Many new mothers spend much of their time playing with their little babies, cuddling, tickling or making funny faces to make them smile. The truth is, even a newborn baby can understand a lot of things even though they don’t understand language. Communicating is not merely just words, but also hand signs, facial expressions and more.
That’s not all – though a great number of your baby’s 100 billion cells are wired for physiological functions like heartbeat while the cutie is in your womb, there are still many brain cells waiting to be wired. The wiring for learning creates a lifetime foundation, yes, I’m talking about learning that lasts throughout your from the time of birth till the age of five.
Imagine your child’s brain is an empty sponge that is ready to absorb – now is the perfect time to teach your child many things which may influence how they behave, absorb new things and so on. Here are Mommy and Me activities that have a ‘little bit of everything’ – fun, learning, bonding, exercise, laughter and more for your baby and you.
10 Enjoying the Wonderful World of Colors with Your Young One
Nothing beats colors when it comes to mental stimulation. Paint something with your baby or toddler, but make sure to use chemical-free crayons or paints that are made specifically for use by toddlers or babies. Give your baby lots of paper, colorful crayons or paints for him to splash onto the paper and make whatever ‘artistic drawings’ he wants. This ‘Mommy and Me’ activity makes for a bonding and companionable activity.
The left side of the brain is responsible for the analytical, logical and verbal functions, while the right side is responsible for artistic skills, emotions and other non-verbal functions. For the best performing brain, medical science says that both sides should be well-balanced. You need to play a role in developing your baby’s artistic and creative skills.
People tend to use their left hemisphere and neglect their right side. This is understandable considering how schools and parents generally stress on academic or scholarly achievements. So here’s your chance to set it right – help your child to develop both sides for a well-balanced, optimum performing brain. Whether it’s a child’s brain or an adult’s, painting and coloring use the left and right hemispheres, which means complete brain activity.
9 Reading to Your Baby or Toddler
Experts say reading to your child in your womb is a good thing because it influences your child. Who knows he might turn out to be the next Einstein? Most of the time geniuses are created – it’s not genetic, only your physical appearance is genetic. Help to create another Einstein or Galileo by reading to your child.
Read simple science or general knowledge books. Use your dramatic skills for the right intonation to keep your child entertained and focused. Think about reading inspirational books or biographies of those who won against the odds to your toddler for something that can motivate you and help develop your child’s inner spirit.
8 Play Mentally Stimulating Games with Your Child
Do you love jigsaw puzzles? Try to get some simple ones and do them with your toddler. Nowadays, there are various types of puzzles that can be put together by a toddler. Even if you aren’t a fan of puzzles, bear in mind that puzzles can help develop your baby’s creative and thinking skills.
The same goes with building blocks. Get some colorful Lego or any other brand of building blocks to encourage your child to create whatever he or she wants, a house, a special structure or boat. This is something you can do together with your child. Your child is using their whole brain when they think and create something artistic.
This not only helps to develop his thinking and creative skills, but also develops his artistic tendencies. A baby might not being able to speak a language yet, but they’re very much attuned to sounds, colors, images and so on. What’s more, they get to think about what to create, further enhancing their very own creative and thinking skills.
7 Enjoying Physical Activities with Your Child
There are various simple games you can play with your child, for example, ‘hide and seek,’ which can be played with a child as little as six months to eighteen months old. Or maybe, it can be just ‘run and catch me’ – simply run or walk away from your baby or toddler and urge your cutie to crawl or toddle towards you so they can ‘catch’ you.
Not only do you play a role in helping your child to develop the necessary muscles for better movement or motor skills, but you also exert yourself and get some exercise – now that’s killing two birds with one stone. What’s more, nothing can be more fun than playing games with a young child.
A child’s lovely giggles, smiles and laughter, are enough to make you want to play this game over and over again. If you’re the sort of person who loves jogging or walking, you can enjoy it now with your baby. Get a jogging stroller to jog or walk with your baby in a park. While your baby enjoys a lovely natural breeze with all the walking or jogging, you get some exercise to help you shed whatever extra pounds you might have.
6 Breastfeeding Your Baby
Although nothing beats mother’s milk, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. For women who are breastfeeding their babies, here are some reasons why you might want to continue for as long as possible.One of the most vital things about breastfeeding is the bonding mother and child experience during this time. When mothers breastfeed their newborns, they bond in such a way that it’s simply indescribable. The bond is subtle and yet very deep.
After breastfeeding, play with your baby. It creates a much deeper bond and there’s no better time to do so then when your child is still very young. Let your baby lie flat on your bed, gaze into his or her eyes, cuddle, tickle and play with your cutie pie. It’s something that both of you might remember forever.
5 Cleaning Your House with Your Toddler
Two hands are better than one when it comes to cleaning. What’s more, cleaning and organizing your home with your toddler is a great way to teach them the meaning of responsibility, organization and cleanliness. Let your toddler pick up some of the lighter items and put them where they belong or you want them to be.
You might even want to invest in kiddy toys that resemble cleaning tools, like vacuums, brooms, or give them a clean rag so they can wipe off surfaces. You get to do to your household chores without worrying about how to keep your child entertained while you clean and organize your home.
4 Cooking or Baking with Your Child
You’ll be surprised just how much fun it can be to cook or bake with your toddler. Who knows, his future might involve becoming a great chef one day. Whether or not he becomes one, it doesn’t matter. He might thank you one day for teaching him how to cook when he lives by himself.
Cooking can be fun when done with your child. Let your toddler dip their little fingers into mix the flour or do some other menial thing to help you with your cooking. If you’re preparing sandwiches or baguettes for a light dinner or supper, allow your toddler to arrange the vegetable or meat slices on the bread.
3 Performing Charity with Your Toddler
Many parents don’t think to include charitable activities as part of their child’s development. Though it may seem like a cliché, nothing beats giving form the heart. Giving to others truly gives you joy. It doesn’t matter whether you give money, time or energy. Whatever is given from your heart is infinitely more precious than whatever that is given half-heartedly.
By volunteering somewhere with the intention of helping those less fortunate than yourself, you teach your child about giving and becoming a better human being. Maybe, you can serve meals to the poor while holding your child or ask your toddler to help you serve.
2 Quiet Time or Praying with Your Child
You may not believe in a God, but it doesn’t matter whether you do or don’t. It’s important that you give your child the opportunity to learn to listen to their inner self in a quiet and respectful way. It can help lower your child's stress and help your child develop problem solving skills when they can reflect internally.
You can introduce your child to religion or faith if you feel comfortable doing so. This gives your child a chance to decide their own spiritual beliefs when they grow up. The majority of your child’s development is met purely through physical and mental learning, but you can include spiritual learning if you feel it rounds out their learning experience.
1 Listening to Music or Singing with Your Child
One of the ways to reach within and touch your soul or spirit is through music. If you listen to songs that you love and touch your spirit together with your child, you’re imparting the power of rhythm and repetition. Music is a powerful learning tool because it also engages all parts of the brain.
Sing simple songs or lullabies and encourage your child to sing together with you. Repeat them so that your child can pick up the rhythm or words and accompany you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how fast they’re able to learn a song.
Though it may seem like a baby or toddler is too young to be taught anything, the truth is that now is the best time to teach your child. After nine months of wondering about all the noises, sounds and happenings outside of the womb, believe me, they’re more than ready to absorb whatever that they see, feel, hear and so on.