Introducing infants to stimulating activities and educational games can develop language, communication, social and motor skills and also stimulate learning and creativity. Babies who are exposed to various games and activities at an early age also may develop a stronger memory, improve hand-eye coordination skills and establish healthy bonds with family members and siblings. Interacting with different toys and becoming comfortable with a wide range of sensory experiences can help infants mature at a healthy rate. Playing simple games with your baby can enhance learning.
Playing with Balls
Squishy, plush and fuzzy toys, such as balls and small pillows, can strengthen important muscles and build several motor skills. Balls can be rolled back and forth across the floor, tossed around the baby’s crib or just held in a baby’s hands as a fun and educational activity.
Music and Sound Games
Singing, dancing and clapping to music are activities that increase motor development and develop acute auditory and listening skills. Babies typically are receptive to new sounds, rhythms and voices, and they can imitate certain movements at an early age. Singing silly songs and nursery rhymes, clapping to music on the radio and listening to a soothing CD effectively encourage healthy development.
This simple activity can teach infants to understand that certain objects still exist even when they are not visible. This fundamental concept develops babies’ awareness in their surroundings and teaches them to respond to social cues. Babies also may be able to differentiate between different expressions with this game, and they may laugh or giggle during the activity while establishing an emotional bond with their playmates.
Repetition is the best way for babies to learn new sounds and to recognize words that describe certain objects. Using a playful voice to point out different objects in the environment will help the infant remember those objects and develop language and speech early in their toddler years. The repetition of words and sounds also makes babies more comfortable in their surroundings.
Pop-up Books and Puppet Games
Reading a pop-up book gives the baby a chance to listen to a parent or caregiver’s soothing voice as she tells the story. The baby also will be entertained by the colorful pictures and objects throughout the book. Puppet games that also tell a story encourage playful interaction and shared emotional expressions. They also help the infant become more attentive and responsive to stimuli.
About the Author
Sabah Karimi is an experienced freelance writer who enjoys writing about lifestyle, parenting, and childhood education topics. Sabah runs a web copywriting and marketing consultancy business in Orlando, Florida.