Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bitty Baby School (6 Months)

Grace's Ready for Spring!

I obviously try to do lots of activities with Jonathan, but that doesn't mean that Grace is left behind. Here are some of the things we've done this month.

Books & Language 

Grace usually joins in with our book reading time in the morning. Jonathan and I do more one on one activities during Grace's morning nap. I do try to have time to read one on one with Grace and pull out some board books for the occasion. I hope to share some more of our favorites soon!

We also say a lot of nursery rhymes and sing a lot. She's very vocal and babbling quite a bit. She recently learned how to blow raspberries and finds it quite amusing!

Gross Motor Skills 

It's interesting to watch how different babies develop at different rates. Jonathan could not wait to be moving and exploring and wasn't very vocal. Grace, however, is very vocal, but she's pretty content to sit and observe. I think it's amazing that you can see these hints of personality so young, don't you? Jonathan rolled both ways by 6 months and was sitting by 7. Miss Grace seems to be taking her time-- which is fine, I don't know what I'll do when I have two mobile tots!

Grace is rolling from front to back, but not back to front. She figured out the former around 4 months old.  I think she likes being on her back better- it gives her a better chance to look around and see what's going on.  She's such a social girl! The only downside is that she likes to sleep on her stomach. We've been letting her do this ever since she had good head control and started rolling front to back, but the problem is that she'll often roll to her back in her sleep and then that will wake her up. It would be nice not to have to go in and roll her back over! So we've been doing some playtime exercises to help her:

I lay one of her floor blankets on the floor and put her in the center. Then I gently roll Grace back and forth like a rolling pin until I finally push her onto her tummy. I'll usually talk or sing to her as we play. This usually gets smiles from her!

Another game we play is shaking a rattle or some other interesting toy over her head. She'll reach for the toy, so I'll slowly move it away so she has to extend her reach.  I'll also lay her down on the floor in a direction where Jonathan is playing "behind" her so she has to turn her body to observe him. She loves watching her big brother! She's gotten pretty good at turning her body but isn't following her leg over. I'm not too worried though- it'll come!

I think she's close- she'll get there when she's ready!


Grace is getting pretty good at sitting with support. We'll often give her some time in the Bumbo. I put the tray table on the seat along with a few rattles and toys. The Bumbo seat gives her good practice in learning how to control those tummy muscles.

We also do gentle sit ups and play "up and down". I hold her hands and slowly pull her up to a sitting position. Then I gently lower her back down. She always has big smiles for this game!

Grace in the bumbo @ 5 mos.
She also loves to spend time in her jumper- she's getting very good at bouncing!

Fine Motor Skills 

Grace has pretty good fine motor skills. She loves her rattles, her winkel, anything she can move and manipulate. She will transfer items from hand to hand. She's starting to figure out that when she drops her rattle, it still exists. When she's in the bumbo seat, she'll look down on the ground for it.

Playing with her rattle
Grace also still enjoys her baby gym. She likes pulling on the different toys we put on it.

Creative Play 

Grace loves to explore different textures. For Christmas, my mother gave her two sensory toys that she's just starting to enjoy: sensory balls and sensory scarves. The colorful scarves came in a container where (when she's older) she can have fun pulling them out one by one and putting them back in. Right now, I just pull them out and let her play with them. She likes stroking the material and they're great for peek-a-boo! We do the same thing with other fabrics, such as flannel receiving blankets or socks. She loves to feel the texture of my sweaters, fleece blankets, the couch, etc. We talk about colors and how the fabric feels-- it's so fun that everything is new and interesting to her!

Playing with a scarf
The balls are a toy that we've just started to explore this month. I'll let her sit in her little princess seat and hold on to one of the smaller balls. I expect we'll be doing more with these as she begins to sit independently!

She also loves any toys with faces. She has a set of washable dolls that she likes to look at. She also has a LeapFrog dog that she's starting to really like looking at and touching. We'll play Peek-a-boo with the dolls as well.

Where's Grace? (Christmas 2010)
And we listen to lots of music! Baby Einstein is a favorite around our house-- it's great background music while we're playing in the playroom. We also have a couple CDs that are meant for babies. They are by Kimbo Educational and come with booklets giving you different games to play with each song. Our favorites are Baby Face and Diaper Gym. The earliest games involve bouncing, dancing, peek-a-boo, rocking, etc. It's so fun because Grace's face will actually light up when she hears the music- she knows it's playtime!

It's nothing very intense, but we've had a lot of fun together!

Being  camera shy

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