We all know it's important to play with our babies and toddlers, but endless laundry and carrot mashing can mean we don't spend as much time as we should just having fun. Clever Baby presents 100 fun games and activities that will help a baby's social development, language and understanding of the world.
When it comes to giving your baby the best start in life, most parents don't question the importance of safety, nutritious food and good health care. But with play, it can be a different story: getting down on the floor and playing with your baby is a rare opportunity these days, when the pressure is on to juggle a hectic modern life.
And yet play is an essential part of your baby's life for healthy development. So when you make time for play, make sure you use clever play. Clever play ensures your child will quickly acquire the motor skills, muscle strength, coordination and humour to learn how to walk, talk and cope cheerfully with life as she becomes a busy toddler.
Clever Baby includes 100 fun activities to keep your baby entertained hour after hour, day after day, while at the same time giving her the best possible start to life. The book is arranged by age, with activities specifically tailored to each age group. The three sections are: new babies (0-6 months); older babies (6-12 months); and toddlers (12-24 months).
In Clever Baby the benefits of each activity are clearly described. 'Peekaboo', which parents have been playing with their babies since time began, can help teach babies about separation, and so reduce separation anxiety. It can also teach ordering and sequencing, as well as how to cope with fear. Knowing that each game has been specially selected or devised with development benefits in mind will motivate parents to find plenty of time to play with baby. For example, when you understand that copying your baby's 'goo', 'gaa' and 'coo' sounds and letting her 'talk' back to you improves her language skills, it makes it easier to prioritise 'talking sessions'. Benefits are highlighted in the index at the back of the book, to help you choose activities according to you and your baby's needs.
The authors of Clever Baby are both working mothers and very aware of how busy parents can be, especially if both are working or there is more than one child. They have included ideas on how to incorporate play into everyday life: sorting laundry, for example, helps with mathematical development, colours and concentration. And there are plenty of activities which only take a minute or two. In every case, a 'what you need' list enables you to prepare in advance for the more involved games.
Just as professional nurseries develop young children's skills through play, you will now be equipped to do the same at home. Clever Baby will help you to get the most out of your play time with your baby. Clever Baby ensures a clever start.
Simone Cave is a mother of three children and the co-author of several parenting books including Your Baby Week by Week, Potty Training Boys and Potty Training Girls. She was the Health Editor on the Daily Mirror for eight years and now works freelance, writing for national newspapers and magazines.
Dr Caroline Fertleman is Consultant Paediatrician at The Whittington Hospital, London, Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London Medical School, and Consultant in Medical Education at the Institute of Child Health. She has co-authored several parenting books and is also a mother of three children.
Health & Fitness
Table Of Contents:
Introduction • New Baby - Birth to six months • Older Baby - Six to twelve months • Toddler - Twelve to twenty-four months • Development Time Line • Resources.
Family & health