Sunday, July 29, 2007

Clapping Games and Finger Plays

Now, when your baby is 12 months old, he/she understands many things and can do simple actions like clap hands and playing finder games.

To play this kind of games, you should use easy memorized rhymes and perform simple actions like finger counting, clapping hands, sit-stand, jump up and down.

As a starter, you can use such favorite nursery and counting-out rhymes as :

* Five little ducks
* Heads, shoulders knees and toes
* The wheels on the bus
* I'm a little teapot
* Incy wincy spider
* Jelly on a plate
* Old MacDonald
* Two little dicky birds

and many others gathered on the Nursery Rhymes, Tongue Twisters and Conting-out Rhymes site

Hello - Goodbye

To learn the meanings of the words Hello and Goodbye, you can play this game with your baby.

Each time you enter a room and see your baby, say "Hello" with a big smile on your face. Now leave the room and say "Goodbye" and wave your hand. In a moment, come back and say "Hello". Repeat it as many times as you like, till the baby understands the meaning of these two words. Then he can do the same with you and his toys.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rag-Doll or Free Toy In Minute

Needle mothers can create great masterpieces by not just making a doll, but also sewing dress for it. But when you’ve no time, a simpler variant will do. Babies always want something new. A simple doll can be done in a minute.

The “Mama” doll.

Fill a light one-colored sock with wadding or dry hygienic wipes. Tie up the sock tightly thus dividing the head from the body, and also tie the doll’s bottom (the end of the sock will be the dress’ fringe).

Draw the face and hands with a soft-tip pen. You can also paint the doll’s dress (e.g. draw flowers or simple spots)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What Makes The Noise?

The core of the game is to find a toy by the sound. First, you can hide the toy under a handkerchief. Each time the game should become more complicated. The toy must make the sound as long as possible, so that the baby can find it.
There’re so many musical toys with different songs, sounds, etc in baby stores. Choose the one that sounds longer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In and Out

In this game babies lean about objects’ size and volume. Do you remember how the donkey Eeyore put the remainder of his balloon in the pot and told “It goes in and out”.

Select boxes, cans and toys of different size. Not all toys must have the size that is proper for each of the boxes.

Now let’s set a play task to the baby – find a home for each toy. Of course, the child will have to test each toy and see if it fits the box or not. While playing tell something like this: “The toy doesn’t fit this home because it’s big and the box is small, let’s find a bigger home for it.”

It often turns out that the kid doesn’t know how to play with toys. Show him/her different actions that can be done with these toys. The games like these develop fine motor skills and diligence.

Open - Shut

Lets learn shapes and forms. Small children like all possible cans, bottles, boxes that can be opened and shut. Use this with an educational view. Put several boxes of different shape and form in front of the baby. Now ask him/her to open these boxes, and shut them correctly selecting the covers. If a cover turns, let the kid turn it and but not pull it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Colored Heaps

In this game children learn to distinguish colors and systematize objects.

Let’s make heaps of different one-colored objects. For instance, “read heap” consists of ringlets, bricks, red pencils, etc. In the same way, we make a “blue heap” and several other heaps. Now give the baby an object (e.g. a blue ringlet) and ask him/her to drop it to the appropriate heap.

At first, it’s better to start with two heaps, e.g. a read and a blue one. You can also use some pots or truck. Presume we have a red heap in a box, and a blue heap in a big car. When you “create” heaps, comment on every your movement: “This ringlet is red and I put it to a red box, and this brick is blue and I put it to the truck, …” When the kid understands the principle of the game, give him/her a blue ringlet and tell: “This is a blue ringlet and we put it to …” and the blue ringlet will be put in the truck.

When the baby masters the game, you can go on without comments and just lend him/her a red brick and ask: “What heap do we put the red brick?”

If the kid knows many colors, you can make as many heaps and you like. If you know limited colors, you’d better make all the heaps from the known colors and one heap with the objects of unknown color.

Road, Road

In this game we learn the notionsnarrow and “broad”. Let’s build several garages with wooden bricks. Now make a couple of roads of different widths with bricks, laces, skittles or pencils. And now it’s time to see if a doll can pass the road or if a car can make its way to the garage. If the doll cannot pass through the narrow road, tell the baby that the road is too narrow and the doll need a broader way.

The same way you can try to reach the end of the road with the child. The road can be winding, of different width and with different obstacles. Show the baby how one must step over bricks and other obstacles. Just in case, if the baby is not very good in walking, make sure that it won’t hurt itself.

