Encouraging Visual Co-ordination
Your baby’s eyes are still developing
in the first 3-4 months of life. Playing any of the following simple free baby
games not only helps them to bond with you it also improves their
eyesight. They prefer looking at human faces, yours in particular, more than any other object with the best distance for them to view being roughly 20cm / 8 inches.
are favorite items because they are usually brightly colored and move
gently and are a free baby game that will entertain them for a reasonable period of time. Making your own mobile is easy and gives the opportunity to
change the objects so as to keep your baby stimulated. Other visual
games you can play use items like mirrors and other simple household
objects to help your baby improve his head and eye co-ordination.
Alternatively you can purchase mobiles
that are powered by a small motor to keep them moving. They generally
have an appropriate lullaby or music box to accompany them. When making a
mobile use bold and bright colors and keep in mind that your baby will
be laying down so the objects need to hang horizontally for best
Another good location for a mobile is above a change table.
You can even make one with family pictures, as faces are her favorite
thing to look at.
more baby toys and cot bumpers feature baby-safe mirrors. These enable your baby to see
the reflection of what he is doing as well as having the opportunity to
see his own face. It is not until he is roughly a year old that he will
begin to understand that it is actually his own reflection that he is
seeing. Until then it will make a wonderful toy for sitting in front of
and getting to know himself!
This is an ‘almost’ free baby game that
will entertain him for hours. If your baby does not have access to a
mirror he really is missing out on a valuable teaching toy.
Reaching and Grabbing
next stage beyond visual stimulation is for babies to reach out and
grab for objects. A way to be ready for this is to have a toy or bumper
attached to your baby’s cot which your baby can reach for. When she is
ready she will start reaching out for the toy. This stage begins at
around 8-10 weeks for some babies, and slightly later for others.
By about four months your
baby will be able to visually locate a toy and then reach for it
directly and will begin to understand that her actions have an effect in
the world. By attaching items to a length of dowel and moving them in
front of her you can introduce different household objects to her as
well as encouraging her visual motor co-ordination. Baby gyms that arch
over babies are perfect for a variety of reaching activities and often
have mirrors fitted to them as well as squeaky and rustling parts.
Make sure that any play things are not small enough to be swallowed or
poked in little eyes. All toys at this age will be explored by mouth as
well as hands so for babies under five months keep toys and play area
clean to avoid sickness and diarrhoea which can cause dehydration.