We all want our children to be as smart as possible. Let’s face it, smarter people tend to (not always, but often) lead easier lives, perform a job that doesn’t tax the body, and even make more money. Who wouldn’t want that for their children? We can usher them in that direction by taking steps to improve their brain’s development earlier in life. Play time isn’t all fun and games – it’s full of learning! Here’s how you can help.
1. Encourage babbling.
When your baby speaks gibberish to you, he’s actually attempting to communicate. Don’t disregard him or speak baby talk back. Respond as if he said something meaningful and then pause for his part in the dialogue. You’ll encourage speech development this way.
2. Arrange messy play.
Set up a space and then let your baby experiment with messy play materials, like water, mud or sand. These textures give him a chance to interact with something unusual and unlike anything he’s experienced before.
3. Include other children.
Before a year old, kids aren’t really capable of playing with one another, but just playing nearby can improve their development. They’ll witness how the other baby behaves and how he/she is using toys. It’s a different perspective.
4. Start the day with activity.
Be as active as possible early in the day. Early activity sets a tone for the body. Your baby will be awake and inclined to take in as much as possible. A slow start can leave your baby sluggish and unwilling to play.
5. Avoid overstimulation.
During play time, you want to let your baby move from toy to toy at his own pace. Don’t bring too many toys into the play area. Too many options can be overwhelming and force little minds to shut down or become cranky.
6. Skip playtime when your baby needs something else.
Convincing your baby to enjoy play time while he’s hungry, wet, or crabby is futile. Even if you get him to push his truck or shake his rattle, his brain isn’t in the right mindset to gain much from it. Meet his needs first so he can focus on learning.
7. Create a passion for books.
Just because reading is a passive activity doesn’t mean books can’t be a part of play. Use books with large, colorful pictures of animals and people. Make silly voices and animal sounds to match the story. Be as entertaining as possible so your baby associates fun and silliness with reading, thus creating a lifelong enjoyment of it.
8. Play “mimic” games.
Games that require your baby to mimic your movements are excellent tools for development. Play games like patty-cake, peekaboo, this little piggy, etc. You can encourage movement by imitating the behavior once, then placing the toy in your baby’s hand and encouraging him to do the same. For example, show him how to shake a rattle by placing it in his grasp and shaking his wrist.
Written by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz
Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.
Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.
One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!
For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.
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