Dr. B (AKA my sister) has a doctorate in school psychology specializing in early childhood development. She is gonna help us figure out what the hell to do with our babies. After two weeks, Mazzy is finally beginning to understand the roll portion of Ball Roll which is kind of exciting. And Music & Movement has literally changed our lives. If you don't know the definition of fun, then give yourself and your baby both a maraca, turn on the soundtrack from Slumdog Millionaire and dance your heart out while holding the baby in your arms. Plus, with the addition of farm animal puppets and Old MacDonald set on repeat, Mazzy now knows how to BAH like a sheep and how to snort like a pig. We're very proud. Today Dr. B is introducing us to a more sophisticated game. And no, she's not suggesting the babies play Scruples or have a blindfolded wine tasting. She's talking about an Obstacle Course. This is not a joke people. Dr. B is the real deal.
Introduce at: 9-12 months (or when your baby starts to crawl and/or stand with assistance)
How you play: Create a homemade obstacle course using pillows, cushions, blankets, boxes and other things that your baby will enjoy climbing over or going through. Guide your baby to crawl through a tunnel made by propping two couch cushions against each other and then assist him/her into the standing position as he/she walks up a mountain of pillows. You can also create a pathway or maze for your baby to navigate. Make use of walls and furniture to create boundaries. Start small and provide lots of praise as your child moves through each part. If necessary, use a preferred toy (like a cellphone) to dangle just beyond your baby's reach to motivate him/her to complete the course until he/she knows what is expected. Repeat the same course many times as your baby learns to move faster and with less assistance.
Why its good for the baby: This type of physical activity enhances gross motor development, hand eye coordination, balance, and visual spatial skills. In addition, your baby will begin to gain confidence as he/she learns to walk.