Sharlene Poole - Playtime Fun
Activities for Older Babies – 4mths to 8mths of age
Babies from 4 months are more inquisitive, they are able to stay awake for longer periods of time and are eager to be more active and involved with those around them.
They do not need a huge array of toys - just activities set up that encourage their individual discovery of things around them; and how things work in and around the house.
We want to focus on creating opportunities for individual play, expressive interaction and plenty of time on the floor where they can move freely, encouraging their physical and social development.
Types of activities –
Floor Play – You are encouraging physical development, individual discovery and adult play down at their level. Try to have a soft area for this activity, you and the baby need to be comfortable. Rolling and then learning to sit will be helped by plenty of tummy time and floor play.
Interaction – Use lots of expression and ‘over-acting’ during play time as babies watch and learn from our facial and vocal interaction. Babies love sharing their discovery with their parents or carer. They learn from us but also we can learn from them. Copy and respond to their gestures and discoveries.
Fine Motor skills – Have a few toys like stacking cups, safe kitchen equipment, texture books or fabrics and toys that make a noise as they move them. By 4 months of age they are able to grasp and hold objects under a baby gym or when holding something like a rattle, they are learning to open and shut their fingers, bringing things to their mouths to taste and touch on a new level than before.
Visual Stimulation – Starting at a young age most babies are interested in having time sitting with you looking at things like photo and story books. They are especially interested in simple and brightly coloured books, reaching out to touch and interact at the visual stimulation in front of them. Trips outside, going for a walk or to the supermarket are of great interest visually. There is lots to see when they pass things like trees (wind blowing the leaves around) or water moving and splashing at a beach or river.
The Baby Whisperer’s tips:
Limit the amount of toys that your baby has around them, they do not need a huge amount of choice at one time.
Create opportunities for your baby that are related to their individual personality but also the age and stage that they are at.
Play pens are helpful when you have animals or older siblings.
Where to go for further info:
Baby and You – courses run through Plunket and Parents Centre.
Join the ‘Toy Library’ – great way to save money and have use of toys/equipment you do not need to buy.
Baby City – good arrange of small toys for visual and sound stimulation.
Early Learning Centre – more expensive but great quality products for their future development.
Book I recommend: Moving to Learn – www.movetolearn.com