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The Little Gym Blog

Sync Up with Your Baby!

BrainBoost!

A new study published by Princeton University, has found that parents’ and babies’ brains sync up during playtime. The research suggests that parents and their babies are literally, “on the same wavelength” as one another during playtime! Check out these mom and baby bonding time ideas, and get on the same level as your baby!

  • Talk to your baby. Even though they cannot respond to you, chat them up. They’ve been listening to your voice for months and your voice can be soothing for them! Narrate daily activities like diaper changes (all 275 of them), feedings, bath time, and playtime. The more words a child hears, the more opportunities they have  to learn and understand language. Brain boosters like cues, gestures, and repetition help your child understand exactly what you’re saying. While they may not be able to respond yet, their wheels are turning and soon enough they will be chatting away.
  • Floor play. Putting your baby on the floor with a variety of colorful and interesting things to reach for and look at helps to exercise the muscles of their back and core, and stimulates their sense of touch and sight.
  • Play Peekaboo. Peekaboo can help build gross motor skills, help to strengthen visual tracking skills, and encourage social development – in addition to that bonding time  that occurs while you’re playing too!
  • Engage in mirror play. Mirror play is a great way for children to learn different body parts, explore facial expressions, and have fun. Simply sit in front of a mirror with your toddler and point out different body parts or make different faces. Soon enough your child will naturally mimic your actions. This is great practice for social interactions later in life.
  • Explore different textures. Toddlers are sensory learners which means that they need to touch, smell, and taste in order to understand the world around them. Ever notice how many toddler games end up in their mouth? Expose your child to things like sands, paints, cotton balls, and ice cubes. Even simple activities like sitting in the grass offers lots of opportunity to explore trees, grass, dirt, and maybe a harmless bug or two.
  • Read aloud to your baby to help increase language development and listening skills. Get your toddler involved in the activity by asking them to turn the page or point out specific items on each page.
  • Break out the blocks. Blocks are one toy that have truly stood the test of time. Not only do blocks help with color and shape recognition, they also help to boost creativity and imagination. Older babies can make music by clinking two blocks together, stack the blocks to build a tower, and so much more.
  • Sing a song. Songs help enhance language development via rhythm, rhyme and patterns. In addition, songs that include body motions and hand gestures help babies integrate large and small motor skills with sound. Singing with babies can be an absolute delight!
  • Enroll in a program designed for babies and their parents! The Little Gym’s Parent/Child classes for babies 4 months through 3 years are another great way for mom and baby to bond and meet other parents. 
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