The major foundations of growth and learning are laid in the first five years of your baby’s life. And so, the experiences your child is exposed to in these years strongly influence and shape how your child will navigate the world as a grown-up. Thankfully, as a parent, there’s a lot you can do to ensure that your baby starts off on the right path towards brain development. From putting them in a stimulating playschool to giving them access to online videos, the list is as long as you want it to be.
But as helpful as these steps are, nothing can supersede the effect that parents spending quality time with their child has. When you take time out to engage with your baby in a creative and encouraging space, their mind has the unique opportunity to learn and develop. You can truly put the fun in learning, and introduce them to the joy and wonder that lies in getting to know more and in exploring the unexplored. And what’s a better way to do that than through a hearty set of games?
In this article, you will find six games that you as a parent can play with your baby that will boost their development in one or more aspects.
Babies are endlessly fascinated by water. As your baby begins to sit up, spread out a plastic or vinyl cloth on the floor and place them on it. Surround them with kid-friendly tumblers, spoons, and cups and fill up a shallow pan with water. You and your baby can splash in the water. The sound and thrill of splashing things around are really joyful for the baby. Just remember to never leave your baby unattended with water – whatever the amount. You can put cotton in their ears to avoid infection as well.
Read with them
Reading out a poem or a story to your baby has to be more than just saying words out loud. Make the whole experience lively and fun and turn in into a game – use diverse facial expressions, modulate your voice, and add hand movements. All this will really interest your child and aid in language development.
This approach is way better for the child as compared to only relying on educational videos on YouTube for language development. Here, you are also stimulating their social and emotional well being, all the while keeping their eyes safe as well.
Color outside the lines
Kids love colors. Get some kid-friendly paint, recycled paper, or old newspapers for this activity. Let your child play around with the colors as they wish. You two can dip your fingers or palms in the paint too. As you dip into each color, say the name of the color out loud for them to associate the two. As the baby grows older, you can both collect objects of the same color around the house.
Have a dance party
Music and dance parties will introduce your child to music and get their hands and legs shaking too. Music of all genres and languages stimulates various parts of the baby’s brain. You can hand them a rattling toy as well.
So, create a fun playlist or two and get grooving!
Peekaboo never gets old!
Your baby is not yet familiar with the concept of object permanence. And so, they are absolutely delighted and amazed when you hide behind your palms and reappear each time. You can pull up a curtain or a blanket in front of you and ask them “Where did I go?” as they look up at you. You can do the same with their toys as well.
Use old and new photos
Family time is incredibly important to the holistic development of your child’s brain. When your child gets to spend time with you – they also get to observe everything you say and do. This complements what the child infers from the activities in front of them, thus aiding in their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development!