Fun Developmental Activities for Babies
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post about fun developmental activities for babies. It’s a good way to get information to you and to help me offset some website costs!
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored by your baby, but it’s up to mom and dad to come up with different games that will thrill the little one. Every activity we’ve listed below constitutes something that can be both fun and functional for your child. Encouraging the use of their senses is the key element here.
Your baby may enjoy tummy time with a bit of pulling across the floor. Give the child some incentive by placing a toy just out of their reach and bring it to their attention. He or she may try to crawl across the floor to get to the toy.
Be sure to create closure and success with the toy at the end of the activity. The baby will enjoy the game, which translates to encouragement for success next time.
This activity involves a fresh layer of tissue paper tucked under a couch cushion. Allow the bulk of the paper to hang off the couch until it touches the ground. This tissue curtain is a perfect sensory wall now.
Lay the baby on the floor with their feet touching the tissue paper and couch. Allow them to crinkle the paper under their feet. He or she will likely kick the paper and giggle at the sound and sensation.
Ask the baby a question, such as “how big are you?”. Exaggerate the baby’s size by holding out your arms as wide as possible. Perform this activity several times a day. At some point, the baby might find it interesting to hold his or her arms out to that wide stance.
Alternatively, try a mirror game. Hold the baby close to you and make a silly face. Perform other movements with your body while carefully holding the child. He or she may mimic these motions as the activity progresses.
Point it Out
Taking a baby out on an outdoor adventure is a stimulating time. Choose your locations wisely. Keep it simple, such as visiting a park in the spring. Physically point to items in the surrounding area. Name them with a clear voice. You might try using the word in a sentence, such as “the rose is red”.
The baby may not look too intrigued, but the stimulation from the environment and your voice will make these connections true in time.
Singing and Talking
Parents need to forego the baby talk. It’s more important to speak in a normal tone and use daily language. The baby may be a newborn, but its brain cells are making countless connections right now. The language that they hear will make an impact on the child’s success in life. Communication is key.
Adding in rhythm to speech by way of singing is another way to bond with the child while improving his or her brain cell connections. The child may be more inclined to speak earlier with rhythm and language bound together in song.
Fill a large resealable bag with water and fish-shaped sponges. Place the baby on his or her stomach with the bag laying on the floor. The bag, sponges, and water become fun textures for the baby’s hands. Always monitor this playtime to make sure the bag doesn’t leak or pop. Only use sponges so no pointed objects puncture the bag. You can play this texture game whenever tummy time comes up in the future.
A baby’s eyesight continues to develop from birth until they reach 12 months of age. You can encourage sharp eyesight for your child by playing a tracking game with them. When your baby is laying on his or her back, hold up a favorite toy. Dance the toy in the air as it passes above your child’s face.
Because the toy is a fascinating subject for a baby, he or she should follow it with their eyes. This tracking game helps with focus and hand-eye coordination.
Babies don’t understand that a person still exists when he or she leaves the room. This complex idea only develops later on in childhood. For this reason, it’s a good idea to play the old-fashioned peek-a-boo game. Cover your face with your hands and reappear several times. The activity stimulates the mind and conveys the thought that the person is still there even though a visual isn’t possible.
While visual and auditory cues are important to a baby’s development, be sure not to forget about their sense of smell. Cut open an orange and hold it up to the baby’s nose. These sweet, attractive scents will create neural connections for future associations.
Avoid any unpleasant scents that might draw a negative reaction, there’s no reason to create these associations. The baby will come across bad smells, such as spoiled milk, in due time.
Point out the family members in the household so the baby practices facial recognition. Say “I’m Mommy” or point to a brother or sister to identify them. At some point, the baby might mimic this behavior as he or she learns to speak. Facial recognition is important because it teaches the baby who to bond with along with understanding their boundaries outside of the home. Unfamiliar faces will be met with questions in the future, for example.
A massage may not seem like a developmental activity, but it shores up the emotional bond between a parent and child. The baby knows that he or she is loved. Lay the baby down on a blanket, warm up the room to the point where only wearing a diaper will be comfortable for them. Use gentle strokes as you massage the baby’s limbs.
This activity creates bonding as well as body awareness. Children eventually learn that they’re wholly separate from their parents.
Pay close attention to the baby as the activity progresses. He or she can have a short attention span. If their interest wanes, try another activity at a later time. Engaged babies will show their interest. This excitement is what you want to see in your child as he or she discovers the world.