Friday, November 9, 2012

To See and To Smell / Oh, My Goodness! Oh, My Gracious!

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
To See and To Smell
The current brain research says that what babies see and smell create brain connections. The external senses—vision, hearing, smell, and touch stimulate the neurons to connect with one another.
Exposing your baby to many different sensations will broaden his awareness of himself and the world.
Try gently rubbing your baby’s arms with different fabrics. Satin, silk, wool, and terrycloth are good fabrics to start with.
Use descriptive words as you rub the fabric on your baby’s arm. Some words that you can use are soft, silky, scratchy, cool, rough, and smooth.
Give your baby an opportunity to experience different smells. Go outside and smell the air, the flowers, the grass, and a leaf.
Cut in half a lemon, a lime, and an orange. Enjoy the smell of the freshly cut fruit.
Ideas for taking this activity to the next level:
For building confidence – Repeat one of the activities for three consecutive days. 
For developing the idea – After three days, do the activity one time and then add a new activity. For example if you were rubbing a fabric on your baby’s arm, the new activity could be rubbing the same fabric on your baby’s cheek.
For moving forward – Give a fabric to your baby and let him rub it on your arm. Ask him to rub it on the parts of your body that you rubbed on him. 
Repeat the same idea by giving him a piece of fruit for you to smell. Respond with appropriate words.
Oh, My Goodness! Oh, My Gracious!
The newest brain research says that when children receive warm, responsive care, they are more likely to feel safe and secure and to be able to build attachments to others.
To encourage a sense of security and safe feelings, say the following to your child.
Oh, my goodness,
Oh, my gracious,
Look who’s here, look who’s here.
Oh, my goodness,
Oh, my gracious,
It’s my favorite (child’s name)
Hold your child close and give him a big hug.
Repeat the poem again and when you hug your child, hold him high in the air and then bring him down for a big kiss.
Try rocking him, slowly spinning him around, or any other loving motion.
Your little one will absolutely love this!
Ideas for taking this activity to the next level:
For building confidence – Say the rhyme and leave out your child’s name for her to fill in. 
For developing the idea – Play the game using a stuffed animal and say the name of the stuffed toy. 
For moving forward – Clap your hands as you say the rhyme. When you come to the name at the end of the rhyme, hold your hands over your head and clap several times.

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