Do you know what the very first Toy in your child’s life is?
The answer is: You!
It’s true, children in the first year of their lives are filled with a sense of wonder at the world around them. That being said, the very concept of ‘Play’ is completely different for them.
As a New Parent, it becomes your job to provide your infant with a safe and secure environment. An environment that will give them the confidence to push out of their Comfort Zones, in an attempt to try something new.
To that effect, we have prepared for you here, a List of Learning Opportunities. This is exactly what new Parents need, when it comes to providing their children the requisite support that will help them develop skills on their own.
Want to be a Hands-On Parent? Are you ready to explore some wonderful Learning Opportunities that will help support the development of your child?
Let’s unravel those Learning Opportunities, to help give Baby just that ‘push’ they need, in the crucial First Year of their lives.
The First Year: Common Learning Opportunities for Parents
As a New Parent, you’re doing everything to ensure your child stays at the top of their game.
Presenting some pointers, to help Baby learn all the ‘Skills’ and ‘Concepts’ they need to, in that all-important First Year.
Give your child Easy Access to You
New parents need to know that just as they cannot get enough of Baby, their little one constantly craves for them, too!
To do: You have to give your child easy access to you, as often as possible. Provide them with the opportunity to touch you, be it holding your finger in their tiny hands, or rubbing your face with their fingers.
Note: Don’t worry, if at first you begin to notice the baby’s limbs moving in a haphazard fashion. Over time, they will ‘learn’ to coordinate those movements, which will soon become second nature to them.
Let them Try on their Own, before Stepping In
The last thing you want to do is to step in when your child seems ‘stuck’, without letting them at least ‘try.’
To do: The next time you see your infant reaching for a toy that seems out of reach, wait a few moments. That will only push them to arrive at a solution for themselves. Even if they don’t, the mere process of ‘trying’, helps with that vital skill of ‘Problem-Solving.’
Help them observe the world around them
For a little child, everything around them seems Magical. This is the time when they are exploring the world, and it’s your job to help make it easier for them.
To do: You want to try this simple exercise at home. Take an object, like your child’s favourite toy, and place it before their eyes. Then, move it gently up and down, before moving it from one side to the other. The idea is to get your child to ‘follow the object’ with their eyes.
Be Calm, to Help them be Calm
Is your baby agitated all the time? It might have something to do with ‘you’!
To do: We have already seen how babies are ever curious about the world around them, right? They are observing you more than you think, so it’s important to watch your emotions when you are around them. If you gently assuage them with your calm presence even in the midst of their meltdown, it will teach them to better manage their emotions the next time round.
Get your baby ‘oriented’ with the World
No, this doesn’t mean you have to take the baby outside Home every now and then!
To do: Pictures are a wonderful way to introduce the world we live in, to little children. What you need to do here, is get as many pictures as you possibly can, of things like Places, People and even Animals. Show them to your child, and watch their reaction as you talk them through each picture.
Tip: You want to make this activity as ‘Sensory’ as you possibly can, by getting pictures of things in as many Colours, Shapes and Textures as you can.
Establish routines that are Predictable
Children must learn the value of Routines in their lives. Needless to say, the best way to achieve that, is to get them into predictable routines themselves.
To do: Counting their toes before tucking them to bed a few days earlier, might have been a great idea. An even greater idea would be establishing it as a daily ritual! Moreover, any small thing you do for them on a daily basis, should be incorporated into their schedule as a ‘fixed routine’, preferably at a ‘fixed time.’ That will help prepare your child for the routine-oriented world we live in, from their early years.
Hide and Seek with Objects
You don’t have to be the object that your child is looking to find, in this wonderfully ‘tweaked’ version of Hide and Seek!
To do: You want to take an object and show it to your child. Then, hide it somewhere close to them, like under a towel, and ask them, ‘Where did it go?’
Sensory Play Bin
This activity takes Sensory Play to another level altogether!
To do: Fill a plastic bin with objects of different Textures, Shapes and Colours. These could be balls, socks or even bits of string. This is one ‘Treasure Box’ they will keep wanting to return to, every now and then.
Last but not the least, Read to them!
To do: Reading Picture Books to kids is a great idea. You want to encourage them to name the pictures in the book, as you read to them.
At EuroKids we believe that the First Year of life for a child, offers them a fabulous Window of Learning, in both the Emotional and Cognitive arenas. We encourage all New Parents out there, to do all they can, to aid their child’s Physical as well as Mental Development.