Enriching activities for your one to three-month-old baby
Your little bundle of joy is now fed, well-rested, and ready for an engaging time. Here are some entertaining and beneficial play ideas:
- Discovering sounds: Help your baby associate objects and people with specific sounds, a key concept in understanding cause and effect.
- Create a ‘sound tour’ around your house. Observe if your baby responds to the sounds of everyday life – from tapping on a window, the sound of the doorbell, to the hum of the microwave.
- Narrate to your baby what they’re experiencing along the tour.
- Engaging with speech and literature: Communication is a key tool for brain development. The more engaged you are in conversation with your baby, the more they will comprehend and gradually learn to communicate.
Here are some conversation starters:
- Consistency is key: Even though they may not respond, remember your baby is taking in every word.
- Whenever possible, engage in face-to-face conversations as they’re the most impactful.
- Try not to oversimplify your language; introducing a variety of words will enrich their vocabulary.
- Naturally, you might find yourself talking in a high-pitched, melodious tone – keep it up, babies love it!
- Use a book with high-contrast images.
- Encourage them to make sounds. Repeat their sounds, wait and then make the same sound again. This mimicking introduces your baby to conversation rhythms.
- Aim for around 15 minutes of conversation each waking hour – this can significantly aid their language development.
- Balloon fun: Balloons are a wonderful tool to captivate your baby’s attention.
- Draw high-contrast patterns on a white balloon with a permanent marker.
- Gently bat the balloon in front of your baby and observe as they attempt to track it. Babies usually start following moving objects with their eyes from around 5 weeks old.
- Tie balloons loosely around your baby’s legs. Watch if they notice the balloon’s movement when they kick.
- Experimenting with paper: Paper can be a source of fascination for babies. Watch their reactions as you tear and crumple a sheet in front of them.
- From around 9 to 11 weeks, once they start waving their arms and before they can grasp objects, give them a large piece of tissue paper. See if they notice the noise it makes when they accidentally hit it.
- Discovering their hands: Babies in their first few weeks are absolutely captivated by black-and-white patterns. Make a DIY toy by loosely wrapping a piece of fabric with a black-and-white pattern around their palms.
- Choose a simple, undistracted background such as a plain blanket.
- Slip the black-and-white fabric onto your baby’s hands during various positions – lying on their back, on their side or during belly time.
- Watch as they start to notice their own hands.