Thursday, March 22, 2012

Boosting your Child's Senses

infant activities photos 
The next couple of blog posts, I am going to focus on sensory development for your baby and toddlers.
There are some activities you can do with your baby to help prepare them for preschool, build their motor and sensory skills, and develop a lifetime of learning. You can play fun games together and have it be very beneficial as they develop some of their five senses! You will love watching your baby learn while having fun!
Photo and information found here and more activities to do with your baby!

  • Sense of Touch Activity: Tickle Time. A simple activity you can do with your baby.  Tickle time promotes body awareness and social development as well as tactile stimulation. Plus, it gives you a chance to practice responding to your baby's cues and body language.  A baby's skin is super-sensitive (and irresistibly touchable), so now's a great time to help her explore the world through her sense of touch. Gather items with a variety of interesting textures, like cotton balls, feathers, tissues, a comb, or any piece of fabric. Then place your baby on a blanket on the floor — or on her changing table or in her crib — and gently brush the objects across her tender tummy, leg, or cheek. Your running commentary makes this game even more interesting, so talk it up. ("Isn't this soft?" "Doesn't this tickle?") You'll probably be able to tell which items are her favorites by her excited kicks and coos. 
  • Sense of Hearing and Sight Activity: Mommy's Calling.  Listening and locating your voice helps build your baby's auditory and visual tracking skills. Plus, it boosts social development and her sense of security as you move out of sight and then reappear. If you haven't already noticed, your baby loves the sound of human voices (especially yours!). And while she knows you're talking when you're right in front of her, locating the source of a sound when it's farther away and out of sight is a skill she's just beginning to master. Choose a time when your baby is alert and happy, and put her in an infant seat in the middle of the room. Then take a walk around the room while talking or singing to her, or making a variety of funny noises. She may not be able to fully turn her head toward your position, but she can hear differences in the sound of your voice as you move from spot to spot. This fun and simple exercise lays the perfect foundation for future games of hide-and-seek and peekaboo. 
  • Sense of Sight Activity: Flashlight Fun.  Watching the light move across surfaces exercises your child's ability to visually track objects, as well as boosts her sensory development. Chasing the beam promotes eye-hand coordination and gross motor skills. Plus, your narration builds your baby's vocabulary.  Place a piece of colored tissue paper or a sheer scarf over the end of the flashlight. (Hold your "filter" in place with masking tape or a rubber band.) Then shine that beautiful beam around the room, letting the light dance across your baby's ceiling, walls, toys, and toes! Narrate the show as you experiment with concepts such as fast and slow, high and low, and back and forth. Change the color of your filters for new effects, or turn the lights in the room on and off to demonstrate the difference between light and dark. Your baby will be fascinated by what she sees, and what the light beam can do! If your baby is old enough, have her chase the beam around the floor and try to catch the light! Eventually, she will be able to hold the flashlight and have you chase the beam!

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