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Turn Off the TV and Play Some Baby Games

by Tania Cowling | April 25th, 2016 | Infants/Toddlers, Seasonal
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baby gamesSome parents use the television as a baby sitter ,and I admit I have done this myself when trying to tidy up the house. Yes, the noise and conversation sometime soothe a baby, and kiddie shows stimulate toddlers. Now, I’m not saying your little one can never watch television, but please keep it to a limit. Every year, there is a designated week where we turn off the TV and electronic devices to engage in other together time activities. See how much fun the power of play will give you and your baby. And, yes, the bottom line is fun, but there are also important benefits to floor time, such as improved communication, enhanced self-esteem, cause/effect reasoning, memory, and social skills. Here are a few baby games to get you started.

For babies six months and younger

At this age, babies love body movements that are accompanied by cute noises and songs. The game Up, Up, Up uses exercise and a chant for stimulation. Lift your infant’s arms up and down over her head and then in and out over her chest. Recite this verse:

Up, up, up, little one,

Stretching, stretching is such fun,

In and out, let us go,

Not too fast and not too slow.

Whoops, Golly, Golly

Beginning with your baby’s pinkie finger say “golly” as you gently touch the tip of each of your child’s fingers. When you get to the index finger say, “whoops!” and slide your finger down the side of his index finger and up to the tip of his thumb, which becomes “golly” again. Then backtrack quickly, sliding down the inside of the thumb and up the index finger with another “whoops!” bringing the game to an end with “golly, golly, golly.” Sounds silly, but most babies love this finger game.

Games for babies up to 12 months

Now that your baby is a little sturdier you can get more physical. If your kiddo can sit up on his own, try games that involve imitation and turn taking. Now, if your child can crawl, she’ll love to hide, search, run away and chase even more.

Pillow Play was a favorite in my family. Build a mountain with sofa  cushions and scatter them to make a cute obstacle course. Your baby will enjoy crawling over and around them. Let him navigate on his own or use the follow-the-leader style. Who says you can’t get some of your own exercise playing with your child?

Clapping hands is so much fun. As you clap your baby’s hands together, chant this rhyme.

Clap your hands, one, two, three,

Play a clapping game with me.

Now your hands have gone away

Find your hands so we can play!

On “gone away”, hide her hands under a favorite blanket, and on “find your hands,” pull them out again.

There are so many games to play with baby that you can find in books or on the Internet. Take time away from electronic devices and give it up for your baby — she’s learning so many skills while you play!

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