Between four and six months is a special time for your child when you’ll start to notice lots of changes. She’ll become more social, interacting with those around her, which is lovely for everyone involved!
And, as she starts to build strength in her neck and body, she might be able to sit up – maybe with a little help from you, pillows, or a child’s chair. This is great practice for head and neck control, which she’ll need when she begins to eat. She might start to grab things too (watch out for hair and jewellery!).
You can support these developments through fun playtime. One-to-one activities are also a much better way of engaging your child than television and other electronic devices. While you may think screen time wouldn’t affect her at such a young age, it could actually have a negative effect on her development, so why not try some of these play activities instead?
1. The game: Mirror, mirror
What you need: A mirror large enough to show both your reflection and your child’s.
What to do: Make her wave at the both of you. Then make her ‘find’ herself and mom by patting your reflections in the mirror. Silly faces are encouraged!
What your child is learning: Although your child may not recognise herself in the mirror, she can respond to the smiling faces and be fascinated by images.
2. The game: Little water kid
What you need: A soft, safe surface.
What to do: Place your child on her tummy (either on a surface, or on your tummy or arm) and encourage her to kick her arms and legs at the same time, as if she was swimming.
What your child is learning: Important motor skills she’ll need when she starts crawling.
3. The game: Peekaboo!
What you need: Just yourself!
What to do: A kiddie-game classic. Simply hide your face behind your hands — and let your child squirm, kick, and laugh with excitement as you open your hands again with a ‘peekaboo!’
What your child is learning: The idea that things she can’t see still exist!
4. The game: Peekaboo Too!
What you need: A few of your child’s favourite toys, and a blanket.
What to do: Hide a toy under a blanket, then lift the blanket to reveal it with a big ‘peekaboo!’ After a little while, let your child look for and find the toys herself.
What your child is learning: As above, your child will learn that things she can’t see still exist. Feeling and touching the blanket and toys will also help with her sensory development.
5. The game: Reach and grab
What you need: A few small, safe objects, such as blocks, small stuffed animals, and plastic cups.
What to do: Offer her the toys so that she has a chance to hold them. Then place the items just out of reach, so she can practise “raking” them toward her. Make sure you give her lots of encouragement along the way.
What your child is learning: This will help develop the hand and finger skills she will eventually use to feed herself.
Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to make the best of those first 1,000 days of parenthood… TOGETHER.
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