Gentle sensory introduction to the world
When a child is at its most sensitive stage, in the first year of its life, it is important to provide gentle and stimulating activities on a daily level to help the baby’s progress. Of course, you are the one who is deciding the tempo, but by any means don’t pressure your child, it will be contra productive. In the following article you will find some interesting games and interactions that might amuse you, but will certainly help the child’s development. The introduction to the world of sensory stimulants can be demanding, so stay tolerant and patient and, of course, have fun with your baby.
“If the emotions are free the intellect will look after itself.”
A.S.Neil, author and educator
- Peek-a-boo! (5 months old)
A simple and fun game we all know how to play. Your child’s smile is not just special for you as a parent, and it is not just a visual stimulant, your baby also learns how to communicate and respond. It even helps your baby to comprehend the object permanence at a very early stage.
- Imitation (7 months old)
You can already start making faces in front of your baby and not feel silly about it. Just place your child so it can have a perfect view of your face. At this stage your child is absorbing the surroundings well enough to start imitating your behavior and this is important for both communication and focus.
- Toys (1 month old)
Find safe toys for your baby, and do pay attention that objects are simple and colorful. If the child is familiar with toys, not only focus and perception will improve, but muscles as well from all the grabbing and squeezing.
- Imitate sounds (4 months old)
Already at this stage all vocal games are acceptable. Do interact with the baby, don’t just rely on toys to do all the work and start barking, mooing and imitate every animal for that matter. Combined with images and toys, your child is learning to respond to sounds and eventually the baby will start connecting the voices with sources.
- Singing (1 months old)
It doesn’t matter how well you sing, well for the baby of course, because you need to connect with your child while they are super-absorbent. They simply have to know that you are there. This is important for bonding, but it also develops communication skills, babies memorize often repeated words even when they can’t pronounce them.
- Conversation (5 months old)
Communicate with your child. Talk about anything you want to, do it in a soothing and calm voice, and wait for respond. Mimic the responses you get, and do expect a lot of “bubba-gubba” answers, because your child might not understand you at this point, but it is trying to do so. Encouragement is very important, and you are developing auditory awareness on a high level while doing so.
- Up, Up and Away (4 months old)
While you are lying on the floor, position your baby on your knees after you bend them towards your stomach. Hold the child with both hands and lift it in the air. Do laugh in the process and let the baby know you feel secure, it will provide comfort. With this activity, you will help your baby develop motor skills which are very important for this age. If your baby is insecure you may want to try this while your baby is in her baby swaddle or blanket.
- Crawling (7 months old)
Lie down on the floor and encourage your baby to crawl to you. It helps build strength in the upper body, and do respond to every try, no matter how successful it is. Laugh and smile, call the child by name and provide assistance if you need to. You are not just exercising the muscles, baby’s coordination and confidence are developing in the process as well.
- Climbing (9 months old)
At this stage, you should assist your child in exploring the world around you. Hold your child while you are conquering the couch or other mountains of pillows on the bed, leg muscles should get more exercise and you are also developing motor skills in the process.
It is in human nature to explore the world, that need to touch, feel and taste everything that surrounds us. The wisest thing you can do for your child is not to bind him/her by too many rules while they are still learning. Let them experience everything on their own.