When my kids were still babies, one of my favourite times with them was often play time. Play time is also learning time for young babies, their senses like sight, touch, sound and smell play key roles in the way they learn.
Fisher-Price has created a brand new way to help engage many of those senses at the same tie with the Bright Beats Dance & Move Beatbo toy!
Who loves to move? BeatBo does! Get the dance party started by pressing BeatBo's tummy or any of the other buttons on his feet to activate fun songs, learning content and dance moves. This futuristic friend even allows mommy or baby to record a phrase, and he'll remix it into his favourite song!
BeatBo has three modes - Dance n' Move, Learning & Games, and Customized Sing-Along. BeatBo also "grows" with your baby, making him a friends for years to come. Toys like BeatBo are awesome because they are so interactive and fun, your little one doesn't even realize they are learning while they're laughing.
Taking a few lessons from BeatBo, here are a few ways to engage your little one's senses for maximized learning at playtime:
One of your little one's first senses to develop is hearing. Encourage this through singing and speaking to your baby as much as possible. While it can be easy to revert to a "baby voice", speak to your baby as if they are a more developed child. Sing nursery rhymes or narrate what you're doing to your baby so they can learn all the different sounds they will one day be learning to speak.
We would always make up our own songs and add in familiar names and things. Now that she is almost three, our youngest loves singing and saying rhymes with us.
Sight is another great way to engage your baby, even before they learn to speak. Show your baby a variety of different toys. Stimulating your baby's sight teaches them to recognize patterns, objects and even develop their memory. Try holding up different shaped and coloured blocks and state to them what each one is - before you know it, they'll be able to call it out before you can!
Taste and smell.
After about six months of age, babies are usually ready to start eating solids. When they reach that age and you've made the decision with your baby's doctor to start introducing solids slowly. When you offer new foods to your little one - try allowing them to smell it first so they can learn what different smells go with what. Once you actually begin feeding them the food, try reinforcing what the item is by saying phrases like "yummy, broccoli" or "Mmm, Apples!". Eventually they'll be able to recognize the smells of their favourite (or least favourite) foods during meal times.
Touch is an essential element that helps your child learn. From the texture of the clothes we dress them in to the variety of textures in their toys, there is so much for your little one to learn. If your little one is interested in a particular toy, try repeating the texture to them. For example, "BeatBo's feet are shiny and his ears are soft". You could also comment on opposite textures like "your shirt is soft but the floor is hard".
Just like with Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo, your baby will learn so much more if all their senses are engaged!
This month we're offering AME readers the chace to win 1 of 2 Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo valued at $49.99!