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Books and stuffed animals are gold for early childhood development. Everyone has them and almost all babies love them. In today's at-home Baby Playtime video, I use these props in 3 different ways to foster baby's development. Enjoy doing this video with your baby or use it for inspiration as you come up with your own ways to play at home!
1. Using a plush puppet to teach body parts
Using an elephant puppet and the song "Elephants Have Wrinkles," we tapped each of our body parts as they were called out in the song. This can be also done to a simple song you know like "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes!" Baby will enjoy interacting with the puppet while also feeling the tactile sensation of the puppet tapping them from head to toe. Puppets are also great for pretend play, distraction during tantrums, and for younger babies- eye tracking practice! Just remember for eye tracking, puppet should travel up and down as well as left to right to balance out both the horizontal and vertical eye tracking muscles.
2. Using Mini Mouse to show levels
As you learned in our recent post about Conceptual Movement Education, our classes for babies, tykes, and toddlers build foundational brain and body skills through exploring movement concepts. In this video, we explored the concept of levels using auditory stimulation (music) and visual stimulation (mini mouse) to match high sounds with high movements and low sounds with low music. There are so many ways this can be done which are displayed in this video but the idea is that the stuffed animal is captivating baby's attention and hopefully after a few repetitions, baby notices the contrasting patterns in which the stuffed animal is moving. Depending on their personality, will show they are learning by staring intensely, giggling, or trying to participate perhaps by following and reaching for the toy.
3. Using the book "Where's Maisy" to build language skills as well as object permanence
Books like "Where's Maisy" and "Where's Spot" are awesome for babies 4-12 months old as they are developing object permanence skills. Rather than things being out-of-sight-out-of mind, babies are learning that something can be hidden and found which is SO MUCH FUN. These books use simple words and illustrations making them easy to understand while also using flaps to make it an interactive to find the main character. It's an absolute blast for baby and seeing them enjoy it will be a thrill for you too!