At about 18 months, kids can also pass such a road on their toes, heels, sidelong, backwards, and leaping like a frog or rabbit.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pour This, Pour That!

You’ll need several shatterproof cups, bowls, kettles or watering-pots for this game. First of all, put an oilcloth apron on the baby. Now, fill a cup with water from a bowl, then pour water into a kettle (or a watering-pot), and then pour it out to the cups. You can also pour water from a basin into small bowls with a spoon.

There’s another variant of the gameplay. Put two bowls in front of the kid; fill with water one of the bowls. Show the baby how you can pour water from one bowl to another with the help of an ordinary medical clyster or a sponge. Pay attention to the gurgling and sucking sound, and to dripping water and drops. The child’s delight is guaranteed!!!

If you do not grudge wasting some foodstuffs, you can pour different bulk material from one plate to another with a spoon or a small cup. You can pour semolina, rice, buckwheat, pea, etc.
Show the baby how he/she can pour peas from one plate to another with a spoon. Pay attention to the sound that makes the dropping pea or rice: “rattles”, “rustles”, “quiet”, “loud”.
Note: you must keep an eye on the young explorer so that he doesn’t put a pea into his nose or ear.

For children of about 1,5 – 2 years old you can play such a variant of the play:
Cut small pieces out of foam-rubber and give tweezers to the kid. It’s not an easy task to grasp rubber pieces with tweezers, but it’s very absorbing!
You can use other small objects for the game: corks, meccano details, etc.
This exercise develops movement coordination, special imagination and tactile sensations.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Floats or Sinks?

Fill a big bowl or a basin with water. Take several objects done from different materials: cork pieces, twigs, metal spoon, plastic cup and so on (take no more than 3-4 objects for one lesson). Now let the baby to guess which object will float and which one will sink. Then give the child the opportunity to throw all the objects into water and play with them. During the play, say some words about each of the objects, e.g. "This doll is made from plastic. Plastic is very light and this is why it doesn’t sink." or "This spoon is made from metal. Metal is heavy and this is why it sinks."
After the baby has played, let him/her take all the objects from water and wipe each of them with a napkin or towel.

After 2-3 exercises with objects in water, you can play such a game. Name some object (rubber ball, plastic cup, wooden brick, etc.) and let the baby guess if the object sinks or floats. Movements can be used as answers. For instance, if the object sinks – squat, if the toy floats – imitate swimmer’s movements.

100 Hot Baby Books

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Magic Sack (for one or more players)

Take a non-transparent sack and several big objects that are well-known to the baby. The objects should be of a clearly defined shape and texture (e.g. clew of wool, keys). When the baby dives his/her hand in the sack, he/she defines by touch what object has he touched (at the first stage you can help by prompting). If several kids are playing, they puts their hands in the sack by turn – and pulls a “prize”. Babies like this game, where magic element is so strong. The only difficulty here is to select really different objects and not to forget about safety – the things mustn’t be sharp or prickly.

In the course of time the game is made more complicated. You can add smaller objects or toys that have slightly different texture. Or you can follow an easier variant and offer the baby to find definite objects in the sack (e.g. find a button or a key).

The game trains memory, imagination, develops tactile sensation.


Cut one or two big pictures from a magazine. When the baby remembered a picture, cut it by two pieces. The task for your baby is to gather the picture together. As time goes by the game becomes more complicated: there are two or more pictures that are cut by two and are mixed. Thanks to this puzzle-game the baby trains memory, attention and diligence.

The Ring

You’ll need teeth rings for this game. These rings can be bought in the chemistry store.

Pull several rings on a stick. Turn them round, thus attracting the baby’s attention. Pull one ring off and hand it to the kid above breast, so that the baby stretches one or two hands to take the ring.

When the baby takes the ring, let him/her play with it, touch it, taste it. And again twirl the rest of the rings around the stick.

Play this game time and again, changing items and toys. This will help the baby to build up his/her visual coordination.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Games with Paper and Sand

Put a paper sheet in front of the baby, it will hide all the room from it, and if you take the sheet off, the kid will see your face again.

And some more useful exercises:

Let the child touch different by touch things: cloth, carpet, grass, wood, etc. Name these things.

Put the kid in a sand-box, let him/her touch everything, cover feet with sand and find them together.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Day After Day

Accompany games with different regime moments. The best games for washing and clothing are based on imitation: “hands up like a soldier, leg up like a stork, stay still like a stone…”

In the mornings play wolf and hare: the kid, imitating a hare, is hiding under the blanket, and you are imitating a wolf that wants to eat the hare J. This game trains memory.

