Creative Play With Babies Up To 6 Months Of Age
By Sarah Cressall, Founder of The Creation Station, the UK’s Leading Children’s Activity Franchise. Published by Teach Nursery.
Babies have a wonderful ability to learn and develop at a phenomenal rate. Our role is to gently allow and support babies to experience the different elements of their new world in order to help them understand and embrace their new environment.
Finding appropriate activities that provide the right level of stimulation in response to each babies individual needs can be a challenge. This is why we developed ‘Baby Discovery’, a Journey of discovery and development for babies to discover their world. I want to share with you some of the creative play ideas and practical activities that we have found work really well in our Baby Discovery programme and that will help you support your Babies development in your setting.
It goes without saying that children must always be supervised during creative play and only to do activities that they enjoy. If they don’t like playing hide and seek under a quilt cover then don’t do it! It is also best to plan activity time when you baby is most alert, usually before food or before a nap. So how can you get started?
To support Babies hand and eye coordination and sense of touch, try these games
Look & Feel
Skills development hand and eye co-ordination, touch
What you need:
Provide a selection of touchable household items and products with varied textures to experience soft, furry, rough, smooth. You could try using; scarves, soft jumpers, hessian, a furry toy, cold cucumbers, carrots.
Talk to baby and tell him what he is feeling an seeing. Demonstrate touching the items yourself too and saying how it feels. You can ask you baby questions “ How does that feel?” “Did that feel silky?“
With your baby lying on his back give his tummy or toes or hands a gentle brush against the skin.
To support Babies visual development try this creative play;
Finger Puppet Play
Finger puppet play. Cut a rectangle of card and staple together to create a cylinder mark a simple face on the front and pop on your finger. Bring 8-15 cm to your babies face. And say hello ‘babies name’ my name is Millie Moo and
Funny Face PlayFunny Face play. Make a range of facial expressions changing them slowly from surprised to happy, pull your tongue out. Show your baby their face with a plastic mirror and talk about each face change you make “ I’m feeling happy, can you smile an make a happy face too?”
To support Babies hearing visual development try this creative play;
Talking Tubes & Creative Cones
Talk into a tube into Babies left ear, then right ear, to help baby learn each ear can hear independently. You can develop this into making a cone, and drawing a simple face on it. Pop the cone on your finger and say ‘Hello babies name- my name Clare the cone ‘, make the cone dance to some music. The gently say ‘ going to talk in your ear now. Then turn the cone over and speak in to Babies ear.
The most effective way for babies to develop is by interacting with other. Learn what baby likes and doesn’t like and respond to them appropriately. Do more of the activities they enjoy and encourage and praise them through their days.
To support Babies cause and effect understanding, try this creative play;
Peek a boo & Where’s Teddy gone?
Hiding behind an object and popping out can provide a great sense of fun for Baby. Use surprised or happy facial expressions when you appear and respond to babies reactions. Try hiding behind a book and popping out different sides. Adapt this game with a soft toy hiding in a box or behind a cupboard. Repeat this game and give baby a chance to make the toy hide and pop out too.
Next month I will share some of our top tips for creative play for 6 months to 12 months.
If you would like to discover more about how The Creation Station could support the work you are doing in your setting, please contact me on 0844 854 9100 or email discover for you free info pack.