Loving interactions and some simple exercises and games will go a long way to help develop your baby’s brain. Need some ideas?
Repetition is very important to infants. Sing or say the rhymes repeatedly to exercises, even if the words are nonsense, as it helps speech development.
- Always sing or play a well-known rhyme while doing movement activities.
- Can you act out a song like Jack and Jill? Actions can be done from six weeks. Support your infant if necessary, as his muscle tone at birth may not have been strong.
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water (Holding your infant firmly around the waist, slowly raise him a little above your head. The aim is for him to raise his head for “up the hill.”)
Jack fell down and broke his crown (Bring him down slowly.)
And Jill came tumbling after. (Holding him, rock him from side to side.)
Exercises for Feet
Point and flex the feet and get the reflexes working. Pressure on the heel causes extension of the toes, and pressure on the sole causes flexion of the toes. The legs will often bend and then straighten.
Foot reflexes are important for later walking. Touch and feeling through the skin are important for body awareness. Inhibition of the primitive reflexes is a continuing activity, as the neck and back strengthen.
You may also like the article: The Miracle of Your Newborn's Brain by Terri Combs-Orme, PhD.
Game excerpts are from Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child’s Brain Development from Birth Through Age 5½, copyright © Margaret Sassé, 2010. Illustrations by Georges McKail. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment, LLC. $15.95; available wherever books are sold. To order bulk copies please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.