By Ashley Jones, clinician candidate, Family Support Network
This is for all those parents out there with children under the age of 3. What follows are some activities to support development while exploring learning activities by age groups: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 years and 2-3 years. The first age group is newborn to 6 months. Stay tuned to this blog for upcoming posts with information around the sequential age groups.
During the first 36 months of your child’s life, he/she will be learning to do everything from developing senses, taking first steps, saying first words, imitating behaviours, climbing and scribbling.
Infants: Newborn to 6 months:
- As a newborn, your baby will be starting to open his/her eyes and learning to focus on objects. Some easy ideas to help your child develop their sight include hanging a colourful mobile above the crib or having a colourful activity mat.
- As your baby becomes stronger and able to reach up easily, try putting some toys such as rattles or a small stuffed animal around them just outside their reach for them to look at and reach out for. This not only helps your baby learn to focus visually on objects, but it helps develop strength in the core, arms and legs, which he/she will need when starting to roll and sit. Smiling, cooing and making silly faces are simple ways to bond with your baby and help them develop. Your baby being able to reach out and grab your face is actually a great milestone – be proud!
- Tummy time is another activity which can help your baby to strengthen the back, neck, arms and legs. Lay a soft blanket on the floor and gently place your baby tummy-down. Face your baby while speaking in a soft tone.
- Blankets and toys with different textures are a great way for your baby to explore his/her senses during tummy time. At first, try tummy time 2-3 times a day for approx. 1-2 minutes, and increase the amount of tummy time as your baby becomes stronger and enjoys playing on his/her tummy. It’s normal for your baby to put up a fuss at first, but tummy time is very important in helping him/her reach the next milestone.
Stay tuned here for activities for those busy 6-12 month-olds!
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