As you look at your cuddly little baby sitting on the bed, you might think it is just sitting idle. You are wrong! His mind is clicking at the speed of light and absorbing all the experiences around him. At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons and within the first few years it will grow into trillions of brain cell connections. So, the first 12 months are critical for your child’s brain development. During these months, your baby will absorb information, experiment, and explore things non-stop. And in the process, the infant will form a lifetime of basic learning’s. So, this is the time to mold the brain power of your baby! Remember: First 12 months is “use it or lose it” opportunity for the parents.
Special learning videos, flash cards or expensive classes are not needed to teach your infant. With some encouragement, guidance, love and special activities you can impart the right lessons to the little one. By inspiring your baby’s brain development you can watch him acquire the reasoning and planning skills apart from picking up the language. If you want to learn about some activities that help in boosting the mental power of the infant, then here it comes:
Activity #1: Wake him with a smiling face
Your baby’s brain works in a different way. If you are the last one, whose face the baby saw before falling asleep, you should be the one waking him up. He will be thrilled when he wakes up and sees the same face. Psychologists believe that seeing familiar faces after waking up helps an infant’s brain wire their system accurately.
Activity #2: Hum a Tune
When your infant is 3 months old, he is already able to read your lips and tongue movements. So, a good way to teach him new vocabulary would be to hum a sweet and soft wake up song every day. The song would contain her name and some more essential words, which would help her understand, her own identity as well as new words.
Note: Repeat the same song for at least a week, so that the infant is able to pick up.
Activity #3: Play the Guessing game
This is a great game to play with your infant. Just wrap a stuffed animal with your blanket and start the game. Ask the baby to “guess what I have?” Give him clues such as “it feels soft”, and then reveal the hidden toy all of a sudden exclaiming “Oh, it is a Panda!” This activity will help the baby put attention at one thing, which is a critical milestone!
Activity #4: Turn the Play time into experimentation
For your little one anything can turn into a science experiment! An experiment conducted by Tulane University, on the 6-10 month old babies found that infants quickly figured out that banging the hard cubes against the floor made the loudest noise and they repeated the action again and again. So, leave the toy box close to the infant and you will find he takes a keen interest in experimenting with each of the toys.
Note: Make sure all the toys are baby safe.
Activity #5: Play the Differentiating Game
Lay down a variety of objects close to the baby (such as socks, car keys, books, etc.) and ask him to hand over the object you call out. Exploring such a variety of objects will help the baby differ one thing from the next.
Note: Make sure all the objects have different colors and texture. This helps the baby make out the difference between them.
Activity #6: Let him press buttons
Many toys come with buttons that result in exciting actions, buy one such toy for your infant. Once the baby understands that pressing button results in some exciting result it will be encouraged to take the learning into other areas. So, allow your baby to press the buttons of an old mobile phone, he will love the results.
Activity #7: Meet with a big smile
The infant’s brain is fitted with mirror neurons. This means he will observe and later imitate whatever he sees. By smiling back consistently at the baby you are inspiring him to imitate a good action. That can make your baby more jovial and smiling than others, who do not get the same response.
Activity #8: Drum away
Arrange a baby food container, metal bowl and some wooden spoon. Keep them close to the kid, after giving a demo. The clatter caused by beating these items will encourage the baby to drum on and serve as a good play option for him.
Activity #9: Share moments of daily chores
Most parents prefer to get their daily chores (such as washing laundry, arranging clothes, cooking, etc.) done while the baby is taking a nap. This practice is keeping him from learning some basic things. Your baby would love to see you go through these daily chores and by observing you in action, he will learn.
Activity #10: Sneak and Peek
Babies seek attention with their actions, only when they get good reactions from the parents. Hence, they will do the same thing over and over again. So, when your infant is playing peekaboo from behind the blanket, greet his effort with a big smile, cheer and then exclamation.
Activity #11: The Cleaning Regime
With some coaching, babies tend to pick up actions very quickly. So, the next time you are wiping a spill, try to put the infant’s hand over yours to let him feel the movement. After repeating this for a multiple times, give him a clean rag and allow him to wipe. You will be amazed to see him imitate your actions perfectly!
Activity #12: Double it up!
A recent study found that watching all the educational videos did not boost the vocabulary of your 12 month old. What worked best for them is the diction of their parents. The best way to teach your baby new word is to say a single word over and over again. The echo effect helps the baby learn new words.
Activity #13: Tryst with nature
Babies have a great bonding with birds, animals and plants. So, when it is pleasant outside, move to the backyard with your baby. He will truly enjoy touching the plants, watching the birds sing, and squirrels hurry by. Apart from relaxing him, it will help your baby form an idea of the natural world.
Activity #14: Read it out
Studies have found that reading out stories to the babies works wonders on their vocabulary and learning capacity. So, take an interesting book and read it out with a clear accent and slow movements to your baby. You can enhance the experience by asking her to repeat some actions mentioned in the story.
Activity #15: Let him chill out
There are many parents who think they need to work with their babies 24X7. This is not right, your baby’s brain to needs some time to work upon the loads of new information. So, when the baby is turning away from you, it is actually allowing the brain to filter all the information. At such times, the baby is best left alone.
Now, it is time for you to try some of these brain enhancing exercises. Do write back your experiences to us.