Tag Archives: singing

Baby Play 3-6 months: What We Do

As Bubs gets bigger, and stays awake longer, and becomes more inquisitive about the world around her, the need to play is starting to grow.

In my previous post, I talked about how we were playing with her as a newborn baby, and as she began to develop her skills to start playing. Now she is almost 5 months old. She is grabbing things, reaching for things, rolling over to get things (although she does get stuck!). She is interested in everything, including things I’d rather she wasn’t – such as the computer lead!

So, I thought I would update you as to what we are doing together, how we are playing together. It can get monotonous very quickly, and you need to keep inspiration coming to make sure playtime is fun for you, as well as for baby. I am noticing more and more now that Bubs gets bored with the same toys, and will only tolerate her mat for short times, as she’d rather be sitting up!

I have found that reading books about baby development, and looking on websites or Pinterest for ideas is a great way to find new inspiration. I was asked to check out the What to Expect website, and I must say there are some good ideas for playing on there, as well as a bit of information about how and why babies play like they do.

What we Do

Toys

Bubs is really loving all of her toys, especially the soft toys, and toys that make noises. She loves Trevor the horse, from Lamaze, and she is also rather partial to the dinosaur that I got from britmums live! She also likes a ball that someone gave me, that makes musical noises, and you press a button and it makes animal noises. Whilst she doesn’t know how to press the buttons yet, by just hitting the ball, she gets surprised by the noises, and she absolutely loves it. She also is enjoying shakers, and I made her one the other day by using a plastic bottle and some rice. Anything she has, goes in her mouth though, so everything is needing to be sponged down or washed every day!

baby-play--3-6-months

Loving her toys

Singing and Dancing

This is a favourite at the moment ,although can get very tiring. I found going to the Making Moves group gave me a lot of ideas about how to play. Songs that can have a physical aspect to them, are great fun at the moment. Bubs loves ‘the grand old duke of york’ as I lift her up when I sing up, and put her down when I sing down. She loves nothing more then being held high in the air, she adores it. I have also tried the hokey-cokey, but like I say, it’s a work out for Mums as well as fun for the babies! She loves ‘row row row the boat’ as well, with the rocking motion. She sits on my lap and we row. It’s good fun!

Feet

Feet have become an obsession lately – that we have to grab them and try and put them in our mouth. Bubs hasn’t quite managed to get them to her mouth, but she will try and grab them at any opportunity. It is also meaning she is moving forwards to try and grab her feet, so good excercise!

Finding her feet

Finding her feet

Fun on the Tum

Getting Bubs used to being on her front, was somewhat difficult, and she would only tolerate it a few minutes at a time. However, since she started to roll over, she is spneidng more and more time on her front. Her play mat is designed for babies to be on teir fronts, so she enjoys looking and touching all the things on her mat. I find she has most fun when I get on the floor too, look her in the eyes, and talk to her whilst she is on her front – she loves it! I also put a toy in front of her, and she enjoys trying to reach it.

Talking

We still enjoy talking to each other! Now she is making more recognisable sounds such as ‘Waa’ and ‘Da’ and ‘A’ so I like to copy these back to her, and she delights in talking back to me. She loves looking at my face, and has started to try and grab my face now. She has also realised I wear glasses, and grabs these too. A good game for her, not so for my glasses, and a scratched face is not a good look!

She is also loving Peekaboo and playing Pat-a-cake, both ideas I got from the What to Expect website.

Sitting Up

Sitting up is another thing she loves doing. She loves it when I hold her or support her from behind, so she can sit on her mat, and grab her toys from a sitting position. She wasn’t very keen on her Bumbo, but in the last few weeks she has got more and more used to it, and now will enjoy 5 minutes in there. She loves the tray, and I put a few things on there for her to grab, and bang on the tray, or throw off the tray – both really fun games apparently!

baby-play

Out and About

Bubs loves going out, and now sits up on her buggy, so can see more. She loves the wind, and watching the trees or plants blowing in the wind. She also loves looking at flowers and plants, but recently has tried to grab them so we don’t go too near. She also loves lying on a mat in the garden. I can’t wait until she can sit up a bit better, and a bit older, then we can get exciting things such as a paddling pool and a ball pit!

I am always keen to hear ideas for play, so let me know what you do in the comments below!

I was asked to check out the What to Expect UK Website. All opinions and information in this post are honest and my own!

Making Moves Group: Baby Groups and Making Mum Friends – Group Number Two!

