- Sensory stimulation – exposure to different textures.
- Eye contact – the ability to look into your communicating partners eyes to make communication meaningful.
- Auditory perception – the ability to hear and interpret sounds.
- Cause and effect awareness – the ability to understand that an action causes a response or another action.
Introduce the concept of noise and silence by drawing your child’s attention to the sound of the rattle when you shake it. Say: “Listen, can you hear that sound?” Then show your baby you have stopped shaking the rattle and whisper: “Now it’s quiet, there’s no noise.” Match the volume of your voice to the action you’re demonstrating by speaking louder while shaking the rattle vigorously.
Once your baby is familiar with the rattle, shake it in front of them, to their left and then to the right. They will soon turn their head towards the sound. When they do, praise them by saying: “Yes, there’s the noise. Good listening!”
Your little one won’t yet be able to roll the rattle on their own so roll it towards them while saying: “Here it comes!” Once it reaches them, say “Your turn!” then help them to take the rattle to make a noise with it. Or roll the rattle away from your sweetie-pie and catch it yourself, saying “My turn!” then shake the rattle. Comment on your actions because it will help your baby to develop an understanding of the words you use.
Babies love kicking their legs. Put the rattle in front of your little one’s foot so they (accidentally) hit it when they kick their legs. Get excited with them and say: “There you go, you kicked the rattle and it rolled!” Nudge it back towards them for another try which teaches them about taking turns.
Hold their cute little foot in your hands and kiss or tickle each of their toes as you say a nursery rhyme like “This little piggy went to market…”
3. Splashy Fun
This waterproof bath book develops:
- Joint focus – the ability to concentrate on an object at the same time as another person.
- Social skills – feeling comfortable and competent in social situations.
This durable plastic book with colourful farm animals is easy to clean so your baby can scrunch up the pages, wave or shake it or even put it in their mouth.
Let your little one sit on your lap while we look at the book together. Tell them what you see, but keep sentences short and simple while emphasising key words by saying them slowly and a little louder. Try “Look at the farm animals. I can see a cow. Moo!”
Once your little reader is used to hearing you say the same phrases over and over, give them some more information and encourage them to interact. You can say: “Look at the cow’s black spots. He looks happy. I wonder whether he is going to eat some grass or visit his friends.”
Talk to your sweetie about the book itself. You can say: “This book is so light. It feels smooth. It doesn’t really smell like anything.” Demonstrate the meaning of the words while saying it by lifting or smelling the book. Also relate the words to your baby by stroking their skin and telling them how soft it is or nuzzling them and telling them how good they smell.
Play peek-a-boo with your munchkin. Put your hand over an animal and say: “I wonder who is hiding under my hand?” Look at your baby, widen your eyes and exaggerate your facial expression – this will build anticipation. Then say slowly: “Who is it?” Get excited when you lift your hand: “Wow! it’s a sheep!”
This book is ideal for for bath time as it floats and won’t be spoiled by water. Talk to your baby about floating and sinking and explain that some animals love water (like the duck) and others don’t (like the cat).