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Stimulating activities in the first year?


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#1 Bini

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

What are some stimulating activities that should be done in a child's first year?


I've been reading aloud to my daughter for months now. We also go on walks when the weather permits. Recently, she has tolerated tummy time on her playmat, so she'll entertain herself on that for awhile. On Saturdays, like today, I'll turn on cartoons for a couple hours while I get house chores done, and she'll watch that while in her bouncy frog or swing. She isn't quite at the point where she can sit-up independently and she's still a bit spastic when it comes to motorskills, so she doesn't really interact with objects in the sense to play with. What else can I do with her throughout the day that might be stimulating for her? Or is what I listed about right at this point? Dunno, I guess I feel like I should be teaching her something.. :huh:

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#2 Jenamarie

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:11 AM

Goodness, I remember trying to sing the ABC song to my six week old. :lol: You're doing fine. :)

Does she have a mirror she can look into? All of my infants LOVED mirrors. You can find lots of soft toys with large, non-breakable mirrors on them that can be attached to bouncy seats and such.
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
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#3 Gwen

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:08 PM

Sounds like you are doing good.

Right now everything is "teaching" her something. She is learning about the world around her and how to operate her body. I have always talked to mine like little ppl (no excessive baby talk or modified words). I usually use a lot more expression in my tone with little ones, try to get some face to face conversation so they could see my expressions. It's fun when they can start copying your face. lol Engage her in the things you are doing and she will be learning.

If you are really into "teaching" her things then you may want to consider exposing her to different languages. When a baby babbles they have all the sounds needed to speak any language, they filter out the ones they need based on what they hear around them. If you expose her to other forms of speech the theory is that she will retain those sounds (instead of dropping them out) and it will make learning a second language easier for her.

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#4 applepansy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

Everything you do is teaching her. Everything she hears, sees, feels, etc. Be careful with the TV time, especially the ads.

I agree with Gwen, limit the baby talk. If you want her to learn to speak clearly then speak clearly to her. She will mimic your speech and behavior. Our children are like little recorders and they will play it all back to us. :)

You're doing great Bini!

#5 Vort

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:46 PM

I'll be the iconoclast here, I guess. I say, Don't limit the baby talk. Talk and coo and babble back at her. This is how parents help their children to learn to speak.
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#6 pam

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:15 PM

And then again, every baby is different and responds to stimuli differently. There are some that do respond to the oooohhhing and aaaahhhing and baby talk but move on when they are ready.

#7 Wingnut

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:05 PM

Here are some ideas: Nursery Age 0 Curriculum
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. -- C.S. Lewis

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#8 anatess

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:55 AM

Hi Bini, you might want to check out the Montessori method. It's basically setting up your environment so that the child can self-learn through toys/games/activities. They sell age-appropriate Montessori toys/materials online.

But, as a first time Mom, we are always worried if we're teaching our child properly, if we're feeding her healthy stuff, if her binky is sterilized enough... it's a natural worry. But, after the 2nd child, I realized how over-the-top I was with my first. With my first child, I carry this giant diaper bag that has everything except the kitchen sink... I had to have a giant push stroller to carry everything... Just in Case. With my 2nd child, I can go for an entire afternoon's worth of window-shopping at the mall with a diaper and wipes in one hand, a burpee and a onesie in the other, 2-year-old child hanging on to my skirt, and the baby strapped across my chest.

#9 applepansy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:50 PM

I'll be the iconoclast here, I guess. I say, Don't limit the baby talk. Talk and coo and babble back at her. This is how parents help their children to learn to speak.


Vort, :) there's baby talk and talking like a baby. Children who hear words pronounced correctly learn to speak correctly.

#10 anatess

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

Vort, :) there's baby talk and talking like a baby. Children who hear words pronounced correctly learn to speak correctly.


Or not.

We talked to our babies like they were adults. But, my kid still grew up saying, "Petew Wabbit cwimbed the Twee".

I actually have a list of all the funny sentences he used to say... well, funny now. It was frustrating then - it is very frustrating to be the mother and not understand what your kid just said.

