Tempo Tots Tips – activities with your baby
At Tempo Tots Tips we are all about making music and creating fun activities with you and your baby. Here are some tips for simple, interactive games that you can play at home which your baby will love, whilst developing and enhancing their emotional, cognitive and physical development.
Your baby loves having the chance to watch your face and this game will help sharpen their visual skills, too. Hold your baby close – they can focus best at around 20-35 cm – and when they are gazing into your eyes, slowly poke your tongue out or make a large facial gesture. Do this every 20 seconds or so. It may take a minute or so but after a while, you will notice they may start to stick their tiny tongue back out at you. They may try to imitate other facial expressions too, such as a big smile or wide open mouth.
• Tickle songs
Once your baby is a little older, try playing ‘This little piggy’ or ‘Round and round the garden’ with their feet or hands. Hold them close on your lap and gently uncurl their toes or fingers as you sing. Repeat the song a couple of times until they start to giggle in excited anticipation of the tickle at the end. Simple, repetitive rhymes like these are great for improving your baby’s memory skills. You can do this with a feather too which makes sensory stimulating activity.
• Catch me
Attach a small soft toy to a brightly coloured ribbon. Dangle it in front of them and make it sway. When they reach out to try and touch or grab it, give them lots of praise. Squeaky toys will also entice your baby to reach and grab, and help them to practise hand-eye co-ordination and eye tracking.
Chat to and with your baby. Your baby loves interacting with you and as they become more vocal, responding to coos, gurgles and grunts will also help encourage their language development. Sit them facing you and when they say ‘aahh’ say ‘aaah’ in return. Encourage them to mimic you, too. Try, for example, stretching the sounds out: instead of ‘bah’ say ‘baaaaaah’. Or even add a new sound to a familiar one: ‘ooh-baaaah.’ They may want to touch your lips to see what it feels like – let them explore and experiment having fun making silly and different noises with your baby.
• Bubble magic
They all love bubbles!! Bubbles are great for eye tracking and if they catch one they will learn about cause and effect. One could sing Twinkle Twinkle whist reaching up high in the sky to pop the bubble.
• Puppet show
Puppets are a great way of interacting with your child around role play – singing with them, tickling, dancing, imitating the sound of the puppet, telling a story whilst also being a visually engaging object.
• In and out
Your baby loves emptying everything — drawers, your purse, boxes of tissues, bags. Turn this into a game you can both play. Fill a large plastic container or bowl with safe, interesting objects, such as blocks, small soft toys, rattles or measuring cups. Help your baby pick up the container and turn it upside down, then together fill the container up again. Handling different objects will help her learn about size, shape and weight as well as introducing early mathematical concepts such as big and small, empty and full.
• Tower power
Gather together a collection of old cereal boxes, lightweight books, plastic bowls, yogurt pots and baby blocks, then work together to build a tower. Once it’s up and ready, take it in turns to knock it down. Your baby will love watching it tumble — and at the same time they are learning about sizes and shapes.
• Watch me!
Your baby loves imitating you — if they see you busy brushing your hair or wiping your face they may try to copy what you’re doing. Invent a silly song to go with your actions and they will learn new words too. Learning to imitate is one of the first steps towards imaginary play.