I bought the book “Fun Start” by June Oberlander some time after Gavin was born. I’ve never been good with babies – or kids, for that matter – and I never know what to do with them. I bought Fun Start so I could get some ideas for Mummy and baby activities I could do with Gavin.
What I liked about Fun Start was that they offer lots of great ideas that you can easily adopt at home without having to go out and buy stuff. Of course, you can if you want, but you can just as easily make up the props with miscellaneous materials around the house. Alternatively, you can get creative and substitute their props with toys and other objects you have around the house that create the same effect.
The other great thing about Fun Start is that the book is laid out chronologically so you can easily find age appropriate activities for your baby/toddler. It offers a new activity each week from birth all the way to five years old – that’s a lot of activities! I never did get around to doing all the activities laid out in the book with Gavin, but I hope to change that with Gareth. Since Gavin is only turning three, there are still a hundred over activities in the book that I can do with him.
A lot of the activities are probably pretty logical and practical ideas that I’m sure any creative Mum could come up with on her own. However, if you feel a little out of your depth in this department – the way I did – this is a great book to help stimulate those creative juices. Here’s a quick sample of the activities recommended for the first five weeks:
Week 1 – Move the body parts
Observe baby’s movements and exercise baby’s body parts.
Week 2 – Response to light
Develops visual stimulation, early awareness of light and darkness, and awareness of reflection of light.
Week 3 – Moving an object
Develops early aware of moving objects (visual stimulation), awareness of tactile perception, and auditory perception.
Week 4 – Make a cradle gym
Develops parental bonding, awareness of moving objects (visual stimulation), awareness of bell sounds (auditory stimulation).
Week 5 – Mirror and pendulum
Develops baby’s awareness of his own image, beginning listening skills, baby’s interest in making sounds by watching, visual stimulation, and awareness of movement initiating a response.
Each activity comes with an explanation of what you are supposed to do with your child and what the activity aims to develop. At the very least, the activities in the book will provide you with interactive activities to do with your baby other than simply watching your baby. Later on, it makes for great bonding between parent and child. At best, these activities will help to stimulate your child’s developmental progress.