Activities for Babies: 0 to 6 Months

More Fun Activities

STRETCHING

tummy time games

What to Do: It's stretching time! Put a favorite toy just beyond your child's reach. Let him stretch to get the toy.

Skills Learned: Sensory development

GRASPING

What to Do: Put your finger in your infant's right palm. Did she grasp your finger? Infants often have a strong grasp in the first month of life. Make this exercise a part of your daily routine. Use her left palm as well.

Skills Learned: Grasp and release, tactile stimulation

MOVING OBJECTS

What to Do: Your child may be very interested in observing moving objects. Take him outside or stand by a window to see the tree branches moving in the wind, the birds flying in the yard, and the wind chimes moving. Talk to your child all about what you see.

Skills Learned: Visual tracking

PICKING UP

What to Do: Children love to touch anything in sight. Put a number of objects that your child can pick up on a blanket. See how many objects she picks up. You can also sit your baby on your lap and hand her the objects. Observe how long she holds on to them.

Skills Learned: Visual development, tactile stimulation, gross motor

TAKING TURNS:

What to Do: Hold your child facing you. Tell him a story. Pause. Wait for him to make noise. When your child is finished "talking," it's your turn. This is called taking turns. Teach this technique to other members of your family. This is an important preparation for language.

Skills Learned: Sound discrimination

KEY SHAKE

Materials You Will Need: Keys or a rattle

What to Do: Visual tracking is an important exercise for your child. Place her on a soft blanket. Shake the keys or rattle, and move them from left to right, from your child's chin down to her stomach and up to the crown of her head. Move the keys to the back of her head. Observe your child's eyes tracking.

Skills Learned: Visual tracking, visual stimulation

LIGHT AND DARK

Materials You Will Need: Flashlight

What to Do: As your child begins to focus, try this activity! Darken a room in your home. Hold your child facing the light from a flashlight as you slowly move the light around the room. Notice the way he follows the light. If he's not ready to follow the light at this time, try it again later.

Skills Learned: Visual tracking

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

These activities originally appeared on Productive Parenting and are reprinted with permission. To receive additional daily activity suggestions based on your child's age, visit www.productiveparenting.com.

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