The Little Pages April/May 2017 - Page 13

5We all know that babies begin to grow and

develop from the moment of birth . And although they thrive on routine , they also need varied activities during their waking hours to stimulate their development .

WAYS TO ... stimulate your baby ’ s development

But their concentration span is still minimal . It sometimes seems that whatever activity we choose , they lose interest after about 5 minutes . A day is made up of so many 5-minute periods , so how can we engage our babies and toddlers for longer , and turn those 5 minutes into 25 minutes ?
MANAGE THE CLUTTER : No matter how many toys your baby has , he will soon tire of them . Piles and piles of plastic toys are actually rather overwhelming , and a little boring , especially if they include bits and pieces of different toys all thrown together . Divide them up into different containers , and rotate them , day by day . And keep some toys separate and out of reach ( eg stacking cups , shape sorters , puzzles , duplo , building blocks etc ), and bring them out as a special activity . Of course , tots don ’ t need expensive toys to keep them occupied and happy , so give them ( safe ) household objects as well , such as plastic cups and containers , wooden spoons , small cardboard boxes , silky scarves , pieces of material , etc .
GUEST WRITER
by Sue Paterson
MUSIC : All babies and young children respond positively to music . Keep it soft , and age appropriateit should never be another noise for your child to compete against . Marching music , dancing music , singing music , relaxing music- they all have their place in keeping your child happier for longer . MESSY PLAY : This is my personal favourite , and can easily extend a 5-minute play session to at least 25 minutes . It involves a bit of planning , and sometimes a bit of cleaning up afterwards , but is really worth the effort , as your baby enjoys exploring a wide variety of tactile experiences . Obvious examples are sand , water and mud . If you do not have a garden or sandpit , you can use a basin of sand or water on a balcony or stoep . Other examples include aqueous cream on a plate , fl our and water to mix in little bowls , play dough and fi nger paint . MAKE BELIEVE : Again , it is often the simple things in life which keep your little one occupied for longer . Playing with empty cardboard boxes , a “ tent ” made by throwing a blanket over a table , cushions and pillows , and silly dress up clothes ( for toddlers ). Pack up their snack or lunch , and have a picnic outside-make it an event with a picnic blanket , basket and extra plastic plates , cups etc , so your little one can do lots of packing and unpacking . Take a walk around the garden , or the block . I am sure some of his soft toys would enjoy the outing too .
MOVE OUTSIDE : Again , it is often the simple things in life which keep your little one occupied for longer . Playing with empty cardboard boxes , a “ tent ” made by throwing a blanket over a table , cushions and pillows , and silly dress up clothes ( for toddlers ). Pack up their snack or lunch , and have a picnic outside-make it an event with a picnic blanket , basket and extra plastic plates , cups etc , so your little one can do lots of packing and unpacking . Take a walk around the garden , or the block . I am sure some of his soft toys would enjoy the outing too .
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