Activities to Improve Your Baby’s Physical Development
In their first two years outside the comforts of the womb, infants experience physical development at a pace that will never be equaled at any other point of their lives. Parents should take advantage of this period to improve their baby’s growth in all aspects by encouraging simple physical activities that can develop their balance, coordination, grasping, motor skills, and movement, all the while providing enjoyment and promoting a deeper bond with their child. The early development of the aforementioned skills can give children a better advantage in the long term.
Below are simple, fun activities that you and your baby can do to promote better physical development.
Let’s start with a very simple activity: tummy time. This rather uncomplicated exercise packs some great benefits. Primarily, it improves the strength of the neck and the upper body. The activity also improves visual tracking on the side. Simply place your baby on a soft blanket on their stomach while they are awake. You can then surround them with colorful toys and encourage them to reach out. If you find them interested in one particular toy, hold it and move it around to help your baby practice tracking objects by sight.
Rather than buying expensive toys at an early age, you can help your baby practice using their five senses through sensory toys. Now while there may be such items in the market, you can actually make those on your own. Start by gathering some empty plastic bottles, and then clean them up thoroughly. Collect a variety of materials such as grain, beans, marbles, sand, or water. Fill each bottle with a different material, seal them up, and give them to your baby to play with. Encourage your kid to roll or shake the bottles. You can also use the bottles as tummy time toys. At a more advanced age, teach your baby to roll the bottles and chase after them.
While stacking things is a very simple thing to do, for infants, it can help improve overall motor skills and hand and eye coordination. Stacking is just as the meaning of the word implies: putting something on top of another, rinse and repeat until maybe when the whole thing collapses into a nice little pile of stuff. Teaching your baby how to stack things is not difficult, but you will need to give them the right material to play with, preferably ones that your child will find easy to grab. You can start with simple items such as plastic or wooden blocks. A colorful ring stacking toy will do as well.
We all love crude, destructive games when we are little, don’t we all? No? Well, for certain, babies with their natural curiosity and rudimentary ways tend to examine a variety of objects by usually eating or dismantling them, with the latter usually involving the partial or complete destruction of the item involved. Unattended print materials are the most frequent victims as paper is very easy to tear up. Now, this can actually make for a fun yet simple activity that you can make your child enjoy. Simply give them clean, useless pieces of paper to play with. If your baby is a first timer to this, be sure to show them how it is done. Of course, they’ll love this and will probably cause them to find stuff to tear apart, so be sure to keep your books and magazines out of their reach.
Drumming is yet another simple-sounding activity that your infant will find highly enjoyable. As with the other exercises in this list, it also has its benefits, namely encouraging the practice of coordination and help them develop a sense of rhythm. Drumming is also very easy to teach and very cheap to top it off. If you’re not willing to spend on a child’s drum, you can simply fashion one out of a coffee or milk can, or even a large, flipped over plastic bowl. Demonstrate drumming to your child, and then help them bang the drum using their own hands. Singing will also help them find the activity entertaining.
There are plenty of other simple activities that you can teach your baby. Observe their behavior, find what interests them, and develop exercises that can help them explore their senses and encourage physical development. That, or you can look up for more baby activities on the Internet.