Monday, January 29, 2007

Games babies play

A friend was asking me today what games Ant and I play together, as she was looking for ideas. Here are some of the things we do... What can we add to our repertoire?

Sometimes we go up in the office where he really likes looking at the Tivo box we just got (the box the Tivo came in, that is), and moving its lid up and down. There's also a full length mirror in there, and we look at and wave to each other in that. In front of that are some piles of books and wrapping paper that he likes to play with. He actually really likes wrapping paper, I think the colors are really appealing. I've started giving him squares of it to keep him occupied in the car (he hasn't started eating it yet!).

We play on the bed in his room, I'll roll him over while singing "there were ten in the bed and the little one said...". There are also a couple of toys up there that he'll grab at while I hold them in front of him. We do lots of sitting and standing whereever we go, and I also try and throw in some tummy time as often as I think of it and he'll stand for it. He also likes it when I hold brightly patterend clothes above his head, and swing them from side to side. Sometimes he'll reach for them, sometimes he won't. But he always seems excited, which is what I think he's feeling when he starts kicking his feet and moving his arms more.

Downstairs we read books while sitting on the couch, or just practice sitting and standing. Sitting on the coffee table too, where there are lots of things to look at. Sometimes I'll put him on my lap and play bouncy games "Trit-trot to Boston, trit-trot to Lynn - you'd better watch out that you don't fall IN" I drop him between my knees on the last syllable. Or "This is the way the lady rides....". A new one I just learned from another friend "Jumpy jumpy sugary lumps... the more AJ eats, the more AJ JUMPS", lifting him up on the last.

We play "head, shoulders knees and toes", or other body part songs where I sing body parts to random tunes, like "nose and mouth and cheeks and chin, cheeks and chin, cheeks and chin...nose and mouth and cheecks and chin, all parts of Antony" to the tune of mary had a little lamb.

He's quite fond of the leapfrog music table we borrowed from my sis. From about three months on we would lie it on its side, and make it play for him, he really liked the lights and music. Now we do about 50/50 with it on its side and him on the floor, and it upright, holding him up while he's standing. We've gotten a LOT of use out of that one. Not quite as much as the gymini, but close.

He has various other toys that will amuse him for a few minutes at a time, I basically just show them to him, talk about them or sing a song, and see if he wants to grab onto them or not. His favorites are Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal, and a little bee that makes noises and lights up when you move its wings. I've also taken to just showing him random objects that are lying around - he's enjoyed my keys, the plastic tab that you have to pull off to open a bottle of milk, my poland springs water bottles, granola bar wrappers - I try and give him things of lots of different shapes and sizes so he can learn about how they feel and sound. Oooh, he also really likes the tissue paper that presents come wrapped in.

Sometimes he just doesn't seem interested in his toys so we'll wander around the house and I'll tell him about different things. He particularly likes the basement, I think becuase he's not down there that often so there's lots of new stuff to look at. When he's in one of those moods is when I'll pop him in the baby bjorn. We'll also look outside for a while, when it's too cold to actually go out.

His absolute favorite thing is when we make faces / noises. He's gone through phases of what he's liked - at the moment, slurpy noises and exaggerated laughing really set him off. We can keep him laughing for a good five minutes with those. And we generally stop because we're tired, not because he is! For a while he really liked exaggerated kissy noises, which I would do while kissing his face or his hands. I also make muching noises while munching oh his hands and feet. He likes consonant / vowel combinations... "dah dah dah dah dah" over and over - one night he found it so amusing I went through the whole alphabet a few times! We also play "where's Antony", where I put a bib or facecloth over his face for a few seconds, saying "Where's Antony? Where's Antony?"... then I move it off from one side or the other and say "There he is!!! I see you!!!". I would have thought he wouldn't like his face being covered, but he does his excited kicking/arm flailing and never seems upset, so I think he does like it. Maybe just the anticipation of what's coming...

I'd love to hear ideas of other things we can do together, to keep us both interested!

On a totally different topic, I've always put pictures in as separate links, not right in the post, as I don't want to cause angst to those who may not want to have baby pictures shoved in their face. Should I continue to do that, or do you think baby pics in the post are okay?


Nico said...

Oh! I just got Ant up from a nap, and realized I forgot Pat-a-Cake, and "This little piggy"...

DD said...

I would love to see pictures on your blog just because I can scroll through and see how much he's grown, but I think if there's one person who might feel uncomfortable, then it wouldn't be fair to hurt that person.

I think the games you have been playing are perfect! It's been too long or else I'm sure I'd come up with a few, too.

Eva said...

Oh my goodness, you have quite the repertoire and have given me some new ideas. You must be active all day long to fit all of that in. You've covered most of the things we do. We also have a toy that makes music when you kick it which they just started liking. We do a lot of reading and singing and talking. While I'm cooking (well, usually heating something up) I tend to entertain by waving random kitchen things around. And while folding laundry, sock twirling is quite entertaining. Geez, too many of my games revolve around household tasks, huh? Eric does puppet shows with these bird puppets we have. Sometimes if one of the babes is fussy, they'll calm down by looking at family photos on my computer. But I think we're a lot less interesting than you are!

Bon said...

delurking to say two, doesn't Ant eat the tissue paper? mine devours it like candy as soon as it comes within sight. :) but i appreciated all the other new ideas!

and two...the photos. i kept photos off my blog for the first six months or so largely because i lost my first child shortly after birth and i knew that a number of the people visiting the site knew me from that period and might be hurt by seeing baby photos. which i do respect. eventually, though, i came to the conclusion that since my life had undergone this massive change and much of my blog was intentionally and clearly about the living child, that keeping photos off was a form of living in the past, for me...and that most of those visiting the site expected to be confronted with the presence of that child, and were girded for that. we move from identity to identity and none should negate each other, but neither does not posting pictures really comfort those still struggling to get where we've gratefully found ourselves.

or that's my two cents. not that it necessarily is the same, for you.

lucky #2 said...

Ok...I am tired reading about your day of play! :) lol Great ideas!

As a teacher I have to say read Mother Goose nursery rhymes, poems, books that rhyme as much as possible. It is essential to early literacy habits. I feel it is NEVER to early to start developing those skills! :)

Felicity said...

I love seeing pics in Blogs, sometimes I miss the links!

Love the games you are playing, you have given me ideas!

We play a game with Oscar.. we hum the Batman or Superman theme songs and hold Oscar up pretending that he is flying through the air, swooping and spinning. He LOVES it!