So, me and bubs have gone to our second group! I decided to bite the bullet and go to another group after the success of the baby massage, which we are still going to and really enjoying. I am starting to chat to the people who attend that group a bit more, and I feel more confident than I did at the start. I can’t say I have found anyone I really click with yet though, although everyone has been really lovely.  So I thought why not expand my horizons, and get out of bed and go to Making Moves.

Making Moves is a group about Music, Movement and sensory play. It is a group for under 1 year olds. This seemed perfect for Bubs as she loves singing and music. When I walked into the room, I saw a few mums and babies sat around the mat. One end was crawling, trying to walk babies, at the other, were the babies lying on the mat, trying to wriggle about, or even newer born babies being cuddled by mums. It was clear that a lot of the Mums new each other and to start with I was a little flustered as everyone was talking to everyone else, and I didn’t know how to start. So I just sat there with Bubs, and talked to her instead! The lady who ran the group came over and I wrote my name down on their form. There were a few new members of the group, but a few of them already knew other Mums from other groups. Arrgh! Where do they all find each other, I wonder?! Luckily at this point a lovely lady who had seen me at the health visitor clinic started to talk to me, and before long the session started.

To start with, there was an introduction where everyone goes round the circle, introduces their baby and their self, and says something about their week. Dear me, what had I done! I thought, I couldn’t even remember what day it was, let alone something that had happened that week! Then I remembered Bubs had rolled over on the Monday, and so I said this. All going well so far.

The first part of the group session was singing. They all started singing songs, that I had no idea of. I tried my best to ‘lalala’ and mime where needed, and followed others for cues on when to lift/rock/swing baby to the tune. I am sure the more you attend these groups, the easier it is to remember the songs, but I was assuming nursery rhymes, and they were singing all sorts. I need to get a book of children’s songs, I think, much to my chagrin.

After the singing, there was a time to play with some streamers, although we sat this bit out as Bubs decided she wanted her bottle. They all seemed to love it though.

After the streamers, a bit of Abba was put on, and dancing around the room in a circle commenced, Mums holding baby, and swinging, lunging, lifting, rocking and free styling dancing in time to the music. Again we sat most of this bit out as she was feeding, but we joined in at the end.

After this, we had bubbles! This was great. The babies were lying on the floor, and bubbles were being blown all around them. Bubs absolutely loves this, I hadn’t even thought to try blowing bubbles at home, but  will now. She was absolutely fascinated.

After the bubbles, a big parachute was put over the babies, and we all lifted it up and down, over them, singing twinkle twinkle little star – that I could do. The parachute was dark blue, and had yellow neon stars on, so was lovely to watch their faces as it bobbed up and down over them. Bubs also really liked this.

After this, more singing, this time with shaker/maracas. Bubs loved holding the shaker and the sound it made. Lots of songs I didn’t know were sung next, but as they were quite repetitive I started to get the hang of them. People asked for specific song requests, and soon the old favourites were out, like Old MacDonald, and I was on safe ground again.

Then that was the end of the session! There was juice and biscuits and time for a chat after this, and everyone sort of fell into their little groups and were chatting. I left them to it I am afraid as I just didn’t have the energy to try and get in on a little group. Maybe the more I go, the more I may fit in with one, or start my own, eh?

I am definitely going again, she loved it so much, like I thought she would. A few people from the baby massage group will be going this time, so I may even start my own gang, who knows!? In end I know going to these groups is about trying to make Mum friends, but I can’t force myself to be friends with people who I don’t get that connection with, or who just seem nothing like me.  But I will keep going for Bubs sake as she really enjoyed all the interaction. She even started to take notice of other babies, and started to try and grab their arms!

So that was my second baby group adventure. Watch this space for more!

Baby Play at 0-3 Months: What we do

When I was pregnant I didn’t think about playing with Nancy as a baby. I wasn’t expecting too much from her until she was a few more months old to be honest. What I have realised though is that babies like to play from the start and it is all about their development. I thought I would share with you some of the things we have been doing. Really these are things we have been doing from 6 weeks onwards, although looking, talking and singing are things you can do from the start. Anything you do with your baby can be fun and playful.

Singing and Talking

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found it hard to talk to Nancy as I am a quiet person and initially I found it quite difficult. Singing was one way to communicate with Nancy that I enjoyed. I said in my last post I needed to sing lullabies, well I have started to do this, and to sing with Nancy at nappy changes and when getting dressed/undressed, she loves this interaction and she will smile, and now at 11 weeks she will fling her arms and legs around excitedly,especially songs we sing often. I started with Nursery rhymes and have now ventured into musical numbers and chart songs. She loves high pitch singing, which is rather unfortunate as I do not have the best voice.

