How I Turned My Baby’s Playtime Into Learning Time

How I Turned My Baby’s Playtime Into Learning Time

Image: iStock

In this fast pacing era, parents want to give the best to their children. They want their baby to play but at the same time want the little one to learn things.

I am a typical parent. I enjoy seeing my baby play, but I did not want to leave it at that. I began thinking about ways to make my baby’s playtime more fruitful and fun. No, I am not ambitious and I didn’t expect my any miracles from my little one. My simple aim was to help my baby meet his age related milestones.
I found that learning can be intertwined with play time by using the right toys. Talk about having the cake and eating it too? Here’s how I managed that.

1. Eye-hand coordination is an instinctive skill, but you can hasten the progress by providing your child with stimulating toys. So, I started off with home activities such as transferring solids and water from one container to the other. My child had fun with these activities but he soon got bored of it. So, for variety, I introduced him to fun shaped toy blocks.

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks comes with ten bright blocks, an open bucket, and shape-sorting lid. The child has to drop the blocks into the open bucket or through the shape-sorting lid. The activity involves filling the bucket with blocks, emptying them, and starting all over.

The next level is sorting and stacking where the child has to identify and match the shapes while having fun. Both the activities are great for eye-hand coordination and other early childhood developmental skills.

Eye-hand coordination

You can buy Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics™ Baby’s First Blocks here.

2. Gross motor skills involve the arms, legs, and torso, and the activities include walking, running, throwing, kicking, balancing etc. A major part of my child’s activities included all of that. But when he was still a few months old and kicking legs was the only exercise he had, I saw an opportunity in it.

The Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano Gym was my favourite! It gave him immense pleasure as my son realized as soon as he kicked the piano,  the music would play. This got him even more excited and thrilled and I watched him enjoy.  The toys hanging from the upper arch of the gym encourage the baby to bat and grasp the toys. The arch is movable and is super easy to manage so you can move that down for some tummy-time play too.

Later, when he learnt to sit, he would press the keys on the piano. The portable piano is easy to carry to a park or within your house.

The music, colour patterns, and mirror stimulate the sensory part of the child’s brain. The piano keys help strengthen gross motor skills as the baby kicks the keys and stretches his legs. It also makes your child curious to explore things.

Gross motor skills

You can buy the Fisher-Price Kick and play piano gym here.

3. Fine motor and sensory skills: As my child grew slightly older, his energy increased. I had to engage him constantly so that he could expend his energy positively and fruitfully. Being the music lover that I am, I wanted to introduce my child to music albeit in a playful manner.

Classic Xylophone has eight colorful keys that encourage creativity in music composition and helps the child develop a sense of accomplishment. Grasping the mallet and striking the keys enhances fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. The bright colours and musical tones stimulate the baby’s senses.

Fine motor and sensory skills

You can buy Fisher-Price Classic Xylophone here.

4. Language and listening skills: There’s something amazing about babies’ absorption skills. They absorb any information just like a sponge. But then I had to let my son utilize his skills better through play, so I found a fun toy that was able to teach my child to emote while having fun. The Fun Feelings Monster was the perfect way for me to introduce him to emotions like happy, sad or surprised.

Fun Feelings Monster is a cute little toy monster that has feelings. When the baby bats the monster’s roller face, it displays three different feelings – happy, sad, surprised, and emits sound. The fun sounds reinforce each emotion and enhance the child’s listening and responding skills. Babies will love the textured ribbon hair and the soft squishy arms of the monster. The cute monster face(s) and the sounds for each emotion help the baby learn about feelings and the associated sounds.

Language and listening skills

You can buy Fun Feelings Monster here.

5. Cognitive and social skills: Before I could realize, my baby had become a pro at socializing. The transformation is rapid and amazing. His social skills started developing and my urge to enhance his skills increased alongside. And how could I miss out on using technology in toys? So, here is Smart Stages Tablet.

The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet is the baby’s own tablet. It includes Smart Stages technology; the learning content changes as the baby grows. As babies develop at their own pace, Smart Stages technology gives you an option to select the stage that’s appropriate for your child. The three levels of play in the toy provide a mix of developmentally appropriate songs, sounds, and phrases. What makes it exciting and fun is that the screen lights up and twinkles when the songs and phrases play. The Smart Stages tablet introduces your baby to a wide range of things such as letters, first words, animals, and phrases. The child learns to imitate the sounds and songs from the tablet and uses them in socializing with others.

Cognitive and social skills

You can buy it here.

It seems as if babies grow up in a jiffy and they leave you with many sweet memories along the way. The toys remind you of your baby’s memories. And you would want to keep them forever, just to tell yourself that your child will always be a little boy/ girl for you. Isn’t it?

Featured Image