Finding activities for your baby during the first year
If you have recently welcomed a new baby into your home, congratulations! Your life is about to change in so many wonderful ways. At first the thought of staying home all day with a growing baby can seem overwhelming. But from the time your baby is a newborn to when they become more interactive, you find plenty of activities for your baby.
By engaging in various activities with your baby, you will see him or her grow and your bond will grow stronger. At CSP, we love seeing new parents blossom into their new role. Read on if you need ideas for what baby activities to do with your child during their first year.
Activities for your baby – Mental games and reading
Even though your child won’t be able to understand what words mean at first, it’s never too early to begin reading with your child. Reading a stack of books with your baby is a very constructive way to pass the time, and it comes with the following benefits:
- Introduces communication
- Teaches concepts such as numbers, letters, colors and shapes in a fun way
- Gives babies information about the world around them
- Builds listening, memory and vocabulary skills
The more interactive the book, the more social and thinking skills they will develop as well. Plus, there’s no denying that nothing is better for your baby than hearing your voice and being close to you. Need book ideas? Classics such as Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss books and nursery rhyme books are sure to be a hit. The more you read the same book, you will see your baby start recognizing it.
In addition to reading books, there are plenty of other activities for your baby to stimulate their mind. Something as simple as showing your baby different reflections in the mirror (including their own!) will promote visual, social and emotional development.
Whether your child is rolling over, scooting, crawling, walking or anything in between, keep things moving! Before they can walk on their own, dance around to the beat of your favorite songs while holding your baby securely on your chest. Your baby will feel close to you while also beginning to have an interest in music.
You can also begin to teach them more about anticipation and surprise with games such as This Little Piggy and Peek-A-Boo. As your baby gets older, he or she will also start learning the actions to songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider and the Hokey Pokey.
You can also help stimulate your child’s memory with follow-the-leader type games. Know you’re at the right level of difficultly for your baby by starting with something they can already do, such as waving.
No greater bond
There are few things more rewarding than seeing your child learn new skills. Regularly playing games and doing simple activities with your baby will teach them many skills in just their first year that will jump start them into a lifetime of learning.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home-parent or not, setting aside some time each day for this one-on-one time with your little one each day will pay off not only in the smiles you’ll get, but in the growing connection you’ll feel with your child.