Talking with Nancy has improved over the last few weeks, it seems more natural now and she also responds more which I think makes it easier for me. I chat about what we are doing, what we have done/are going to do, and general chit-chat really. She also loves me copying her sounds and she delights in trying to copy me.

Cloth books are a great first toy

Cloth books are a great first toy

Looking at Things

From early on Nancy has liked looking at objects, especially bright coloured or contrasting patterns. You don’t necessarily need any expensive toys, Nancy used to spend ages looking at the bed rails, and currently appears to be in love with our shiny metal door handles. A friend gave me some cloth books which are designed for babies, they have contrasting colour patterns in them and pictures of faces, which she loves to look at. One thing sure to calm Nancy down is walking around the house and looking at different objects in all the different rooms. She also likes the look of the TV but I am trying to limit her watching this!

 

The beloved door handle!

The beloved door handle!

Bath Time

We were very nervous bathing Nancy to start with, and initially she didn’t seem to like it and so we adopted a sheep–dip approach. What we found out after discussing it with a few people on twitter, is that a deeper bath is better, making the water warmer rather than tepid, and ensuring she could feel the sides of the bath to make her feel secure, were all things which meant bath time was more enjoyable. She loved her baths as soon as we adopted this approach. As soon as she was too big for the little bath, we started to get in the big bath with her. She absolutely loves this, the depth, and the freedom to stretch out, and float around, is delightful to her. Water is definitely soothing and relaxing, and a great way to bond. We are going to get some bath toys now as well to make it even more fun.

Soft Toys

When Nancy was born, we were given a plethora of soft toys which I didn’t think would see the light of day for ages. As it is, Nancy loves looking at the soft toys, and in the last few weeks (from 9 weeks onwards) she has taken a fancy to a few of them, and will touch, grab and also try to eat them. We now take a few of these wherever we go and she loves to play with them now which is rather adorable to watch. She also likes looking at these when we put them around her play mat and when we put her in her cot to play (we are getting her used to it at the moment!). We have a few that jingle and jangle too and she likes the sounds they make too.

Play Mat

We have had a play mat since Nancy was about 3 weeks old. She initially really enjoyed just looking at the toys overhead, and around her. She has in the last few weeks learnt how to hit the toys and now she really enjoys being on there. We put other toys around her for her to grab, and look at, as well as one of the picture cloth books we were given. It’s great for when you need to put her down for a few mins, but she also loves it when you sit next to her and chat to her whilst she plays on the mat.

Our play mat and toys

Our play mat and toys

Physical Movement

Nancy likes to ‘stand’ on your lap if you hold her, and also likes to sit up – she will now push herself up to try to sit up now too. She also likes us to hold her so she can look over our shoulders and walk around the house. Tummy time is important for all babies and the health visitor told me to do this every day for a few minutes, at a time when Nancy hasn’t just eaten, and is in a good mood. Nancy enjoys being on her tummy but only for a minute or two. It gives her a different perspective and a new challenge in lifting her head. I sometimes do this on her playmat and sometimes when I am changing her we will have a little go. I also like to take Nancy’s hand and show her how to grab, touch or hit things. I don’t know if it helps but I feel I am teaching her to use her hands! She has recently found her hands and loves to stuff them in her mouth. (One word of warning – wipe them frequently! I don’t know what it is, but there is always blue fluff all over her hands!)

We also enjoy playing games such as peepo!, tapping Nancy on the nose, wiggling hands and feet, and blowing raspberries. She really enjoys these and will giggle away. She also likes it if I make funny faces at her, which is a great laugh, but a bit inappropriate out in public.

Out and About

To start with, Nancy did not like going out. She hated going in her car seat, and she didn’t appear to like the pram. However, the motion was a favourite and she would be calm after a few minutes of movement. The last few weeks she has really started to enjoy the pram, and loves looking around her. She especially loves shadows caused by trees overhead and looking at the sky. We have ventured out to the local shops, the local park and the library and she has really enjoyed these trips. She also likes having toys around her when she is in the pram, and in the car, she has lots of things dangling from the seat in front of her to occupy her when we are on a long journey.

So these are the main things we have been doing at the moment. I’d be interested to know what you have been doing for play and development with your children. Do you have any other suggestions?