a baby's skills are limited and her attention span short, it can
be difficult to entertain her for those first few months. The secret
of entertaining your baby is to understand her developing needs
and to provide her with a variety of appropriate activities. And
you needn't buy expensive toys; homemade entertainment provides
opportunities for her to learn new skills,
infant activities and to understand the world she lives in.
are some useful suggestions on how to entertain your baby, infant
stimulation activities, and enjoy
each other's company.
- Talk to your baby right from the beginning. You can talk to her
about anything. Babies love their mother's soothing voice.
Entertain her with sounds around the house. Surprisingly, young
babies actually like the sound made by the washing machine, vacuum
cleaner or hair dryer-they find it soothing.
- Your baby won't criticize if you sing out of tune, and she'll
prefer your voice to a cassette, Repeat a song several times over
for a few days so that she gets to know it, then add a completely
new one. Try singing traditional lullabies or simple nursery rhymes.
RHYMES - Songs with repetitive action are fun- like this
one, where you touch the parts of the baby's body as you name them:
shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
Two eyes, two ears, a mouth and a nose;
the baby gets older you can recite 'One two buckle my shoe' as you
climb the stairs, particularly once your baby starts walking. Also
sing rhymes like 'Baa baa black sheep' - and when you get to the
'three bags full' hold up three fingers, then bend down one finger
at a time as you 'distribute' the bags.
nursery rhymes to young children helps improve their language and
memory, and develops important rhythmic patterns.
CARD PICTURE - At this stage babies prefer simply patterns
to very complex ones. They love bright colours. Draw a bold shape
on a plain postcard with a thick felt-tip pen. Tuck it down beside
the mattress within your baby's range of vision or fasten it to
the side of the cot with some sticky tape. After a day or two, add
another detail so that it's slightly different. Later on you can
change the shape to add further variation.
- Screw a hook into the ceiling near your baby's cot and attach
a long string to it. Find the distance at which objects attract
his attention hang mobiles where they can be seen when looked at
from below and where your child can focus on them. Tie a bulldog
clip or clothes peg to the end of the string to hold items for him
to look at. Change the object when he loses interest.
to hang on a mobile: One or two coloured balloons (later, draw a
face on them); a paper plate, or the lid form a cheese-spread box,
with a face drawn on it; a boldly patterned scarf; several strips
of kitchen foil which you have wound round your finger first to
make them curly.