1001 Fun Ways to Play: Quick, easy activities for your baby and child.
By: Gymboree Play & Music group
As a first time mother to a newborn, I’m left with the daunting of challenge of “what on Earth do I do with you when I’m not feeding you, changing your diaper or watching you sleep?” The moments of alertness are short and sporadic. But from day 1, babies are learning and absorbing everything around them. They make associations through sound and smell. Although my baby bookworm can barely see a foot past his face, there are a number of elements I want to introduce him to.
This book, by the popular children’s activity center & clothing chain, Gymboree Play & Music offers a variety of activities which enable me to not only better bond with my child, but also to deal with fussiness. As titled, the book offers 1001 tips for children from birth to over 5 years of age. Although I focused primarily on the birth to 3 months section of the book, the rest is just as interesting, and I’ve made careful notes of my favorite activities for the future.
These are a few of the ideas from the birth to 3 months chapter that I particularly like and have used already. The tips are in bold font, and my experience with it follows.
- Look her in the eyes: This one is pretty much of a given. Every time he’s awake, I try to keep eye contact with him for as long as possible, talking to him or singing to him. I’ve noticed that over the first few days, he’s started keeping eye contact with me for longer periods of time. If I look away, he quickly falls back asleep.
- Talk Often: The best way to build a child’s vocabulary is by talking to him. Although my baby bookworm is far too young to have a conversation with me, I use my moments with him to talk to him about his day, about our house, and I read to him as well. The introduction to language from early on is something I want to foster early so that his literacy skills will grow easily alongside.
- Play on a blanket: Otherwise known as tummy time. This is a bit tricky for a newborn that’s only a week old, but he seemed to enjoy it, and was making great attempts at lifting up his head and exercising his neck muscles. I laid down on my belly to face him directly, smiling and encouraging his accomplishments.
- Rock the night away: This is a key move for a fussy baby at nighttime. Although it took a while to figure out which rocking motion would work. Once I figured it out, I know exactly how to rock the baby bookworm to lull him back to a comfortable sleep.
Some of the tips are repetitive (#2 – look her in the eyes, and #69 – make eye contact), and some of the tips are just plain common sense (#83 – come when she calls), but overall, this book has lots of tips for new parents to help them building a trusting bond with their child. The book itself is colorful, full of pictures of babies as they age, and little cartoons.