My early movements
These activities are suitable for children aged 0–6 months and align with stage 1a of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).
What you'll need
Floor mat, foil blanket, wrist bells, rattles
In the early months, as your child starts to become more alert, you can try to encourage them to become more active and make deliberate movements. For example, lifting their head to listen or to see you, help them shake their hands or kick their feet to make noises. Here are a few tips you may find helpful:
- Carry your child on different sides, as this will encourage them to turn different ways to hear your voice or feel your face.
- Tie bells around your child's wrist or feet so they want to move their arms and legs to hear the jingling noise.
- Once they've developed a grasp, try using small rattles.
- Activity mats that have a crinkly texture will encourage them to wriggle, kick their feet and grasp.
- Foil blankets make a great noise if your child is laying underneath or on top of them.
- Lay your child on different surfaces so they can start exploring different textures.
- Try laying them on their tummy, side and back. They may need your support with this at first.
- Encourage your child to spend time on their tummy. This will help develop head control by lifting their head to see or hear around them.
- Try laying your child on their tummy across your lap, swaying them and singing. You could ask someone else to sit down at their level and talk or entertain with a toy that lights up or makes a noise.
- Support your child as they lay on their tummy on a soft mat and encourage them to lift their head towards you or a toy.
Keep these activities short at first, building time slowly as your child's ability to lift their head for longer periods begins to grow.
You can use your child's arms to support them in lifting their shoulders and head up further. Try tucking their elbows into their chest with their forearms on the ground. You can also support your child by using a tummy-time roll, or a small blanket/towel rolled up and placed in under their chest behind the elbows.
- Use toys or lay on the floor facing your child and talk to them, to encourage them to lift their head.
- Encourage them to turn their head by making a noise on either side of them using a toy or talking or using a light-up or brightly coloured toy.
If you’re using a mobile or hanging toy, always make sure it is placed to the side as well as directly in front of your child. This will encourage them to turn their head to the sides and reach with both arms.
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