Play is more than fun for a baby. It is a serious learning process, a process of applying what they have learnt, finding things out and exploring what they find.
Play is anything which stimulates an infant to use her body and senses and to develop her thinking and intelligence. Play is essential for optimal mental development.
Tips to maximize the learning process:-
- Adjust the play to the baby’s mood – Let her take the lead and show you what kind of play – rough or quiet, noisy or gentle – she is interested in.
- Adjust your timing to the baby’s – her reactions are slower so play at her pace. Don’t lose your patience or hurry her up.
- Different babies like different intensities of stimulation – don’t go by what other babies like but only by what appeals to your own.
- Don’t put out all her toys at the same time. Hide a few. When she gets bored of the familiar ones bring out the hidden ones and watch her delight.
- Anything and everything is fun to her like cleaning or dusting.
A baby’s favorite plaything is you.
- Changes of scene are important as different senses get stimulated.
- Change his viewpoint and perspective by putting him on your shoulder.
The best toys for different ages are: –
Babies also get bored and need variety for continued stimulation.
Babies love :-
– bright contrasting colours
-easy to see large objects
-pictures of babies
Stimulation through play is the key to a baby’s mental development. Here are some tips on keeping your baby entertained: –
- Go for walks.
- Visit friends
- Take her shopping
- Talk to her
- Name the objects, animals, people and everything else you see even if she doesn’t seem to understand you.
- Read aloud to her. Choose nursery rhymes as babies like rhythmic sounds. Act out what you are reading.
- Sing. Try lullabies or if you don’t know any, sing an old Hindi film song.
- Massage her
- Play peek – a – boo games or tickle her
- Blow bubbles
- Play with her.
- Give your baby a chance to play naked. This allows her to
- discover and practice new physical skills unhampered by clothes.
- Explore her own body.
- Experience a complete change in the texture of her world.
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