Activities for Boosting Baby Brain Development

December 07, 2018

From the moment your baby is born, their brains begin to develop at a rapid rate. Similar to a tangible checklist of items like diapers, baby wipes and snacks, you can create a checklist of baby brain development activities too. By knowing the categories of brain development, you can come up with simple activities to encourage your baby’s growth.


We’ve put together 5 easy activities, based on the five pillars of learning, to encourage baby brain development.


    1. Sensory Engagement

When babies come in contact with something interesting they’ve never seen before, neurons begin forming new pathways in the brain. Being intentional about introducing your baby to new smells, textures and experiences is a great foundation for brain development. But remember sensory engagement and sensory overload are very different, so take it slow and start with one new object at a time.


Activity

Fill a shallow pan with water and add drops of baby shampoo. Begin to make bubbles in the water and encourage your baby to do the same. Point out the bubbles and talk to your baby about what is happening.


    2. Language Opportunities

While your baby might not be communicating verbally, there are a number of other ways to communicate and encourage new vocabulary. From reading, talking to your baby and encouraging your baby to communicate and interact with other babies, every exchange is a new opportunity for you baby to develop their communication skills.


Activity

There are a number of children’s songs that have accompanying movements but just in case you’re running low on inspiration, repeat the following chant and hand motions with your baby while encouraging them to do them too.


Open, shut them. Open, shut them. (Open and shut hands)

Give a little clap, clap, clap. (Clap three times)

Open, shut them. Open, shut them. (Open and shut hands)

Lay them in your lap, lap, lap. (Pat legs)

Creep them, crawl them. Creep them, crawl them. (“walk” fingers up body towards face)

Right up to your chin, chin, chin. (tap chin three times)

Open up your little mouth. 

But, do not let them in, in, in. 


    3. Movement 

Moving and participating in new activities not only allows your babies brain to develop, but also helps your baby develop their muscles as well. In a similar way of our language activity, matching words to specific movements is a great introductory experience for your baby.


Activity

Repeat the follow song with your baby to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus. Once you’ve completed the first verse, trade “hands” for “feet” and “clap” for “stomp” and continue using different parts of the body.


I can make my hands go clap, clap, clap. 

Clap, clap, clap. Clap, clap, clap. 

I can make my hands go clap, clap, clap. 

And, so can you!


    4. Critical Thinking

We don’t develop the ability to think by memorizing discrete facts. Instead, brains develop when children solve problems and think creatively. At the Sunshine House, we incorporate critical thinking activities into our early childhood development curriculum for your child’s brain development and independent thinking.


Activity

Apply tape to the floor and begin removing it, encouraging your baby to do the same. Watch how your baby attempts to remove the tape and talk them through what they’re doing and reassure them to keep trying. Just make sure to collect all the removed and remaining tape and toss it.


    5. Social and Emotion Development

Creating a space for babies and kids to identify, regulate and feel comfortable expressing their emotions has proven, positive correlations to a child’s success in kindergarten. An easy way to encourage that is discussing their emotions when a positive or negative event happens and encouraging play with others their own age.


Activity

Sit in front of a mirror with your baby and point out the different features on your face, along with the similarities and differences. Note what a sad face looks like. Note if you have different colored eyes or hair. You can continue doing this as long as your baby seems interested in the activity.


Watching your baby grow and develop is an exciting time. While there are endless opportunities and activities to encourage brain development, we hope the few we shared can spark your imagination. Share your developmental activities with us, and for more parenting tips visit us online at SunshineHouse.com.