Babies are adorable. They’re also incredibly curious and grow at a very fast rate. Every day is a new opportunity for discovery when you’re that age. If you’re caring for an infant you’ll, of course, want to stimulate their mind. You’ll also want to encourage his or her physical and emotional growth.
There are lots of things you can do to help your baby explore the world around them. The following simple activities should be fun for both you and your child to encourage baby development. They’re also a great way to bond together and involve other family members in the baby’s playtime.
Fun Activities to Encourage Baby Development
Change Your Tone of Voice
Even before they’re born, babies respond to changes in voice tones. A baby knows their mother’s voice because they’ve heard it in the womb. He or she might also know tones from other people who are close to you, such as your spouse or a sibling. You can challenge your baby to think about new tones by varying your tone of voice.
Try playing around with a deeper voice or one that’s higher pitched. See how the baby responds to different tones. He or she will quickly make it clear that you’re making them listen to new sounds. Understanding sounds helps babies make sense of language and acquire it faster.
As babies develop, they need to learn to track objects with their eyes. They also need to learn that objects they see are still there even when they’re out of their line of sight. Help your child learn to follow things by taking toys they clearly like and moving them in front of them. This is a good activity that you can do when the baby is lying down or doing relaxing things like sitting in the bathtub.
Move to the Music
Even infants respond to music. Babies also like to move. Put your favorite album on. Take the baby in your arms and move around with them. Try out different dance moves at various times. Sway from side to side at first and then start moving back and forth or even make little hops as the music continues.
Listening to music enables babies to hear songs that will help them develop their language skills further. Moving with a parent encourages safe exploration of the world from a protected perch.
Sing a Lullaby
Moms instinctively know that babies respond to lullabies. Many mothers enjoy singing to their babies in the womb. When the baby is born, mom’s can continue singing the same lullabies to them. Babies love the sounds they heard in the womb after they’re born.
Take classic songs and gently sing them to your baby, or have even more fun with them by making up your own lullabies and watching your baby’s face light up with joy. Sing to them when you take them out with you during the day. If you’re out and about, you’ll quickly find that singing is a great way to help calm your child.
Bring Out a Mirror
Mirrors are a very useful tool that parents can use to help their babies become more self-aware. Place a mirror in front of the baby. Then ask them questions such as “who’s there?” Use the mirror to point out your baby’s body parts and then say them out loud.
For example, take the mirror and bring it to the baby’s hands and say the word “hands”. Then use the mirror to point to your own body parts and say their names. This helps the baby become aware of Mommy and Daddy as well their place in the world.
Flying the Baby
This is one is classic that all babies love. Take the baby and hold it safely. Make sure you have the baby’s arms and legs held securely. Then you can fly the baby across your lap, and if you’re feeling brave, across the room. As you carry the baby, make funny noises as if you’re flying a plane or a rocket is taking off.
Babies like being surprised with unexpected movement that challenges their perception of space. They also like when parents show them new things in their room from various different heights.
Even little babies can learn to stretch their limbs and how to control them. Now is the time to coach a baby’s leg movements. Doing so will first help prepare them for crawling and eventually for walking.
A baby can learn to kick simple items like tissue paper or even a large ball. Hold the baby’s leg and show them what to do. Then take their leg and gently push it against the tissue paper or another object. Do this several times in a row and then start alternating legs each time. Babies love having their limbs touched and the idea of being able to control them.
As babies grow, they gradually gain better control of their arms and hands. Moms and dads can teach babies to control their limbs and have fun in the process. Babies can learn to grasp all sorts of items.
Reaching for an object teaches them to interact with their surroundings. Take different objects and place them in front of the baby. Look for items that are safe and likely to attract and keep the baby’s attention. Paper tubes are easy for a baby to hold. The same is true of toys made from safe materials in varied colors and patterns.
All babies need to spend some time on their tummy. Tummy time lets babies see the world in a new light. Help them make the best use of this time by putting toys around them as they sit.
A baby will enjoy this time, even more, when you bring out new items for them to look at. Keep aside a few special toys that you only use for tummy-time. For example, you might keep several stuffed animals around. Let the baby use this time to touch the stuffed toy.
Have fun with your little ones, mama! They’re only babies for a short period of time, and these activities should help you engage with them in ways that encourage baby development and strengthen your bond.