A baby’s brain develops rapidly in the first year of life. Development of the brain is observed in the form of developmental milestones up to the age of 3 years. The appearance of a milestone at the appropriate time is useful in tracking the development of the baby in the right direction. Involving the baby in certain early years activities during the developmental period positively impacts the development of the brain. Activities such as playing, singing, and music help the baby reach the milestone while having fun.
Activities for infants and toddlers
Parents or caretakers can carry out these activities at home. Some sensory activities for toddlers and infants include:
1. Tummy time
In this activity, the baby is placed on her abdomen/stomach daily for some time. This helps in strengthening the muscles of the neck and back. The baby should be made to lie on her back when this position gets uncomfortable or the baby gets cranky.
2. Sensory play for babies consists of playing with bright and colorful toys, toys that make sounds, texture toys, etc.
Bright and colorful toys are useful in the development of vision as the baby tracks the toy when it is moved in different directions.
Toys that make sounds help in the development of hearing and help in focusing attention as the baby looks in the direction of the sound.
Toys with different textures and shapes help in the development of touch.
3. Playing with moving toys helps in strengthening the muscles of the baby’s neck, hands, and back when the baby crawls after the moving toys. This activity also helps in the development of crawling, hand-eye coordination, and hand grasp.
4. Talking is one of the best language learning activities for newborns. A baby learns language and communication when the mother responds to its various baby sounds. Repetitive talking of certain words, storytelling, praising the baby, singing, etc. also help in the development of the baby’s brain. Singing helps in calming and diverting the baby’s mind and soothes the baby, especially when he/she is cranky or tired.
5. Holding the baby close and frequent cuddling are some of the early years activities that help in the development of babies below one year. Caressing and cuddling help in the emotional development of the child and give a sense of security.
What activity do you like doing with your little one best?