In the first 12 months, your baby’s brain is developing very rapidly. You may not even realize it, but every day you are helping your baby’s brain grow.
By simply responding to your baby’s needs, talking, singing, holding and looking at them, you are helping to form connections in their brain. There are many games and activities you can play with your baby to further their development.
Brain boosting activities for babies
- Mirror, Mirror. A baby loves to look at their reflection. Try putting something on their cheek or nose such as a little sticker or a smudge of lipstick and wait for their reaction.
- Where are baby’s toes? Use a sing-song voice while showing your baby where their toes are. Repeat this with different things such as their nose and tummy. This will help them to learn the meaning of words.
- Touch and feel. Find different fabrics and cut out small squares. You can also punch a hole in the corner and put them on a metal ring to keep them together. Let baby explore their senses by touching all of the different textures such as sand paper, felt and satin.
- Reading. Reading to your baby is important for their rapidly developing brain. Simple picture books are just fine to read to your baby. Don’t feel like you have to read the words. Look at and talk about the pictures. This helps your baby build language skills as well as builds a bond between the two of you.
- Peek-a-boo! When you hide a toy under a blanket or put your hands in front of your face, at first an infant does not understand that the object is still there. Your baby will begin to understand that even though they cannot see the toy under the blanket, it is actually still there.
- Building blocks. Blocks come in all different forms such as wooden and plastic, connecting and stacking. Stacking blocks helps build hand-eye coordination. The first thing a baby might do with blocks is hit them together. Your baby is also learning that hitting two objects together creates noise!
The games that you play with your baby do not have to be complex. Keep it simple. Think of simple materials or no materials at all and you can come up with some great ways to help your baby’s brain grow. The best games are the ones that come naturally between you and your baby.
- Encourage your baby’s developing mind
- Why your baby needs to play and explore
- Read aloud to help your child learn to love books