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Peek-a-Boo 101

Use these simple activities to amuse your infant and help stimulate her mind.
By: Ann Svensen

Peek-a-Boo 101

A child's first year of life is filled with so many developmentalchanges. In their first months, babies explore with their eyes, ears, hands,feet, and mouth. At about seven months, babies begin sitting alone -- freeing uptheir hands for more active and exciting exploration. Look out -- pretty soonthey'll begin crawling.

Who's calling me?

Infants love to look at human faces and eyes, bright primary colors, andsimple designs.

Infants love to look at human faces and eyes, bright primary colors, andsimple designs. In their first few months, babies develop enough muscle controlto lift their heads. A baby will hold his head higher and keep his eyesmoving (or at least try to) when you do the following activities together.

What you need: Just you, a baby, and a brightlycolored object.

The activity: Lie down on your back holding the babytummy-down on your stomach. Call his name and lift your head to see him. At thesame time, raise him a little, encouraging him to lift his head. You can alsoplace the baby on his tummy on the floor. Hold a brightly colored object infront of him, encouraging him to lift his head. Turn him over and move the sameobject slowly in front of his eyes to encourage him to follow the objectvisually.

The carpet crawl

Older infants delight in exploring their world through touch. Encouragetheir fascination by creating a floor covering of different textured fabrics anditems to crawl over. It might not look like much, but it will feel like a magiccarpet to the baby.

What you need: Use satin, a piece of fine sandpaper, acookie sheet, some fur, a plastic placemat -- anything that is fairly flat,interesting, and safe (no sharp edges or loose threads).

The activity: Talk to the baby about the textures(rough, soft, cool, slippery, sticky, etc.) while she's experiencing them.

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