All parents want their babies to be as bright as possible to help them get off to a great future. There are many programs such as Your Baby Can Read and Smart Baby that cater to this desire and promise to boost your child’s intelligence. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive programs to help increase your baby’s brain power. There are several fun and simple activities you and your baby can do together that will help develop their brain by developing their cognitive, problem solving and memory skills.
Even at this young age you can influence baby’s brain development with simple games. One of the easiest is, “Whats That Sound?” This game can help with your baby’s speech and language development and your little one will enjoy hearing all the new sounds.
How To Play “Whats That Sound?”
When your baby is awake at various times throughout the day make different sounds for him or her to hear. Whistle, rattle keys, make popping or clicking sounds with your tongue, make a variety of animal sounds etc.
Babies also enjoy music so play a variety of different kinds and sing to your baby.
A note of caution when playing music, make sure that you play all music on low volume to protect baby’s sensitive ears.
One to Three Months
Even though at this young age baby’s senses are not fully developed and they have poor motor control there are still fun games you can play to boost your babies brain power and help them to develop.Now You See It is a great game for developing your baby’s memory, problem solving and cognitive ability.
How to play Now You See It
For this game you will need a brightly colored toy or object.
1. Place baby in a secure seat such as a bouncer or car seat.
2. Show baby the toy and shake it a little to get his or her attention
3. Say “Here’s the _____” ( name of toy)
4. Hide the toy behind your back and say “Wheres the _______?”
5. Slowly bring the toy back and say “Here’s the ________?”
6. Repeat several times
Baby will begin to anticipate when and where the toy is going to leave and reappear.
Instead of making the toy reappear in the same place each time try having it come back out in unexpected places.
Three To Six Months
This is the perfect age to introduce Nursery Rhymes and rhyming word games as baby starts to vocalize more.
How To Play Rhyme Time
This is a great game to play at anytime during the day, whenever your baby is babbling.
If your baby is now saying Da Da respond with rhyming words such as Ma Ma,. Pa Pa, Ba Ba or Ga Ga. You can now also begin to introduce simple Nursery Rhymes such as Hickory Dickory Dock, Baa Baa Black Sheep etc.
Chanting Rhymes and playing rhyming games can help with early language development and social / emotional development.
Six To Nine Months
By now your baby is become more mobile and is probably starting to make crawling movements. He or she is also probably ab;e to reach for and grasp objects and shows in interest in trying to imitate familiar actions that you preform. A great brain boosting game you can play at this age is, “What’s This?”
This game will help develop you baby’s cognitive, problem solving and memory skills and is so easy to play that you can do it anywhere.
How To Play “Whats This?”
To begin, place your baby in a baby seat, excersaucer or lying on his or her back on the floor. After getting baby’ attention point to your nose and say “What’s This”? Wait a few seconds and then say its mommy’s nose. Next ask baby, “Wheres ( insert baby’s name) nose?” Point to or touch baby’s nose and say, “There it is.” Continue this game by naming other body parts such as eyes, mouth, ears and tongue.
Once your baby is familiar with this name encourage him or her to touch or point to your nose when You say, “Wheres mommy’s nose?”
When your baby learns to talk you can point to various body parts and have him or her name them.
Nine To Twelve Months
By this age your baby is much more mobile and may even be starting to walk. Cognitively your baby is able to understand more every day. A fun came to teach cause and effect and boost your baby’s brain power as well as problem solving and motor skills is Stack Them Up, Blow Them Down.
How To Play Stack Them Up, Blow Them Down
To play this game you will need large wooden or cloth covered blocks and a level floor.
Sit Baby on the floor with a few blocks and encourage him or her to stack them in a tower. You will probably have to help them with this the first few times you play this game. Once they get the hang of it take turns stacking them, first you, then baby, then you again.
After baby has successful stacked a few blocks say, ” One, two achoo and knock the blocks over as you pretend to sneeze.
Repeat until your baby begins to lose interest.
As you baby’s motor skills improve use smaller blocks to further help develop baby’s motor skills and dexterity.
Games are fun and can stimulate your baby’s brain but the most important thing you can do is to give your little one your time and attention. Babies thrive on it and the closeness they have with a caregiver will help them in their development both as an infant and well into their teen years.