Your newborn will do everything according to his or her senses so it is important for the development of your baby to do activities that engage all of the senses. Here are some activities that will help your baby develop into a normally curious toddler who loves to be in touch with his or her surroundings.
The simplest way to engage a baby’s senses is to read a picture book or board book with few words. While reading is not the only thing to do for your baby, it is a good start. Board books geared towards simple comprehension and cognition are made with colors, textures, words, symbols, and even smells. When you read a book that has the color “blue” on a page, say “blue” and point your baby’s hand to the page. Your baby has three senses from just one page: your baby heard you say blue, saw the color blue, and touched the page with a blue object on it.
Other activities include having your baby touch different objects or toys to develop their tactile sensation. A soft stuffed animal, soft rubber teething ring, hard plastic toy, and even petting the family cat or dog will help enhance your baby’s sensory perception of the world and aid in their exploration of new things.
Your baby will also respond to your emotions so it is vitally important that you remain positive during your baby’s sensory experiences. Even if your baby does something gross it is important to realize that this is part of your baby’s experience in the world. Laugh when he or she squashes a bug in the grass. Clap and say “Good baby!” when your baby tries to put a handful of your hair in his or her mouth. All your baby is doing is trying to explore the brand new world in which they live.
Peek-a-boo is a fantastic game that is very simple yet develops motor coordination with the hands and also helps focus your baby’s eyes. Another way to develop your baby’s cognition and muscles at the same time is to touch your baby in different spots and say things like “Here’s baby’s knee!” and your baby will instinctively grab for your hand. Not only does your baby eventually learn to point to different parts of the body but he or she will also develop motor skills in the hands when he or she reaches for your hand.
The key to brain games for baby is to keep it simple and be emotionally involved with the game so your baby connects the subtle lesson with a good feeling. Your baby is never too old to learn so start as soon as you can for lifelong learning for your newborn and beyond.