Monday, August 20, 2012

Jack In the Box and Babies Love Faces Activities

These games will help to grow the brains of infants and toddlers. Whether it’s through singing, dancing, cuddling, rocking, talking, smelling, or tasting, you can encourage the brain pathways to make new connections.
Activities for Infants
Jack in the Box
Repeating a small motor skill, such as squeezing a squeaky toy, develops neural circuits that move from the brain’s thinking areas into the motor cortex and out to the nerves that move the muscles. Encourage babies to practice small motor skills to stimulate brain growth. This is a wonderful game to help fine motor development.

Show your baby how to make a fist.

Then take the thumb of his other hand and put it into his closed fist.

Practice opening and closing his hand to make a fist.

Now practice pulling his thumb in and out of his fist.

Say the following rhyme.

Jack in the box
You sit so still
– thumb is in the fist
Can you come out?
Yes, I will.
– pull thumb out of the fist
Ideas for taking this activity to the next level:
For building confidence:
"Can you show me your thumb? Can you make a fist?”

For developing the idea: “Can you put your thumb in my fist? (hold out your fist)
Can you put your thumb in your fist?”

For moving forward: Take a favorite stuffed toy and show your little one how to take the toy’s hand or paw and put it into his fist.

Say the poem again and play the game.


Babies Love Faces
Babies are very content when they look at faces.

When your baby sees your face, she will be happy and delighted.

Say the following poem with your face about eight to twelve inches from your baby’s face:

Hello, hello, I love you very much.
Hello, hello, my fingers they can touch.
Hello, hello, I’ll touch your little nose. (touch baby’s nose) Hello, hello, I’ll kiss your little nose. (kiss baby’s nose)

Repeat this poem and change the last two lines to different parts of your baby’s face - ears, eyes, cheeks, lips.

Ideas for taking this activity to the next level:
For building confidence:
Say the poem again and give your baby a kiss at the end of each line of the poem.

For developing the idea:  Change your voice as you say the poem. Babies love to hear “parentese” voices. (high pitched)

For moving forward: Say the poem while holding a toy doll. Take the baby’s hand and put it on the doll’s nose, cheek, and parts of the body in the poem.

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