When it comes to your baby, I want you to remember that you are your baby's most important toy. Babies have an absorbent mind in that they are soaking up everything around them effortlessly. Maria Montessori discovered that children are in the unconscious absorbent mind phase during the first three years of life. They can absorb vast amounts of information effortlessly without any awareness of what is actually happening. Children learn by mimicking us - their parents and caregivers - during those first years. So keep in mind that you are, in fact, your baby's most important toy; interacting with your child is how they learn.
During the first year of life, children are in the sensitive period for movement, which means they are in a developmental window where it is easier to learn those early gross motor skills. It is really astonishing to think about how much babies develop and learn to move within that first year. From rolling over, grasping, sitting up, and even walking, babies are constantly moving more and more. This is why we need to help them meet their full potential during this developmental window. It is imperative to set aside time in your day when your baby is rested and happy to interact intentionally with them. Intentional interactions are moments where your sole focus is on your baby. To encourage movement while interacting with your baby, you can create an Exploration Basket to use together once they can sit up independently.
This basket doesn't need to be complicated. They are meant to be an easy and affordable way to engage intentionally with your baby. To create an Exploration Basket, you first need to find a basket with low sides. Having a short basket lets your baby see what is inside easily, motivating engagement! Once you have found the perfect basket, it's time to find some engaging items to add to it. The easiest way to do this is to use safe objects from around your house.
The options are endless, but here are three rules to follow when choosing items for your baby’s exploration basket:
An exploration bin is an easy and excellent developmental boosting activity for you to use to interact with your baby intentionally. Happy exploring!
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