baby activities

Baby Activities: Top 7 Ideas To Build Brain Development

Even our littlest people are struggling with Coronavirus isolation. So I put together a bunch of our favourite ideas for you to try with your baby at home.

1. Baby Bubbles

This is a favourite group activity for all kids. It’s not an activity that lasts long but it brings a lot of joy and laughter.

Blowing bubbles with babies helps them move their neck, and builds upper body strength. I always encouraged parents in my classes to put their baby on their tummy so that it would challenge their baby to lift themselves off the ground and look up.

Upper body strength is the beginning of forearm, elbow, wrist, hand and eventually fine motor skills; ready for pre-writing.

Bubbles

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2. Balloons

Balloons are versatile. There’s usually a few lying around the place. My crawling baby loves to chase them inside. He thinks it’s funny when it gets kicked into the sky and also builds hand-eye coordination in the motor cortex of the brain.

For pre-crawlers, I suggest using a sheet and placing baby on top of the sheet with balloons. Then pull the sheet up and down so the air floats the balloons around them. This builds spatial awareness and proprioception: that feeling of what is around you and having your joints and muscles talking to the brain. Sing a song to make things fun.

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3. Lights

Fairy lights seem to amaze and calm most babies. In the past I’ve used two different types of resources I created.

  1. Fairy lights in a tight jar with different coloured cellophane (note: these need to be supervised for child safety from batteries). This resource encouraged picking up a heavy jar and holding lights. The other resource was;
  2. I placed metres of fairy lights on the ground and a plastic table sheet over the top of the fairy lights so little ones couldn’t put the lights in their mouths. This was great for targeting pre-crawlers to last longer on their tummy’s and build core muscles. It also encouraged reaching lights – using lateral movement.

Darken the room and use the Christmas lights that you might have or flame-less candles.

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4. Ball Play

I like to use our lycra sheet (but you can use any sheet) to place baby on top of the sheet with rattles or balls and sing to baby. If you’re looking for song ideas click here to watch our family video. Tummy time can be fun this way on a sheet, but if their tummy is too sore put your baby on their back so they can see you.

You can try a ball pit if you have loads of cheap kmart balls. Both activities will build spatial awareness and that feeling of being enveloped/closeness.

This is a ball pit inside a rocking ball for proprioception brain connections.

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5. Mirrors

Mirrors help a child’s brain to be self aware and learn self identity. They can study themselves in the mirror and also makes tummy time last longer.

If you don’t have a portable mirror, dance with your baby in front of a mirror. Go up close to the mirror so they can touch their reflection and then as far back as you can go.

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6. Baby Water Play

I use a towel, tray of water and a few floating toys. You can use water play for any age and stage. Try and make sure your baby’s face can’t fall into the water but close enough for them to stretch their arms to reach toys.

Remember: Always supervise water play.

Add flowers to water to build the olfactory (smell) sense.

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7. Eatable Sensory

Have a look in your pantry and see if there’s anything eatable that ‘feels’ textile, to try with your baby. I usually don’t suggest flour or oats in case there’s a gluten allergy or almond meal in case there is a nut allergy. Try and avoid those potential allergy products for now.

Dry eatable sensory could be rice, cocoa powder, lentils, rice bubbles, split peas, chick peas, rice puffs or sunflower seeds.

Wet eatable sensory can be flavoured jelly or food colouring in yogurt as eatable play paint.

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These baby activities are our favourite ideas to try at home. Click here to see our toddler, fine-motor activity suggestions.

Life in isolation can mean staying at home with our kids, might make us go a tad insane, during this pandemic. Please don’t feel pressured to use these ideas they are just simply that ideas for keeping your baby interested in an activity while you get a chance to breathe and possibly drink a hot tea or coffee.

Stay Safe xo

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