Early activities for infants are a vital part of the healthy development of newborns. Early interactions, educational, and sensory activities are as important for infants (if not more) than for toddlers and preschoolers.
Furthermore, letting a baby experience a world that is still very new to him/her in various forms, shapes and textures promote cognitive and emotional development of an infant. There are a few types of infant activities that are important for their overall development. The most important among them are sensory, physical and outdoor activities for infants.
Sensory Activities For Infants
Babies love to touch things, which you probably already noticed by the way they grab and hold things. You can start with simple things – let your baby touch your face. It will promote bonding and affection between the two of you as well. Get a couple of funny face masks and let your baby touch your face while having masks on and off. An infant might even find your face masks funny and amusing, and give you both a few good laughs.
Get various textured toys for infants and let your baby explore them. The sensory ball is a great toy for infants. It works as both visual, sensory and physical stimulator.
Baby Exercises And A Play Gym
Exercising is extremely important for the proper muscle and bone density development of infants. A play gym is a great tool for baby exercising. It often has music, puppets, toys and balls of various textures for all kinds of activities from batting and teething. It teaches infants to focus and to stay alert and is an extremely entertaining way of spending time for babies. With a play gym, your baby could be involved in various stimulation and educational activities. And the best part is that your baby gets to make his/her first choices in life here and can play with whatever they are finding the most entertaining.
Outdoor Activities for Babies
Research shows that infants as young as 3-months old greatly benefit from spending time outdoors. Keep in mind that outdoor activities under direct sunlight should be introduced only to babies from the age of 6-months old and onwards. Newborns and babies till the age of 6-months need to be shaded and hidden from the direct sunlight.
There is no better way to spend time with your child than outside in the fresh air. Your infant can get all the oxygen he/she needs there. Getting enough fresh air is very beneficial for the overall health and well being of infants. Children that spend more time outside usually have a stronger immune system and less likely to develop allergies. Moreover, fresh air boosts the infant’s cognitive development as well. Being outdoors has a soothing and calming effect on babies providing emotional support and comfort.
Furthermore, outdoors is a great place to learn new skills like crawling, climbing, standing up, etc. According to a Cambridge University study, children who spend more time outside have better vision than those who don’t. Just one hour more spent outside a week can reduce the chances of being short-sided by 2%.
Outdoor activities for infants could be much more exciting if you are taking different things with you on the walk. For instance, children love bubbles. There are various types of non-toxic bubbles designed specifically for infants. Playing with bubbles will help your baby to further develop his/her fine motor skills and provide important sensory experience.
If there is a beach nearby take your infant there. Children love playing with sand and waves. It is a great way of introducing them to nature and its beauty. Salt air and water could cleanse children’s lungs, stuffy nose and even treat several skin conditions. There are plenty of other great outdoor activities for children that you can check here.