The first few months and years of a child’s life are chock full of learning and development and are wonderful for a parent to observe - but as well as watching, there are also ways that you can actively help your child to develop skills from early infancy! Read on for our suggestions for activities that not only help in developing the skills your child will need in life, but also create great opportunities for parent-child bonding!
- Bathtime as Playtime
Bath toys can help your baby to develop their grip, as well as exercising fine motor skills such as pouring and placement. Providing your child with the right kinds of toys can also help with development by refining which kinds of skills are exercised! Interactive toys such as our Bathtime Slide Set or Boat Set help with hand-eye coordination and grip, as well as being visually exciting. Bathtime is an excellent moment for bonding between a baby and their parents - try incorporating their toys into a narrative to include yourself in their play! For more inspiration for bath toys, check out our full Bathtime range!
- Reading is Rewarding
Reading has been shown to aid in a child’s development at any age, so the perfect time to start is right now! While your baby listens to you read, they can learn more about tone, how to display emotions, and develop a better understanding of pronunciation. As they get older, reading also helps with understanding sequencing, spelling, and helps to build empathy! Check out our Matchstick Monkey book for further inspiration!
- Building Bodies
Showing your child how to engage their bodies in new and different ways helps their physical development as well as their understanding of their bodies relative to space. Simple activities such as bouncing and dancing shows them how to relax and free their bodies, while showing them how to curl up in a ball or do leg lifts against your knees helps to develop core muscles!
- Make Some Noise!
Exposing your baby to music early in life can help with understanding words and tones and developing intellectual and social-emotional literacy! Dancing with your infant can be great fun and bonding for you both! And as they get older, consider providing your child with a rattle or simple instrument - this will help them to develop their reasoning and understanding of cause and effect!
- Feeding for Fun
Eating different types of foods is great for expanding your child’s palette, and the physical aspects of feeding can also help your child’s development! If you’re still at the spoon-feeding stage, giving your child their food aeroplane style helps to develop their coordination. As babies start feeding themselves independently, they develop their gripping skills and touch receptors. And this is all before you add any extra stimulus! Upgrade your child’s food play with an Animal Snack Mat to help them develop their hand-eye coordination while they eat!