Thursday, November 4, 2010

Visual Stimulation Activities

One of the things I have done with both of my children as newborns was to do some visual stimulation activities.

What is visual stimulation?
Research shows that black and white patterns help stimulate a baby's brain.
In the first couple weeks of life, a baby's eyes are adjusting to the world. Almost everything appears fuzzy, but babies can see black and white shapes, especially those that are in a pattern. These patterned images help the baby's vision and brain to develop by stimulating those receptors.

Note: Research has also shown that newborns can only focus on objects 8-12 inches away from them. Therefore, try to stay within that space when interacting with your newborn.

Also, be wary of over-stimulation. Although you want to help your newborn learn, you want to be careful not to overstimulate baby. Infants can get overstimulated very easily and therefore experience stress. 5 or 10 minutes of looking at pictures may be all your newborn can handle! See how to handle overstimulation

What Activities Can You Do?

Here are some ideas...

Hang black and white pictures or cards up in an area where baby can see them (such as in the crib, the diaper changing area, or near a bouncy seat)

Make a black and white mobile

Hang laminated black and white pictures from a baby gym

Play tracking games with the black and white pictures

Make a black/white picture book for baby

Show and read black/white books to baby
Make a PowerPoint (or some other slide show) program for baby to watch with black/white designs.
And you can always buy some visually stimulating toys

These are great activities that are easily portable!

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