The first year of your child’s life is exciting and amazing, but have you ever wondered how you can boost your baby’s brain development?
Parenting is tough, as you have to adjust to the harsh reality of caring for a little one. Every day can be overwhelming and exhausting, leaving you with little inspiration to come up with engaging activities to encourage language, numeracy and motor skills.
To help you, the experts at Barney and Bella have compiled a list of five baby brain development activities to do with your child.
1. Talking techniques
Talking to your baby, even when they are very young, helps them to develop their pre-language skills. Their vocabulary might only be baby chatter and cooing noises, but your child is learning how to express their needs by communicating with you. The vocabulary you use at home will directly influence how quickly your child will learn new words.
When using baby talk, try to highlight every syllable and use facial expressions. This way your baby will absorb all the sounds. Try repeating sounds back to them and turning sounds into real words.
Activity: try whispering to your child when you want quiet time. Introducing the concept of being quiet will be a great benefit as they get older. We recommend comforters as a fantastic tool to keep little ones relaxed.
2. Reading routine
Reading aloud while holding your baby is vital as it involves a range of senses and will develop language and speech skills. Nurture your child’s love of books by choosing ones with eye-catching pictures, such as simple board books with only a word or two on each page. These are perfect for associating words with images.
Activity: try reading longer books while your child is feeding on a bottle. This can improve attention span while introducing lots of new words. Our illustration prints can help children to associate words sounds with pictures.
3. Contact points
Physical contact is one of our most basic needs, which is why babies love to be cuddled. Touching also helps to define personal boundaries, which has shown to be an issue for children who have been neglected.
This is why bath-times are great opportunities to boost baby brain development as it’s a time for games and contact with you. For example, sing while touching your baby’s head, shoulders, knees and toes.
Activity: do you remember games like patty-cake, peekaboo and this little piggy? These hand games can engage your baby while teaching physical interaction.
4. The power of play
Bonding with your baby involves giving them hours of attention. If your child is playing happily on the lounge floor, turn off the TV and get involved. Regular interaction will increase a child’s enjoyment of learning and discovery.
Try choosing toys that allow your baby to explore and interact, such as building blocks and stacking boxes. Help your child to learn how to play with a toy so they can get maximum enjoyment.
Activity: open a cardboard box at both ends and roll a ball through. This simple game will help your child develop their knowledge of objects and shapes. You can view our range of soft toys and rattles here.
5. Meal-time magic
Encourage a positive relationship with food by making meal-times fun. State the name of the food as your child eats and show that you are happy as they learn to feed themselves. Meals should not be a battleground with you nagging about eating more.
Activity: when your child is moving onto solid food, place them in their high-chair and give them different foods to squeeze. For example: a meatball, ripe banana or muffin. This will be messy, so your child might need one of our organic cotton bibs.
Need some inspiration?
Here at Barney and Bella we have developed a range of safe, CE and UKCA certified baby products. You can view our growing collection of ribbed rompers, oversized swaddle blankets and soft toys by clicking here.
Barney and Bella x