not into "riding a bike" today, then choose another activity. However, if he does like the circular motion then have a great time doing the pedaling motion and singing a fun song.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 73: roll over

Lay your baby on her back. Hold the ankle and thigh of one of her legs and gently cross it over her other leg. Watch as baby rolls to the side. It is important to note that this motion should not be forced; it should happen naturally. If your baby is not ready to roll then simple do a different activity and try rolling another day.

Return your baby to her back the try the other leg and rolling toward the other direction. You can sing or say something simple such as “roll” or “(Baby’s name) is rolling.” This is great exercise for your infant and the time interacting with you is key.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 72: finger grasping

Reaching for any object helps baby’s brain develop hand-eye coordination. And there is one object that even newborns enjoy grasping and that is your finger.

Allow your baby to feel your finger and take hold of it. Reward her after each grasp by saying “good girl” or “you’re so strong.” Encourage her to reach for your finger by gently stroking the inside of her hand then slightly moving your finger away. She will quickly learn to coordinate the feel, reach, and grasp.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 71: kicking

Kicking develops motor skills and it is something babies love to do and can do easily! Make this interactive between you and your baby by holding up a rattle, bells, chimes, or something that will make noise when he kicks it.

Encourage him with lots of smiles and a “you kicked it!” every time he kicks the rattle or other noise maker.

Your baby’s brain will be firing away as he connects the cause and effect of his kicking an object and making a sound; he will also come to understand the cause and effect of the kicking and your smiles. But the fun the two of you are having together is the most important thing!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 70: who’s afraid of the dark?

One of the reasons you should consistently show your baby that your activities are fun is that she is learning what is fun, scary, happy, or sad from you. And this holds true for all experiences such as being in the dark. Be sure to allow your baby to positively experience a dark or dimly lit room. This can be done with the shadow activity (see Infant Stimulation Activity 63) or any activity that can be just as fun in the dark.

For example, start doing something simple like rolling a ball in a lit room, then turn off the lights and continue the activity in the dark. The contrast of playing in the light then the dark will be very interesting to baby. It may also save you some strong emotions if you are ever in a power outage or someplace where the lights need to be off.

You can also play while using a flashlight to get your baby accustomed to what that looks and feels like. Again, this is not only interesting to baby, it paves the way in case you are in a situation where the flashlight is your only light source.