Young children learn through exploration of their environment. A safe and intentional space allows them the freedom to explore, practice new skills and have fun! This is especially true for infants and toddlers as they develop and learn new movement.
This resource from the Early Head Start Resource Center explores how to create a nurturing environment that is safe and accessible for infants and toddlers.
Best for infants around 1 mo. Infant should be lying in front of you. Hold your index fingers up to the infants fingers touch gently until they grasps each finger firmly. Gently pull baby forward and watch baby hold on tight, straighten arms and begin to sit forward. Smile and say things like, “look how strong you are”!
Goal: Supports the development of muscle and vision as baby focuses on your voice and face while using their arm and hand muscles.
Sit at a table, hold the baby in your arms in front of you, resting your elbows on the table. Tilt baby up at an angle so you are face to face with the baby. Gently, slowly rock and sing or hum to get babies attention. When baby is looking at you, speak to baby looking straight into baby’s eyes. Gently lower baby on his/her back and repeat.
Goal: Babies focus on the face and voice and build their neck muscles, which helps them hold their head up.