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Games to Play With Newborns

Talking and Singing

Infants respond to voices even before they are born. Talk and sing to your child throughout daily routines. Your child may not understand your words, but she delights in the tone and pitch of your voice as you speak. Talk to your child during diaper changes, feedings and baths. Older infants will mimic your sounds and facial expressions. Repeat a particular sound over and over, and then change sounds. Your baby will look at your face when she realizes the sound has changed.

Sound Games

Babies enjoy musical toys such as mobiles and squeaky toys. Move the toy while it makes a sound so that your child identifies the source of the sound. Expose your child to different sounds made by a wind chime, keys or a rattle. Shake the objects slowly or quickly to vary the sound. Let the child touch it and make sounds, to teach cause and effect. Play music and gently move the infant's arms and legs to the rhythm.

Sight Games

Newborns prefer to see familiar faces and strongly contrasting images. Show your child photographs of family members she sees regularly. Point to your eyes, nose and mouth; and then point to the same features of the person in the photograph. Infants find pictures and books of black, white and red images visually interesting. Choose brightly colored toys and books for newborns two or three months of age. Show your child everyday objects and watch the child's eyes track the object as you move it around. Put it out of sight, and then surprise the baby with it.

Sensory Games

Sensory experiences help infants understand and interact with the world. Gently help your child feel different textures on pillows, books or toys. Describe the texture simply, such as "soft" or "bumpy." Remember that your child may never have experienced a particular sensation and may become startled. If this happens, smile calmly at your baby and continue to talk to her to reassure her. Help her feel the texture again if she appears calmer. Slowly expose your child to many different sensory experiences such as lotion, water, a fan, carpet and grass. Feeding time presents an excellent opportunity for sensory games.

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