Early Learning Activities for Babies

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Children thrive when exposed to different kinds of stimulation presented as play. The following are different types of activities for babies that parents can do to help their baby learn.

The first five years of life is critical for a child’s development. The brain can actually be likened to a store in which the availability of streets leading to it can make or break the business. The more the brain is stimulated, the more pathways or “streets” are developed. It will grow and grow as long as there are many paths that people can use to go to it. The “streets” of the brain will only multiply when stimulated with early learning activities for babies.

More than any other caregiver, babies and toddlers learn and laugh more when they are with their parents, talking, moving, and playing. Here are four types of activities for babies that you can do to help your baby learn.

What are great early learning activities for babies?

1. Movement

Movement is the key to learning, and it is one of the early learning activities for babies that parents must do.

When babies move or are moved, their immature nervous and muscular systems are stimulated. It is interesting to note that the part of the brain that processes movement also processes learning. Early movement and motor development, therefore, have a direct relationship with intelligence and later cognitive learning that are important for school readiness.

What to do: Free your baby from her seat and let her move. If she’s a crawler, let her crawl; if she’s a walker, let her walk! It goes without saying that if she’s a runner, let her run! After her bath time ritual, march to the beat of a favorite tune, swing and sway, and lift her up and down. She will be squealing in delight and learning too!

2. Listening

Listening is different from just hearing. It is crucial in obtaining information, learning, and being part of a communication process. It is also through listening that we enjoy music. Active listening activities help children develop focused attention, enabling them to get the most out of what they listen to. It’s never too early to start developing your baby’s listening skills. It is one of the activities for babies often overlooked.

What to do: Listening activities for babies can be as simple as directing your child’s attention to a distinct sound in your home. Do you hear that? That’s the telephone. Riiiing! When you are out and about and you hear some birds chirping, look for the birds and point it out to your baby while saying, “Do you hear the birds, baby?” Watch his face brighten in wonder, and eventually, in recognition.

3. Fingerplay

Fingerplays are valuable activities for babies that help them acquire skills essential to their development and learning. Fingerplay helps improve and advance memory and language skills because of the songs that you sing while holding up your fingers. It also aids in the development of hand-eye coordination.

What to do: Try the different rhymes that you know! This Little Piggy is fun for tickling baby’s toes and Once I Caught A Fish Alive is a great tool for introducing counting using fingers. Five Little Monkeys will get your baby giggling as you make your fingers jump up and down on your palm and then fall from the “bed.”

4. Quiet Time

Relaxation is a learned behavior that helps in emotional development. Children need to learn to relax, to "refill" their energy after actively playing and exploring all day. Helping them learn how to relax will give them lifelong skills in handling stress, regulating their emotions, and being focused and reflective.

What to do:In the afternoon, around the time that your baby takes his nap, darken the room, play some quiet music, and cuddle with her. Your breathing together will do wonders in relaxing both of you!

5. Helping your baby learn...

Being intentional when it comes to early learning activities for babies is a good start in helping your baby learn. Listening activities can just calling your baby’s attention to any sound you hear, while fingerplay can be easily introduced during diaper changes. Dancing is for times when your baby is alert and feeling playful.

Quiet time can also be had while listening to music before naptime or bedtime. There are so many ways to integrate early childhood development concepts in daily activities for babies. It just takes a little bit of planning and a great deal of fun

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mariel Uyquiengco

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