Homeschooling: Activities for Infants
"During infancy, a great deal of initial learning occurs. This learning is provided through environmental cues, such as a parents behaviour. Very basic skills are mastered during this time period, such as crying, nursing, co-ordination and the ability to represent images and objects with words.”
Source: Psychology Campus
Below is a collection of fun activities to try with your infants! Some of these you may have tried before, but I bet there are a few new ones to try as well.
After we explore each area of development and a few activities you can try in each area, we’ll include a list of resources as well. It is our hope that these will be helpful for you as you walk through this special season with your child.
Here are a few areas of development and some activities that you can try at home:
This is likely one you already know, however, we will mention it because it is so important for the development of your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics say “Babies should sleep on their backs, play on stomachs” It’s best for infants to sleep on their back to avoid the risk of SIDs, so they advise giving your baby plenty of tummy time while they are awake. This helps develop your baby’s muscles and it’s the first step to them learning how to crawl.
Here are some activities to try:
- Place a toy just out of reach, allowing them to reach for it
- Place some toys in a circle to encourage them to move around and roll
- While laying down, put baby on your chest allowing them to develop balance
- Have them spend a minute or so every time you change their diaper
**Be sure to supervise your baby during tummy time.
Social and Emotional
Fun with Faces
Touch is one of the most common methods of exploration for babies. Your face just happens to be a great tool to assist in their development. Allow them to touch your face and communicate with them what part of your face they are touching. This can also be a great activity to do with toys such as stuffed animals or baby dolls.
Being silly with your infant is so important for their development. It is important that they see you express an array of emotions. Make sure that you take some time each day to be super silly with your infant.
Here are some Ideas:
- Make your baby laugh
- Find what your baby finds funny and repeat it
- Use props, funny facial expressions, and funny voices
- Tickle your baby
- Use sound to engage your baby, both loud and quite works well
Babies and Boxes
- No need for fancy blocks, just grab some unused Amazon boxes and use those!
- Wrap up a box in the newspaper and let the infant help you unwrap it.
- Fill the box with paper and let them empty the box out.
As your infant is developing so will their fine motor skills. Here are a few things to try that will encourage their growth and development.
- Attach string to a toy - especially if they have wheels
- Watch as baby pulls their toy around
- Sit with the baby at a basket of toys, let them reach in.
- Let them drop objects into a bin or jug or sorts, recycled items are great for this.
- Open and close bins or boxes. The wipes box is perfect for this or the empty puffs container.
Testing Out Textures
- Encourage them to feel different textures like carpet, paper, toys, blankets, etc.
- Some touch and feel books are great for this as well
- Try a sensory bin, just because they are small doesn’t mean they won’t love it! You can try dry beans, rice, dirt, sticks, water and so much more.
- This a likely on of your baby’s favorite parts of bath time
- Don’t restrict this only to bath time, fill a tub with water and toys and let them play around
- Just keep them in an area where you don’t mind having some water splashing around
- You can even just grab a plastic kitchen bowl, fill it with water and let your infant put their hands in it. It is so fun to see them explore.
- Reading is a great activity for any time of the day
- Your baby will be exposed to colourful pictures and new words which will stimulate their brain
- When your infant is small black and white pictures are best!
- Make a routine, whether it is morning book hour or bedtime stories, even though you may not think they are learning or listening they are!