From the very first months of life, play is the real ‘food’ of the mind, heart and belly of every baby. Word of Federica Grittini, pedagogist
“From the very first days of life, play is everything that creates ‘connection’ and relationship between parent and child, moreover for him it is also the discovery of himself, of the other and of the world”. To support it is Federica Grittini, pedagogist, parental consultant at the Cemp and the Sacco Hospital in Milan, who wrote a book on the importance of play in the first year of life (with Simona Brunetti, “I’ll explain it to you, The first twelve months together”, La Memoria del World).
Therefore, it is essential to propose activities even to the very small ones because the game, even if simple, is “the real food of the mind, heart and belly of the child”, says the pedagogist Grittini. Here it is 12 games suggested by the expert, one for each month of the first year of life of the child.
In this article
1. First month
Sounds with calming effect
An activity suitable for the first month of life is to make the baby listen to sounds, the so-called ‘white noises’, as explained by the pedagogist Grittini, which mimic those he heard in his belly. “The hair dryer, the vacuum cleaner, or the kitchen hood, for example, have a calming effect because they always have the same wavelength – says the author of the book (” I’ll explain it to you, the first twelve months together “) A couple of minutes of listening are enough to reassure and entertain the child; alternatively, even a CD with the sound of the sea waves has the same power to reconcile calm.
2. Second month
The power of lines
“Every baby likes stripes so much because he sees them as if they were in motion; it is no coincidence, for example, that the striped shirts of dads ‘hypnotize’ the very little ones”, explains pedagogist Grittini. To share a small activity with the child, the expert recommends taking an A4 sheet or a white card and drawing (or making them with the PC) some wide, vertical, black lines. When the baby is in a quiet or active state of wakefulness, it is the right time to let him see the sheet with lineswhile he is in his cradle (slightly raised) or holding him in his arms.
3. Third month
The “crumpled” bearing
With Easter egg paper and a little colored fabric you can create a special cushion, pleasant to touch that stimulates sight, hearing and touch. Just cut a rectangle of fabric, insert the chocolate egg paper inside and sew the edges. Those who do not like needle and thread can use a ready-made cotton bag (such as sugared almonds), close it well and let the child touch it freely. “Around this time, the child begins to develop the eye-hand-mouth coordination, so it is important to encourage its experimentation “, says the pedagogist.
0-12: a game for each month of the baby’s life
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From the very first months of life, play, understood as every little activity that creates a ‘connection’ between child and parent, is the real ‘food’ of the mind, of the …
4. Fourth month
A nice idea, suggested by the pedagogist Grittini, to stimulate sight, touch and hearing of the child, is to create a special ‘sound toy’ with the clothesline. It is necessary to hang iron hangers for clothes on the drying rack using some wooden pegs (wood and iron, respectively hot and cold, are also pleasant to the touch). At this point, holding the baby in his arms, the parent can make them feel that if the crutches bang together they produce a sound, also showing how to rotate them. Then, when the baby reaches out, it is important to help him try to touch the crutches.
5. Fifth month
Colors and movement are attractive to every baby: a pinwheel, which you can build at home by applying ribbons or buy, is perfect, for example, to stimulate the sense of sight. It is possible to place it on a plant in the house or outside the window, according to the advice of the pedagogist, indicating to the child, while he is in his arms, how he moves. The expert also suggests using a pinwheel that is small and light enough so that the child can hold it by himself and try to blow to make it spin … What a great satisfaction for him!
6. Sixth month
The rain stick
A cardboard tube (paper towel style), colored fabric and some basmati rice, glue and scotch tape are enough to create a homemade version of the rain stick on the fly. When the child shakes the cylinder covered with lively fabric, and tightly closed, with the rice inside, he gets a sound quite similar to that of rain that intrigues and amuses him. “This activity stimulates hearing and is gratifying for the child,” says the pedagogist. The parent must sit in front of the child who in this age group can sit (or is learning to do so), and invite him to wave the cane with his hands to produce the sound.
7. Seventh month
Long live the globe!
Often, at home, it happens to have a globe, of which we have forgotten its existence: it is time to use it with the child for a fun activity that stimulates sight and hand-eye coordination. In this phase, the child can sit alone or with a support, just place the globe in front of him and sit next to him showing how to make him turn.