New Gurgles and Coos

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If you’re following along with my baby activity journey, then you’re already engaging in “conversation” with your little one, and actively encouraging those gurgles and coos. Today’s activity takes it to the next level.

To foster the link between different sounds and actual words, listen closely to what your baby says today. When Veronika said “geh!” for example, I would respond, “That’s right, you’re a girl,” or “Yes, you’re wearing green,” or anything else beginning with a hard g sound.

Same goes for her adorable m’s (“milk! mama!”) or b’s (“brother! bubble”).

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This is also a good way to get older siblings “talking” to baby, especially if they’re frustrated at the lack of real words yet. Listen hard, and string together ideas for him orher.

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You can also have fun with vocal sounds in general today. In addition to words, make new noises like clicking tongues and see if your baby responds. Veronika’s not so sure about that tongue clicking!

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Truth be told, Veronika clams up a lot in our house (with Travis around, it’s hard to get a word in edgewise!) so usually she opens up to me when we’re quiet and alone during… diaper changes. But after we made a point of this game all morning, I caught her narrating play on her playmat, talking up a storm to her little toys.

 

It was hard to catch the moment on camera, but here she is working on some “m” sounds.

 

Introduce Peekaboo

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No doubt you’ve played peekaboo with your baby; by three months old, hasn’t every child engaged in this game at least once? It’s funny that this is one of the first games we instinctively play with babies, but there’s a good reason for it. Babies don’t yet understand that someone who leaves will come back (otherwise known as object permanence), so “disappearing” behind your hands for a moment and then quickly coming back helps cement the idea that a beloved caretaker exists, even when not in sight.

So with that science lesson out of the way, have some fun with peekaboo today!

To combine peekaboo with hand control, you can put a light scarf or towel over your face, then encourage or help baby to pull it free. Peekaboo, there’s mommy! The more surprised I acted, the greater Veronika’s enjoyment of the game.

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You can also get stuffed animal friends in on the game, covering gently with a scarf and then having a big reveal.

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We also played with flap books for extra peekaboo action. Where are the chicks? Peekaboo!

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Finally, I love playing peekaboo at the diaper table. A (clean!) diaper makes a perfect peekaboo toy. Hold the diaper up over your face, then – surprise! – reappear with a big smile. This one in particular gets a giggle from Veronika every time.

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Paper Nail Salon

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It took a while for my four-year-old, but Travis is just now learning to color in the lines instead of scribbling willy-nilly, and he’s so proud. Since we’ve also been learning lots about the body┬álately, I thought this clever little activity would combine the two nicely – some anatomy about the hand, as well as a chance to hone those coloring skills.

I printed a hand template rather than attempting to draw one from scratch, and cut out about 5 or 6 hands for him, drawing fingernails onto each.

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You can have a quick chat about nails before the coloring begins, too, like how our nails never stop growing or other fun factoids.

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Now for the artsy part; the challenge was to “polish” each nail, staying as near to the lines as he could.

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Travis was up to the task! He loved picking a color for each hand, like gray or pink or blue.

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And then of course because glitter glue makes everything more fun, we decided to add glitter glue jewelry to some of the hands.

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And since Travis likes to get impish these days, some of our salon patrons soon found themselves covered in “goop.”

Big kids might want to get really artistic with their nail designs! You can stick to markers, or, let them use real polish. For one special hand, I traced the hand shape onto thick cardstock and let him actually swipe on a coat of polish.

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Cute and fun, of a quiet morning!