What does a sheep say? An animal game for babies.

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Activity: What does the sheep say? Animal sound game for babies. 

Although babies can often play on their own for a while, we must remember that they need stimulation. Even if they are 6 weeks old, they are willing and ready to play with us. Animal sounds are great for language development and what is even better for them is to have a visual of this animal. I started asking my daughter this question when she was about 2 months old and by 8 months, she surprised me with an enthusiastic "BAAAA". I thought of incorporating the animals since as I was reading to my newborn son, he seemed more interested in eating the book rather than hearing the story. I wanted to make sure he wasn't missing out on story time, so I needed to think outside the box. As I watched my daughter playing with her Little People Farm, I realized I could bring story time to life with the animals! Like magic, my son was captivated! Below, you will find the info you need to do this activity with your baby.

Target Age:

As of birth

Materials:

You can use any animal figurine (such as Little People farm animals), stuffed animals or puppets

activity layout:

When creating a story, use your child's name as well. and keep it simple. For instance, "Once upon a time, there was a cow (show your baby the cow) who wanted to come play with _________ (point to your baby). The cow said moooo to ________. The sheep, (show them the sheep) also wanted to play with them. What does a sheep say? Baaaaaa said the sheep to the cow (show the cow) and to _______ (your baby). This is an example of how you can play with the animals and your baby. When changing their diaper, feeding them or even during a car ride, you can ask them "What does the sheep say?" Wait then say Baaaaa. Although it will take a few months before you actually get an answer to your question, they love hearing the animal sounds and its great for their development! As a bonus, recounting the story to them in the car might even get them to stop crying!

As your child is doing tummy time, you can also walk the animals across the floor so that they can learn to follow it. Eventually, they will reach out for the animal. Around 5-6 months of age, set the animal a certain distance away from them and let them try to get it on their own. 

As a bonus, you can also have your older child help you create a story (to help build on their creativity, vocabulary etc.). Guide them through it and if they block...give them time to think about it before helping them. For instance, my toddler might say, "one upon a time there was a cow" and she might end it there. I wait a little then, prompt her with, "What was the cow doing? Was the cow playing? Who was the cow playing with?". 

Which Developmental Milestones does this activity promote?  

This activity aims to help babies with 2 and 4 month milestones for both language and cognition. See below for full details. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

Developmental Milestones: Your baby at 2 months 

Developmental Milestones: Your baby at 2 months 

Developmental Milestones: Your baby at 4 months

Developmental Milestones: Your baby at 4 months

I hope you enjoy this activity with your baby. In my following posts focusing on babies, I will discuss how to use a mirror for playtime as well as how to create a "discovery box".

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Have fun playing!! 

Cindy

Cindy Hovington, PhD 

Founder of Curious Neuron