Learning Activities to Promote Your Child's Skills

Playing with your Child

Children learn from play, and it's an important way for you to interact with your child. Play promotes development which supports your child's growth and learning opportunities. The following tips will help enhance the experience for you and your child.

  • Create a fun, happy playtime
  • Choose a time every day when your child is well rested. Follow your child's cues.
  • Encourage active play so your child can master fine and gross motor skills. This means less time with screens and gadgets.
  • Respond to your child with comfort
  • Listen to your child's sounds, talk to your child, sing songs and share books
  • Play favourite games over and over. Your child learns about their world through exploration.
  • Encourage sharing and taking turns. Involve siblings and other family members to develop healthy social skills.
  • Your child learns best through interaction and play. You are the most important connection for your child.

Play can provide a time of positive interaction between you and your child, strengthening the relationship and building a positive self-image.

Toy Selection

Through play, a child learns to explore, discover, create and solve problems in a safe and caring environment. Knowing where your child is developmentally will help you choose toys and activities that are appropriate for your child.

  • Birth to three months
    Skills Toy Selection
    • Tracks objects with their eyes
    • Grasps objects placed in palm
    • Bats objects with hand
    • Brings head up while on tummy
    • Coos, gurgles, hums and buzzes
    • Quiets to listen to music boxes
    • Chain links
    • Soft cuddle toys
    • Black and white
    • Contrasting cards and books
    • Musical toys
    • Mirror for tummy time
    • Small rattles
  • Three to six months
    Skills Toy Selection
    • Reaches and grasps toys
    • Puts toys in mouth
    • Has hands together at midline
    • Sits with minimal support
    • Bangs and shakes toy
    • Rolls, front to back, back to front
    • Infant gym
    • Squeaky / texture toys
    • Teething toys
    • Shallow bowls with small rattles to take out
    • Simple cause and effect toys
  • Six to nine months
    Skills Toy Selection
    • Sits independently
    • Picks up and lets go purposefully
    • Pulls a string
    • Bangs two toys together
    • Uncovers a hidden toy
    • Activates cause and effect toys
    • Four point crawls
    • Pulls to standing
    • Variety of sizes of blocks and balls
    • Toy drum
    • Pop us pets (hide and find)
    • Cardboard picture books (one picture per page)
  • Nine to 12 months
    Skills Toy Selection
    • Points to items and pictures
    • Put objects in containers
    • Gets into and out of sitting and standing
    • Imitates fun sounds and first words
    • Picks up and throws objects
    • Cruises furniture
    • Scribbles on paper
    • Musical instruments
    • Baby doll
    • Shape sorter
    • Plastic farm animals
    • Stacking rings
    • Large crayon and paper
    • Texture books
  • 12 to 18 months
    Skills Toy Selection
    • Scoops and shovels
    • Pushes small wheeled toys
    • Fits large pegs
    • Rolls ball in a given direction
    • Stacks two to three blocks
    • Turns pages in a thick book
    • Walks independently
    • Crawls up and down stairs, on and off furniture
    • Sensory bin
    • Musical instruments
    • Large trucks and cars
    • Large lego blocks
    • Books
    • Large pegboard
  • 18 to 24 months
    Skills Toy Selection
    • Stacks up to five blocks
    • Throws objects
    • Matches objects with pictures of the same
    • Points to named pictures
    • Runs
    • Talks to doll and/or toy animal
    • Imitates actions of parents and siblings (symbolic play)
    • Names body parts on doll
    • Simple puzzles
    • Simple card pictures (e.g. memory cards or flashcards) for picture matching or labelling pictures
    • "Dress up" box
    • House centre (e.g. tool box, doctor set, any play imitating life)
    • More books containing short stories

Tummy Time Moves

Learn what tummy time is, and how you can make the most of it.

Essential Tummy Time Moves

To develop your baby's core, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing babies on their backs to sleep and their tummies to play as part of a daily routine.

Just a few minutes a day, a few times a day, can help your baby get used to Tummy Time and help prevent early motor delays. If you begin early (even from just a few days old) and maintain a consistent schedule, your baby will learn to love Tummy Time. This helps develop the muscles in their back, neck, and trunk, on their way to meeting all their infant development milestones.

Here are the top five moves you can begin as soon as your baby is born:

  1. Tummy to Tummy - Lie down on the floor or a bed, flat or propped up on pillows. Place your baby on your chest or tummy so that you're face-to-face. Always hold firmly for safety.

  2. Eye-Level Smile - Get down level with your baby to encourage eye contact. Roll up and place a blanket under the chest and upper arms for added support.

  3. Lap Soothe - Place your baby face-down across your lap to burp or soothe him. A hand on your baby's bottom will help steady and calm.

  4. Tummy-Down - Slide one hand under the tummy and between the legs when carrying baby tummy down. Nestle your baby close to your body.

  5. Tummy Minute - Place your baby on her tummy for one or two minutes every time you change her. Start a few minutes at a time and try to work up to an hour a day in short intervals by the end of three months. Don't get discouraged. Every bit of Tummy Time makes a difference.

Essential Tummy Time Moves created by:
Pathways.org
friends@pathways.org
1-800-955-CHILD (2445)


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