Find The Toy

Take three transparent glasses and cover a toy with one of them. Look if the child is able to find the toy.

Another variant of this game: hide a toy before the kid’s eyes under one of three cups. If it’s difficult for the child to find the toy, cover it partially.

When the baby will surely find his toy under transparent glasses, hide it under an opaque cup (before the kid’s eyes). The game contributes to the development of notions about detached existence of things.

Through Tunnel

Make a small tunnel form several boxes. Take your seat on the far end of the tunnel and call the baby, so that it crawls to you. Perception is developed in this game.

My Box

A box or a case fill with different things, not necessarily with toys. The kid will throw things out of this box and you’ll have to put them back. Later on you can use cases and boxes with lids, covers sections, and slits for figures of different shape.

Learning to throw

Find a bucket or a box, choose toys that sound attractively when they’re thrown into a bucket.

Place the box so that the child can easily throw toys in there. Put the box on the other kid’s hand some time later. The kid will have to stretch itself to reach the box or put toys in another hand. Give the child a bigger toy so that he starts operating with both hands.

Toys manipulation is developed in this game.

Parcel with Surprise

Wrap a rattle/toy/tiny box in several paper layers. Give the baby the possibility to unwrap it. If he/she hesitates, show on your example how the paper can be unwrapped. Be sure that the baby will find this game very exciting and will be taken with the game for at least 10 minutes!

You can also play another variant of this game. Take a plastic bag and put a toy in it. Now give the bag to the baby and let it reach the toy. You can also take your beautician and let the kid open it and throw things away.
This game when the child throws things out of boxes, parcels, bags, etc. can be played anywhere and at any time. It can occupy the baby up to 30 - 40 minutes! Just give the game a try!

For your note: baby's visual and touching perception is developed. The baby learns about the consistency of things, learns to manipulate the movements of hands and fingers.

Grasp it

Hold out to the baby a rattle and hold it vertically. Before giving it, look if the child prepared its hand to take it. Repeat this movement several times and help the kid to prepare its palm to catch it. Repeat the movements and hold the rattle horizontally, and then in other directions.

Important manipulation skills are developed.

Air balloons on a string

Bind air balloons of different colors in different corners of the kid’s bed.

Together with the baby push balloons out of bed and pull them back with the string they are tied.

By playing with toys or things tied with strings, tapes, or laces, pushing them and pulling them back, the baby learns the connection between cause and effect.


Puff up your cheeks and blow in the kid’s face. In return it must blow in you. If the kid doesn’t do this, blow again. Sometimes it’s hard to understand the process of blowing – show the baby how this can be done.

Later on you can show the kid how to blow a feather from the palm, soapy foam in bath. When the child is one year old and a half it can blow in water through a straw, blow in the plate with flour. When blowing, a child learns to control his breath, and this trains the muscles needed for speech.

Word Parts and Syllables

These exercises help the baby to understand that words consist of parts. By playing games, the kid becomes ready to spell words and read by syllables.
  • When talking to your child expressly spell words. For instance, “Mar-tin, we-w-ill-g-o-t-o-the-co-un-try-to-day”.
  • While reading a book, spell some words, e.g. “Once upon a t-i-m-e there was a s-m-a-l-l girl called Little R-e-d R-i-d-ing H-o-o-d…”.
  • Start a phrase and let the baby finish it, e.g. “We will go to the count…”
  • Tell the first letter or the first syllable and then all the word. “H-hedgehog”, “C-car”. The child first just listens and then continues the word itself.

Colorful World

  • We take several balloons of different colors and look through them. Everything seems to be in red, blue, green, brown color. Let the child tell you what he/she sees. Especially it is interesting to look through balloons at a bright lamp.
  • Paint with water-color a windowpane as if it is vitrage. Your child will be very happy to participate in such an activity!
  • If you have any colored glass or tape, look through it.

Magic Box

This game can be played with kids from 1 year old.
  • Take a plastic or paperboard box and cut with scissors several shapes of different types, e.g. round, rectangle, oval, square, cross, etc.
  • Now cover the shapes’ edges with colorful paper or scotch tape so that they are distinctly visible.
  • Drop the shapes you’ve cut from the box into the appropriate holes.

It is also very useful when a child has his own box or a bucket where he can drop his toys or other things. When he/she grows, he’ll be able to clean the play room by himself.

You can also let the baby sit in a box and that will make it feel happy :)