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21 June 2012
When Fisher-Price’s development expert Dr Deborah Weber joined the Wednesday Lunch Club to answer your questions on baby and toddler development, behaviour and play, here are some of the things you asked her: Q: What should I be encouraging my six month old to do? We have a lot of floor time and I have a Fisher-Price Bounce and Spin Froggy Entertainer baby bouncer for when I’m out of the room. Any ideas as to how I can help my baby to develop and play, and what kind of toys will help this? A: By providing toys that are small in scale with a variety of buttons and activities to explore, your 6 month old can practice hand-eye coordination by reaching and grasping, batting at buttons, and eventually using a pointer finger to point ...Q: My son is nearly nine months old and is great at sitting up and playing but will not entertain being on his tummy. What can I do to encourage crawling/moving from a sitting position?A: This is a perfect time to join him on the floor for playtime! Sit in front of him and encourage him to reach out to you while he is in a sitting position- hold his hands to gently guide him to a crawling position & offer lots of encouragement and praise him when he succeeds. Balls or toys with movement will also encourage crawling, as he practices, stay close to reassure him!Q: My daughter is 18 months- what games can I play with her to encourage speech development and movement but keep her entertained? She plays with her toys for about five minutes, and then moves on to the next one.A: Heads shoulders knees and toes is a favorite movement song/game to play - it reinforces learning body parts while encouraging speech. She would also love to look at books while you talk about the pictures, specifically, books that picture everyday events! Outdoor experiences are also fun: make a game out of pointing at objects and labeling them. Talk about the rough bark, soft grass, tickly ant, hungry birds, and splashy puddles. Each new adventure and experience is loaded with language learning possibilities. Once toddlers grasp the idea that every object has a name, they become “tireless pointers” wanting to know the word for everything.Q: There are so many toys out there and I was wondering if you could recommend toys for a 15 week old boy? I'm a new mum and want to stimulate him as much as possible but don't know what is best at this stage. A: At 15 weeks, your baby’s physical developments are coming fast and furiously, and, at the moment, he may be reaching out for anything within his grasp to put in his mouth. He may enjoy a soft gym with overhead activities to reach up, bat at and grasp onto the different toys. Look for toys that are colourful and perfect for his little hands to grab to keep him entertained, and will also help to develop his sense of touch. Other toys that would be fun are rattles and teethers with a variety of textures and sounds and mirrors too!Q: My daughter is seven months old. What are the best toys for her to play with for development and stimulation? A: At this age, your daughter would like toys with buttons to press, action-and-reaction, put-and-take, lights-and-sounds, textures to touch, surprises, and happy faces. Look for toys with bold, contrasting colors and simple but interesting patterns. She also may like listening and moving to lively, rhythmical music toys that include a variety of music and songs would capture her interest!>>Baby games: Top ten tips for messy play>>25 free indoor games for active toddlersQ: Our new little girl is two weeks old and we have a three year old boy too. I really want to try my best to stimulate her as much as possible, but accept I can't necessarily spend the same time now I have two children. Do you have any ideas for ways to amuse our little girl please? She has a play mat with jangly toys, rattles that we use with her and I am also reading to them both. A: You are doing all the right things to stimulate her! The youngest babies are sensory learners, so exposing her to a variety of sounds, sights, and textures is appropriate. Some other ideas to amuse her would include playful music as well as soothing music of different styles, bright colourful high-contrasting toys or objects, and texture that is smooth, bumpy, silky, furry, or soft. Have fun!Q: I have four month old twins and I want toys that they can use to help them interact with each other. What would you suggest?
A: Give tummy time a try - you could position your twins on a soft play mat facing each other, and place hand held toys with rattles and textures within their reach. This will give them the opportunity to look up and see each other while they play!
Q: I have a three year old daughter and a 20 month old son. They are really close and have lots of fun together. But I was just wondering if there were any toys you could suggest that would be great for both of them? Or any games we can all play together or even just for my children to play together!A: What great ages for role play - themed play sets such as a kitchen or smaller scaled play sets such as toy farms or castles, provide children an opportunity to engage in role play together and create stories and adventures that are imaginative and exciting! Providing music that they can sing and dance to together - along with props such as a pretend microphone or other musical instruments - is always fun too!Q: My eight month old is sitting quite well, but she loses interest and gets distracted and falls over. Are there any toys for her age that she can interact with whilst sitting, just to give her some practice for a longer period of time?A: Musical toys with a variety of buttons, levers, & dials to interact with are great for this age - the variety of activities to play with captures and holds interest along with the music to move along to. Toys that are sized so that she can pull them up close to her will also help practice sitting for longer periods of time.Q: My daughter is nearly one and nearly walking on her own. She loses interest quite quickly in anything I give her to play with from boxes, spoons, to toys suitable for her age. She's quite happy to play with the same things day after day (although I do swap toys and books around) but I'm a little concerned that I'm not stimulating her enough. What are your thoughts?A: It seems that she is most comfortable playing with things she is familiar with - and that's just fine! You're doing right by swapping toys and books around to peak her interest - some additional activities she may enjoy at this age are: pull/push toys on wheels, soft light weight balls, toys with fun visual effects and sounds or music; stacking & nesting, simple puzzles with familiar shapes, shape sorters, nursery rhymes/songs and stories with repetition.>>Toy safety: What to look for>>Kid's stuff
>>Toy safety: What to look for>>Kid's stuff
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