Pumpkin Dr. B (AKA my sister) has a doctorate in school psychology specializing in early childhood development. Last week she taught us baby bath time multi-tasking and this week, she's getting spooky with some Halloween inspired fun. Let me know how it turns out; I'll be in the closet hoarding Kit-Kats and mini Snickers bars.

Introduce at: Birth

How you play: Create a pumpkin light by covering a large flashlight with orange plastic wrap. Draw a pumpkin face or paste black paper cut-outs on the plastic wrap. Dim the lights and turn on the flashlight. Move the pumpkin light slowly so that your child can track the light with his/her eyes. Move the light on the floor, wall, or ceiling and point the pumpkin light toward different objects in the room and name them.  If your baby is crawling, encourage him/her to crawl toward the pumpkin light. You can also let your child hold the light and move it around the room. For older babies, you can show your child how to turn the flashlight on and off.

Why its good for the baby: At one week after birth, babies can see red, orange, yellow and green. At two to three months, babies begin to learn how to shift their gaze from one object to another without moving their head. By six months, babies are able to move their eyes more quickly and accurately to follow moving objects. Looking at moving objects helps babies develop their visual tracking skills, while encouraging babies to move toward objects helps them develop hand-eye-body coordination. Turning the flashlight on and off is good for fine motor development and for developing an understanding of the cognitive concept of cause and effect.