A lot of time with a newborn is spent engaged in routines together; sleeping, feeding and changing nappies and never-ending job lists seem to get longer. Society seems to think that babies can’t play games until they can sit and control their limbs better; however, you can play this easy game with your baby. You can start playing this together from week 1.
I call it the ‘Pattern Game’. It’s super simple and super beneficial for your new baby.
The benefits of this game?
– Provides lots of sensory input to the pressure and stretch receptors in joints and muscles
– It gives your baby new tactile input
– It stimulates their brain, with incoming input coming from both the left and right side of their body – helping both sides of the brain to work and communicate together
– Helps to get muscles and joints ready for moving, growing and learning
– It’s an opportunity to bond with your baby (or for other important adults in your life to bond with your new bub).
Now, for the instructions…
- Lay your baby on their back in front of you
- Gently hold their hands and make a pattern – for example, tap tummy three times, then clap twice then tummy 3 times
- Continue making different patterns using their arms and hands on different parts of their body
- Then swap to using their legs and feet, for example, bend legs twice then tap feet together twice, then repeat
- Continue to make different patterns using your bubs legs and feet
– Be sure to gently move your bub each time (joints and muscles are still fragile)
– Make sure each major joint is used and stretched
– Explore the pressure (for example, on tummy, on the base of feet)
– Think about how you can use your hands to make a pattern on bub’s tummy, soles of their feet or back (such as tickly fingers, rubbing, tapping).
Here’s some other great play time ideas for you and your little one!