Giving a baby opportunities to imitate your gestures and postures is vital to development of a critical part of the neurological system called motor planning. According to Judith White, Registered Occupational Therapist, this system allows your baby to plan, think, understand, integrate and implement what he learns into efficient everyday activities. Try one of these innovative motor planning activities with your baby today and every day. It will pay dividends in his infant development and provide both of you memorable time together.
The Development Of Children - Motor Planning Activities To Do Today
- The Shaky. This exercise requires you to access a bit of your inner child. Get down on the floor with your baby with a rattle or some other toy that shakes (a shaky toy). Give your baby a shaky toy either in her hand or next to her. Shake your toy and sing. Look at your baby and show her how you are shaking your toy. My daughter has done this with me since she was 4 months old and still enjoys it at 9 months. In fact we were engaged in a rather lengthy retail purchase a couple of days ago and she was done. I pulled out a shaky toy, gave it to her, and sang our shaky song right there in the store. She immediately stopped crying and began to smile and shake her shaky. The bonus was that the store manager loved it and smiled along with us. The Shaky turned a bad situation completely around for us!
- Watching you eat. From the time you bring your baby home from the hospital, bring her to the table in a swing or basket and let her watch you eat. Talk to her and smile at her explaining that you are taking a drink of milk. My baby “ate” with me every day since she was born. Through watching me, she started reaching for my water glass and actually drank from a cup at 4 months (with help of course).
- Brushing teeth. I get down to her level and show her the toothbrush and toothpaste and say “toothbrush” and “tooth paste”. I let her hold the tube of toothpaste for a moment. I gave her her own toothbrush that I give her to hold when I am brushing my teeth. I stay down at her level and let her watch me brush my teeth. Soon, she began putting her little toothbrush in her mouth and "brushing" with me.
You are limited only by your imagination in the ways you can help your baby develop motor planning skills. Relax, have fun, and Innovate with your baby!