Activities: Ages 0-3 Months
1. picture cards
Developmental benefits: Visual stimulation
Instructions: Infants are stimulated by a variety of shapes and patterns. Because a newborn's visual acuity is still developing, babies at this age are more apt to be interested in large, high-contrast (black and white) images. The bold illustrations found in these Picture Cards will give baby a visually stimulating activity that can travel anywhere you go!
Print out the Picture Cards on your home printer and mount them to a sturdy cardboard. Use these cards as a "baby book," describing what you see. You can also use Velcro to mount these cards to a flat surface (test the surface first since the glue from the Velcro can damage many surfaces). Change the cards every couple of days to provide a novel environment.
Safety Tip: Cards should be handled by adults only. Print-outs from your computer are not baby-proof!
2. tracking games
Developmental benefits: Coordinating Eye Movement
Instructions: Print out the image provided (a black and white snail). Slowly move it in front of baby'’s eyes, from left to right. The black and white concentric rings will grab baby's attention. She will look to follow it as it moves. This exercise will help baby to use both eyes together and track a moving object.
Safety Tip: Remember, cards should be handled by adults only. Print-outs from your computer are not baby-proof!
Developmental benefits: Bonding with your baby; Body awareness
Instructions: For a great, quiet-time activity, use a cold-pressed vegetable oil to massage baby in circular movements. With baby on her back, start with her arms and hands, then legs and feet, then her belly. Turn her over, and massage her back and buttocks with the same motions.
Safety Tip: Be very gentle with your baby during this exercise.
Developmental benefits: Rhythm
Instructions: Gently rock baby to the sounds of soothing music. Hold baby and dance slowly with her. This type of movement is very soothing since this is what she has experienced for the last 9 months in the womb.
Safety Tip: Make sure the music is not too loud for baby’s sensitive ears!
Developmental benefits: Social interaction
Instructions: Your newborn is more perceptive than you think! Make a funny face, or stick out your tongue. You will see that she will do the same. This is baby's first attempt at a reciprocal social interaction.
Safety Tip: Your funny faces should be gentle and sensitive to your baby’s age and mood. Be sure not to startle or scare baby with this new experience!
Developmental benefits: Physical activity and development; Body awareness; Motor coordination
Instructions: Exercise baby's leg muscles. While baby is on her back, cup her feet in the palm of your hands and gently move baby's legs up and down, then side to side in a circular motion.
Safety Tip: Remember to be gentle with baby. Never leave baby unattended.
play & learn