Games to play with Infants
Growth and development is not haphazard, it has a timetable. Although there may be some variations, the pattern is predictable i.e roll, sit, crawl, stand, walk so on and so forth.
Every baby is different try not to compare your baby with other babies of the same age. All babies are different and learn to do things at different times – some babies are fast with some things, but slow with others.
So these 10 creative games to play with infants may work with some babies and may not work with others.
There is a rapid growth in terms of physical and cognitive milestones in infants from 4-12months. Your baby now, is sensing and assimilating his environment around him constantly. His Curiosity and need to achieve milestones will keep engaging him through these important developmental months.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
- Because all babies are different, some babies just won’t like some activities. Don’t worry about it, try something else.
- Sometimes your baby may be unhappy with an activity because she is tired or not yet ready to do the activity. Try it again another time.
- Babies grow and learn fast so what they do will be changing all the time.
- Babies learn by playing. Play with your baby but also allow him some time to explore his world in a safe way on his own.
- Games can get more physical now. Your baby might enjoy knee rides or tickle games. He is also more responsive to you, making noises and meeting your eyes.
- Babies learn by hearing words. Talk or sing to baby while you do things together and read to baby as often as you can.
An infant will make use of all his senses to understand and learn about his surroundings.
Keeping this in mind, one of the most useful methods to engage your infant would be the V.A.K.T method, i.e (Visual. Auditory, Kinaesthetic and Tactile method).
Following are a few creative games to play with infants that you may indulge in with your infant to aid his development and at the same time enjoy these precious days!
There’s something exquisite about bubbles, and at this point your baby can see far enough away to focus on them.
Blow bubbles in the park to attract older kids ( siblings) and entertain your baby in the process.
Bubbles are endlessly fascinating for babies (& us too).
2. Play Voice Games:
Talk with a high or low voice. Blow air, Whistle. Take turns with your baby.
Repeat any sounds made by him.
Place your baby so that you are face to face, your
baby will watch as you make sounds.
3. Make a Rattle:
Fill a small plastic bottle with rice and a few colourful pulses.
Close the lid tight. Hand it over to your kid and let him shake it and make some noise.
4. Me in the Mirror:
Place your baby in front of a mirror, make sure you are sitting beside or behind him.
Start by making funny faces, let your child explore himself in the mirror too.
It will be a nice idea to introduce body parts this way with the help of a rhyme.
5. Fun with Paints:
Non-toxic paints are now available in the market (P.S. You may make colours from the comfort of your home using Food colours and water).
Initially let your child dip his finger in the paint and transfer it on paper etc, you may have to model it for him.
As time progresses, move to paint brushes (8 months onwards) , give them a big sheet of paper and let them get creative (I have framed my sons masterpiece at the age of 8 months ).
6. Bunny Racing:
Once your child is crawling, you may have a Bunny race with him, this encourages him to move more.
All you have to do is place a few objects of his desire at short intervals (like in an obstacle race).
Begin crawling and picking up objects, soon he will follow your lead.
7. Bang Bang Wham Wham:
Once your little one learns to grasp and hold, he might want to bang or throw everything he can get hold of. So why not turn this into some fun time. Hand your infant something soft, something a little harder, a noisy rattle, a spoon and a vessel etc. Give him the freedom to go Bang bang Wham wham. He will be delighted with the different sounds things make!
8. To Touch Or Not To Touch:
Give your infant the opportunity whenever possible to feel an object or various fabrics, e.g hand him a piece of cotton (tickle him with it) saying soft cotton. Let him play with Dough , squishy feel, jute is rough etc.
9. Stack Them:
A very interesting and engaging activity. You can help your infant to stack boxes, plates, blocks, plastic glasses and once high enough knock them over.
10. Pour Me In:
Two Containers preferably a big size and you may opt from a serving spoon or small bowl. Viola !your baby will be engaged for a long time pouring in and out from one to another. It’s their basic curiosity of cause and effect that will take over.
A FEW NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND.
1. Repetition is important.
2. Many games won’t work the first time you play them, but if you keep up your efforts your kid will eventually start responding once you begin a particular activity.
3. Your baby’s attention span will vary a lot, depending on his age, his temperament, and his mood. Sometimes he’ll enjoy a game for as long as 20 minutes, but more often you’ll need to modify the game every five minutes or so.
4. You’ll know your baby’s loving your activities when he’s turning toward you, smiling, or laughing. But if he squirms away from you, looks away, or cries, it’s time to change the activity.
Special Educator and Child Counsellor
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