One of our sessions on the course looks at your baby’s development and has lots of fun ideas of games to play and ways to help their development. Our baby development guru – Gabi Maddocks, the brains behind the popular music and movement classes Movers and Shakers (alongside other creative classes for children), has come up with some fun ideas of games you can play with your baby – happy baby & happy mummy = win win!
There are lots of games you can play with your baby – even a newborn can enjoy simple games. And while you are having fun together, your baby will be developing new skills and discovering fresh talents. Remember: each baby develops at a different pace, so if yours isn’t ready for a particular activity don’t worry. Just wait for a few weeks and then try again.
Here are some suggestions of games that you might like to try:
1) Dingle Dangle:
Between 2 and 4 months old your little one will be perfecting their ‘swatting’ action. Use some strong string or dental floss to dangle an interesting object just within swiping range (swipeable, but not so close that they can grab hold of the object and yank it towards them – unless it’s a baby-friendly object!). Vary the object every few minutes to retain baby’s interest. Suggestions for objects are: screwed up tin foil, a ball of wool, measuring spoons, a rattle.
SKILLS DEVELOPED: hand-eye coordination
This is a fun game to play that helps your baby develop the important skill of object permanence (understanding that an object continues to exist even when you can’t see it). You simply hide your face behind a cloth and then pull it down while saying ‘peekaboo’. As your child gets older they may start to do the hiding themselves! It’s amazing how much they love this simple game. You can develop it by playing with a favourite toy, and it can also evolve into a simple game of hide and seek as they get older.
SKILLS DEVELOPED: object permanence, copying
Blow bubbles gently in baby’s direction, letting him reach out and try to catch them or pop them. Try not to let the bubbles pop near their eyes as it will sting (unless you use special sugar bubbles!) Name each body-part that the bubbles land on: “bubbles on your tummy”, “bubbles on your hand” etc
SKILLS DEVELOPED: hand-eye coordination, parts of the body
4) My turn your turn:
There are lots of games that you can play that encourage turn-taking – the beginnings of learning how to have a conversation. Roll a ball between you, build a tower together, pass things between you.
SKILLS DEVELOPED: turn-taking, sharing
5) What happens next?
All these activities help with the development of a sense of cause and effect: pressing light switches, pressing buttons on remote controls, turning taps on and off, blowing up a balloon and let it go buzzing around the room, splashing in water, letting a soft toy drop off the edge of a table etc
SKILLS DEVELOPED: sense of cause and effect
It’s so wonderful as you get to watch your baby’s development & we hope you enjoy playing these games with your little one!