The summer months are here…at last. This year will be different with the kids as we have already spent such a long time at home. It’s a hard time but a wonderful time. When will we ever get time like this time again to spend with our families and watch our children grow? We are all starting to realise how much time we actually spend at work or at other activities outside of our family life.

I really like ‘The Naming Game’ that features in issue 12/month 12 of our Growing Child Programme. And this is what I am going to look at this week.

At this stage of development your baby learns so much more quickly from a combination of sight and sound. What we mean by this is that the more you say the name of an object as your baby sees it, the more quickly their intellect develops.

For example, if you are giving your child an apple to eat, say ‘Here is an apple for you to eat’ and so on. This makes the connection in Baby’s mind between what he sees on the plate and the words you use to describe it.

There are two rules to the naming game:

  1. Keep it short and simple.
  2. Talk about the things that interest your baby.

Whilst dressing your baby, talk about what part of their bodies are going into what area of clothing. This probably comes naturally to you, but it’s something we all need to be reminded about. When bathing, feeding, or playing with your baby point to the objects they may be interested in and name them. At the supermarket you can point out different items like fruit, crackers, nappies… your baby will soon pick up as their little brains are like sponges.

Another way to involve the Naming Game is by using Books! Books are great for all sorts of things to help with brain development and learning. It also helps to bring you and your baby closer.  SOOC are currently running a book review on books for children!

Another thing you could try doing whilst your baby is young and you have time on your hands. Get a few sheets of A4 paper, fold in half and make your baby their very own personalised book. You can include pictures of family members (maybe they haven’t seen in a while) cut outs of their favourite toys, favourite foods. Within this book you could also include different items for your baby to touch – clothing material, buttons, tin foil and so on. This will soon become your baby’s favourite book!

There are lots more topics to read about in our month 12 issue.

Developmental Check List for Month 12:

The first year has been busy and you have achieved some amazing developmental milestones! Give yourself and your baby lots of praise!

A feature of the Growing Child Programme which is very helpful is the Developmental checklist every 6 months. You can see how much your child has developed and changed over the last 12 months using this! You also must remember every child is different and grows at different speeds! The topics covered in the checklist are:

  • Vision
  • Social/emotional
  • Motor (fine)
  • Motor (gross)
  • Communication

Things to do in Month 12 with your baby:

  • Use the Naming Game to spot different objects in the home.
  • Read a book with your baby and point out objects, let your baby turn the pages.
  • Give your baby opportunities to listen to new/different sounds.
  • Give your baby containers with lids so they can practice putting them on and taking them off.
  • Check the developmental checklist to see how much your baby has developed over the past 12 months.

Next week Mary will look at ‘Physical Development’. I hope you enjoyed and found this useful. And of course we have lots more to share with you in our complete Growing Child Programme.