Baby Basics

Q&A: Smart Ways To Play With Baby?

What are some good ways to stimulate and entertain my baby? (Without TV!)

When baby gets bored with her toys, it's so easy to pop in a cartoon and let the TV work its magic. Baby gets hypnotized by the TV for one simple reason: The animation. The colors, sounds, and movement really engage and stimulate her. The take-away? Add a little animation into playtime! By playing to baby's senses, you can entertain and educate her. (no TV necessary!) Some crowd pleasers:

[  ] Sing songs
Babies love music. The more you change the tone and pitch of your voice, the better. Turn everyday activities into a sing-along. Make up fun songs while you're making lunch, folding laundry or cleaning. Let your playtime have a soundtrack.

[  ] Play music
Pick pleasing rhythms and melodies to stimulate baby. From classical music to The Beatles, listening to music has been linked to math aptitude... you'll have yourself a baby genius who can really groove!

[  ] Make errands fun
Take baby grocery shopping. The colors and new faces are great stimulation... plus, you can cross another item off your to-do list!

[  ] Become a storyteller
It's never too early to read to baby. The best storytellers use lots of voice inflections and tone changes — better ham up your performance if you want to keep up with the local librarians! Hey, baby's the only one watching... what not have some fun?

[  ] Play with blocks
Find ones in fun shapes, sizes, colors, and even textures. Or, bring out the pots and pans and let baby jam. You don't need the most expensive toys when baby is content to play with things you can find around the house.

[  ] Go for a walk
But not just any walk! Stroll near a park or lake, letting baby see new things in nature. Fill the walks with the sound of your voice. Talk throughout your stroll, pointing things out to baby and engaging her in your surroundings.

By Paula Kashtan