It’s Important To Play With Your Baby And Young Child

When you want to interact with your baby think back to your own childhood.  Remember the games your Mom played with you when you were a very young child.  These silly games still delight babies today.  Playing games with your baby will not only make the child smile, it will teach some important early skills. Dredge some baby games from your memory and delight your child.  If you need to jog your memory of long ago games here are some suggestions.

One of the most important games is peek-a-boo.  This teaches the child that something is still there even if it cannot be seen.  When the child gets older it can lessen the anxiety of separation from you since he realizes things will come back even if he cannot see them now.  To refresh your memory peek-a-boo starts “peek-a-boo I see you…”

Help teach early motor coordination by playing the age-old game patty-cake.  Clap your hands or clap the baby’s hands along with this rhyme.  Don’t expect the baby to be able to clap his own hands until he is over one year old.  The patty-cake rhyme starts like this.  “Patty-cake patty-cake baker man….”

Another game is to point out where body parts are located on baby. Ask where are your eyes or where is your nose or where is your mouth.  Then when the baby points to the correct part you lavish praise.  This is a great way to teach the baby where his body parts are located.  It is also a great way to get the baby to respond to your questions.

You can teach gross motor development by playing how big.  This will help teach the concept of big or small.  If spread your arms wide something is so big, but if you put your hands together then something is so small.

We already know that children love rhymes.  When you want to start teaching numbers a good way is to use the rhyme “One, two buckle my shoe”.  This rhyme begins “one, two buckle my shoe, three, four knock at the door …”

Children love songs too.  It does matter to them whether or not you have a good voice.  They simply like the attention and hearing you sing.  Pay close attention to your baby’s reaction to the songs you sing.  You may find that there is one particular song that can calm your baby when nothing else can.

One favorite childhood song is the itsy bitsy spider.  Be sure when you do the itsy bitsy spider song you get your fingers moving to depict the spider climbing.  This song can help teach the child the coordination of words with actions. The song begins “The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout…”.

Another old old favorite song is Old MacDonald.  This song is a great way to teach your child about animals and the sounds they make.  Long before the child can sing the song he should be able to imitate the animal sounds.  This song starts “Old MacDonald had a farm….”.

Games and songs are critical to your baby’s development.  They help strengthen the bond between you and your baby or child.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to share these important times with your child.  Even if you start out feeling silly, once you see the child’s enjoyment you will get over your feeling of silliness. Children grow up very quickly so enjoy and delight in the time you have with them when they are small.