He is 8 years old now but still has a "New Yorker R". At least he's got the L's and the S's now. But, believe it or not... there are still times - rare now - when I have to ask him to spell it so I can understand what he said. :)

#11 pam

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:47 PM

My daughter had the problem with "R." We finally went through a speech pathologist provided by the school district. She was amazing. No longer have the problem.

#12 Vort

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

Vort, :) there's baby talk and talking like a baby. Children who hear words pronounced correctly learn to speak correctly.


I have met many children who could not (yet) pronounce their sounds and words correctly. I have met few adults who similarly could not pronounce their sounds correctly. So far as I know, I have never met anyone who was unable to talk like an adult because his or her parents spoke in baby talk to them when they were babies.

I flatter myself that my children are well-spoken. I never limited my baby talk to them. Heck, sometimes I still talk to them in baby talk even when they're teenagers. I consider talking to babies in baby-talk one of the simple, pure joys of parenthood -- heck, of life. I say, don't give it up. It's good for the heart, parent and child, and it doesn't hurt speech ability at all.
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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Nice hand, friend, but those are not the cards I dealt you.

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Impenetrability! That's what I say!

#13 Maureen

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

Babies are sponges, they soak everything up. You're providing your baby with lots of stimuli which is great, but take the time to notice how she responds to it. Like all of us, babies like somethings better than others. When my daughter was a baby and the TV was on, she would respond to the music in certain commercials or theme songs on TV shows. It was just great watching her react to things she saw or heard. Sometimes the simplest things we do can be hysterical to a baby; those times when they just giggle right from their toes. Show her lots of things, but enjoy how she reacts to what she's learning.

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Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#14 pam

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:40 AM

I have to say I'm on Vort's side with this one. Mark this day down in history.

#15 Vort

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:52 AM

I have to say I'm on Vort's side with this one. Mark this day down in history.


What, you've never agreed with me before? Or you just have never admitted to it?
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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Nice hand, friend, but those are not the cards I dealt you.

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#16 MarginOfError

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:57 PM

What are some stimulating activities that should be done in a child's first year?


I've been reading aloud to my daughter for months now. We also go on walks when the weather permits. Recently, she has tolerated tummy time on her playmat, so she'll entertain herself on that for awhile. On Saturdays, like today, I'll turn on cartoons for a couple hours while I get house chores done, and she'll watch that while in her bouncy frog or swing. She isn't quite at the point where she can sit-up independently and she's still a bit spastic when it comes to motorskills, so she doesn't really interact with objects in the sense to play with. What else can I do with her throughout the day that might be stimulating for her? Or is what I listed about right at this point? Dunno, I guess I feel like I should be teaching her something.. :huh:


Amazon.com: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 5th Edition: Birth to Age 5 (Shelov, Caring for your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5) (9780553386301): American Academy Of Pediatrics: Books

Amazon.com: Help Your Baby Talk: Introducing the Shared Communication Methold to Jump Start Language and Have a S (9780399529580): Robert E. Owens, Leah Feldon: Books

Check out those two books. They'll give good ideas on age appropriate activities you can use to stimulate growth.

But don't forget something very, very important. They don't just learn from what they do. They learn from what they see. The best way to get them to learn what you want them to learn is to be the things you want them to learn.


A note on the baby talk sidebar: Until very recently, my daughter used the word "tur-tul" in place of purple. She had trouble making the P sound. If I had used her form of the word in place of the word purple, she would have eventually learned to say purple correctly. It just would have taken her longer before she figured out that I was saying it incorrectly. The time difference between her transition from tur-tul to purple as a factor of which word I said to her would have been only a few months. The parents can decide how important those few months are for themselves, but Vort is right--in the course of 18 years, it doesn't really make a difference

In my case, I am very careful not to repeated too much of her incorrect words (with a few exceptions), but that's primarily because most of the kids her age are a few months ahead of her in speech. My daughter was born premature, so she lags in some of the developmental markers. I try to model words as correctly as possible so she can get caught up by the time she starts school. But I don't lose any sleep over it.

Dude. When both Vort and MOE are in agreement, the thinking has been done. :D


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