Even at the earliest age, you and Baby can try your hand at these silly yet salient activities that will supercharge his sensory and intellectual development.
Household Object Expo
You might be surprised at which everyday items can turn on the light bulb in Baby’s head. Many parents find that simply holding their babies close and showing them random household objects such as kitchen utensils, stationary, athletic gear, or even some colorful vegetables can be just as engaging and informative as leafing through an issue of National Geographic. (Which is one of the many objects that can captivate your baby.) To keep this activity interesting, try alternating items by shape and size. For safety’s sake, keep these objects far enough out of reach that Baby can only actually get his hands on these objects if you offer them under your very close supervision.
Baby Can Groove
Dance is not only a universal language – it’s also an activity that you and Baby can enjoy together. The key is to keep the soundtrack and the moves fun yet gentle. Instead of putting on Skrillex, try going for old school favorites like Aretha Franklin or Billie Holiday. Hold Baby close within your arms or in a sling. Start with soft swaying and if he can dig it, try raising him up and down slowly. You can also put Baby in a comfortable resting place and make this a solo dance performance: that way, you can really spice it up and capitalize on the moves that make him laugh.
It Came From Above
A simple yet highly amusing game you can play with Baby involves dangling soft objects like a ribbon or scarf in front of his face. Chances are he will go wild with curiosity and reach out, as if to say, “What is that?!” You can even add your own sound effects to heighten the experience. Just be sure not to leave Baby unattended within reach of items that could cause an entanglement crisis.
As soon as Baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off – usually a few weeks after birth, your doctor will likely recommend that you begin introducing him to the sensation of resting on his stomach. Baby might protest at first but you can make this tummy time extra fun by laying Baby on a blanket and gently raising each side so that he rolls in one direction after the other. Add some playful narration such as “whoopsie-daisy” or “cowabunga” to lighten the mood further. Tummy time is definitely a team sport at this point, so make sure all Baby‘s time on his belly takes place under your watchful eye.