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Activities for Babies: 0 to 6 Months

Activities provided by Productive Parenting. To receive additional daily activities based on your child's age, visit ProductiveParenting.com.

 
Do These Activities With Baby
HEARING
mother and baby

Kathryn Gamble Lozier

What to Do: While your baby is seated in an infant seat, shake a rattle to the left and then to the right. Speak to your infant in a soft and gentle voice as you move from one side to the other. She loves hearing the sound of your soft voice!

Skills Learned: Listening

IMITATION

What to Do: Place your child in a position to focus on your face. Let your tongue protrude as far as it can. Do this slowly about five or six times. Notice any movement your child may make. This may take some time. Your child will need practice but may eventually imitate your actions. Imitation is a complex activity for a young child.

Skills Learned: Visual tracking, sensory development, body awareness

INFANT SIT-UPS

Materials You Will Need: Soft blanket

What to Do: This fun game is a good way to exercise neck muscles. Lay your infant on a soft blanket, facing up. Hold on to his hands and wrists, then count, "One, two, three, up!" Gently pull him to a sitting position. Gently lower him back down to the lying position, then repeat.

Skills Learned: Social development, trust, upper body strength

LEG KICKS

Materials You Will Need: Pillow, plate

What to Do: Infants love to kick their little legs. Place your infant, face up, on a blanket on the floor, and hold a plastic plate or pillow within easy reach of her legs. You may need to guide her feet to the object at first. When contact is made, your infant will feel the object and be excited with you as you praise her. Once your infant understands the game, it will be fun to practice repeatedly.

Skills Learned: Body awareness, eye-foot coordination, listening

LISTENING

What to Do: When your infant faces you, use different pitches with your voice. Watch your baby's facial expressions as you do this. He's becoming accustomed to 'all' of your voices!

Skills Learned: Listening

RINGING BELL

Materials You Will Need: Bells

What to Do: Your child is developing the ability to visually track. Place her in an infant seat. Take a bell and ring it above her head. Do the same to the left and right of your child. Observe her and notice if her eyes follow the bell.

Skills Learned: Visual tracking

STRETCHING
tummy time games

Kathryn Gamble Lozier

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.