Can anyone tell me "fun" things to do with an infant? I know peekaboo but I don't know where to find the "fingerplays" or anything like that. There's also got to be more that you can do with them before they start to walk or even crawl. How young is too young to give them a piece of paper and crayon and let them have fun with that (closely suppervised of course)?
i'm no parent (i'm 14) but i think it is never too young to give a child paper and crayons, if you ask me. If they can sit at a table then they can scribble too - but keep them away from walls! Make sure the crayons are non-toxic though.
Try talking to her, or reading to her/him.
My mum says when i was little i liked her to put on some music, pick me up and sort of dance (or rock, really) or lay me on my back and she'd hold my hands and move them around.
Also, my cousin says it's good to take a baby/infant out in the pram and just walk around a park or go to the shops because they like being outside.
You can give your child a crayon and paper (tape it to the table) if you keep an eye on him/her. Also, a really fun activity is to take a piece of clear contact paper and tape it sticky-side-up to a table and let the baby stick things on it. Use your favorite search engine and search for "infant lesson plans" and you should get some good stuff.
Sing the alphabet to your baby. I used to do this with my daughter as a baby every time I changed her nappy or having a quiet cuddle. By the time she was two she could sing the entire aplhabet, and she didn't know she was learning something important. To her it was just a song until she went to school and found out that she already knew her ABC's.
Counting songs are great too. So many of them around so pick a favourite and sing over and over.
Babies learn by repitition and sometimes when my daughter was unwell just singing the alphabet would be enough to settle her back to sleep.
Home made edible playdough is also great. Just a simple flour and water dough will be fine for 1 session.
Young babies may think it is something to eat so make sure it is safe. Adding salt prolongs the life of the dough but will make baby thirsty so it is better to make a fresh batch each time at this age.
Enjoy this wonderful time!
They love balls - just rolling them back and forth - and they like seeing themselves in shiney surfaces and playing with pots and pans - And listening to music (but not TOO loud) and dancing - Anything to see them to SEE and HEAR and respond - It's playing - it doesn't have to be too directed - They are learning to figure out things as they go - that's the point of play....
Do a search on the web for "early childhood education". This helped me a lot when I was considering preschool teaching for a career. Also check your local library for Early childhood books- they have themes and many activities for the very young.
The easiest way to entertain a baby is to involve him/her with whatever you are doing:
My baby sits with me while I read my emails aloud (the more they hear language, the faster they learn it)
He sits in his highchair in the kitchen and plays with wooden spoons etc. while I 'teach' him how to cook (I just tell him what I'm doing, let him smell the ingredients, and taste any foods that are appropriate for him)
He lays on the bed while I fold laundry and I play peek-a-boo with the clothes and let him touch the different textures.
I take him shopping (plan for a longer trip than usual) and show him everything I buy - let him see the packages, touch stuff that's warm or cold (especially produce - there are some great shapes, colours, and textures)
If I have paperwork to do he sits in his highchair beside me and colours on the scrap envelopes and papers. Before he was able to hold a crayon I'd just let him fingerpaint with some of his baby food right on the highchair tray.
When I'm not busy we just sit and sing/dance/listen to music and I read to him - you can never start reading too early!
Oh and with the warmer weather (and now that he can sit up by himself) I'll fill a large shallow container with some water and throw in some plastic spoons, cups, etc. and let my baby sit and play on the grass (no wet mess to clean up). He loves to just pour the water around, but remember to not take your eyes off an infant near water. A sandbox or the beach are wonderful too, but make sure you don't let them eat sand (evrything seems to end up in their mouths if you're not careful!)
Babies also seem to love going out for walks - there's so much to see! Talk to them about what they see and let them smell and touch plants and flowers.
Try combining education and play while having fun with baby. This site here has some really good information you might be interested in: http://www.babies-blog.com/baby-and-toddler-lesson-plans/
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