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Neo
25th September 2011, 07:44 AM
Overview

Your baby learns about the world around him by playing. When you play with your little one, you are teaching him important things about his environment and the people in his life. It is important to play developmentally-appropriate games with your baby because otherwise he is likely to lose interest and become overstimulated. Choose simple games that take only two or three minutes to play to encourage your baby to stay involved and engaged in the activity.

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Hide a toy
Very young babies do not have the capacity to remember something once it is out of sight. As your baby gets older, he will begin to miss a favorite toy once he can no longer see it. Encourage this skill by hiding your baby's favorite toy under a small blanket. At first, allow your baby to watch you put the toy under the blanket and then help him lift the blanket to find the toy. After playing this way a few times, hide the toy when he is not watching and encourage him to find it. Praise him each time he lifts the blanket, and allow him to play with the toy for a short time before hiding it again. Keep him interested by occasionally switching the toy you hide.

Surprise bag
Place four or five toys that engage different senses in a paper bag. Include objects such as a noisy rattle, a soft plush animal or a textured infant toy. Model to your baby how to reach into the bag and pull out an object. Show him how each object works, making sure to tell him to listen, feel or look, to teach him to rely on all his senses. Using his different senses will help teach your baby to make observations about the world around him and help him learn new things.

Reaching
As your baby learns to hold his head up on his own, he will begin using his arms and legs to reach for objects he would like to explore. Playing a reaching game encourages him to keep trying and also helps build his muscle tone so he is able to reach higher and further. If your baby can sit up on his own, hold a toy a few inches above his hands and encourage him to grab it. Gradually increase how high you hold the toy so he is eventually reaching his arms higher to get a hold of the toy. If your baby cannot sit up on his own, place him on his tummy and put the toy on the floor in front of him. Encourage him to reach out and try to grasp the toy, moving it back a little at a time.

Block tower

Blocks are an enjoyable toy for children of all ages, but you can use them to teach your baby cause and effect, as well as increase his hand-eye coordination. Show your baby how to stack one block on top of the other. Tell him what colors and pictures are on the blocks as you go. As he is able to stack two blocks together, show him how to add a third, fourth and so on as he is able to build higher towers. Build a tower for your baby and encourage him to knock it over using his hands or feet, which teaches him that an action has a certain outcome.