Brain Building Activities: Birth to 3 Months
Put your baby on her back and move her legs like she is riding a bicycle.
Note: Never force your baby’s legs. If she resists, try something else.
Sing bicycle songs like “A Bicycle is Built for Two” as you move her legs, or make up a simple song. Here’s an idea that can be sung to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”:
Ride, ride, ride your bike
Up and down the street.
Happily, happily, happily, happily
This is such a treat.
What Brain Research Says: An infant’s brain thrives on feedback from its environment and “wires” itself into a thinking and emotional organ based on early experiences.
According to brain research, when a baby hears a high-pitched voice, her rate increases, indicating that she feels secure and cheerful. When you speak in a lower pitched voice, your baby feels soothed and content.
Try singing a song in a high voice and then repeat the same song in a low voice. Watch the reaction of your baby to the two different sounds.
What Brain Research Says: When babies are in the womb, they are able to distinguish the sound of human voices.
Talk To Your Baby
Talk about everything that you are doing when you are washing your hands, getting dressed, changing baby’s diaper, etc.
Recite poetry and nursery rhymes, and sing songs throughout the day. From time to time, vary the sound of your voice. Try talking in a high voice, low voice, singsong voice, and soft voice.
What Brain Research Says: The more you talk to your baby, the more her brain will make important connections for language.
Bend Those Knees
Place your baby on her back and carefully pull both legs until they are straight. When her legs are straight, lightly tap the bottoms of her feet. She will point her toes downward and bend her knees.
As you do this game, sing the following to the tune of “Ring Around the Rosy.”
Bending, bending, bending
Little knees are bending
End the rhyme with some kind of a cheer. Your baby will learn to anticipate it, and it makes the game more exciting.
What Brain Research Says: Strengthening your baby’s thigh muscles is important for future crawling and walking.
Large inflatable balls are wonderful toys to use with infants. One way to use this kind of ball is to place your baby on the ball.
With her tummy on the ball and your hands holding her securely, slowly roll the ball back and forth. While you are rolling, sing a song such as the following to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”:
Roll, roll, roll the ball
Back and forth we go.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Back and forth we go.
This rocking motion is very relaxing for an infant.
What Brain Research Says: Simple activities like rocking a baby stimulate brain growth.