During this phase of development, your baby is learning how to organize his attention between himself, another person and a third object. Your baby’s short periods of attention to objects are very important and lay the foundation for later learning. This fun game will help support your baby’s development of establishing and maintaining his attention to simple objects.
- a clean, soft blanket or quilt
- four interesting, baby-safe objects or toys (e.g., rattle, soft block, stuffed toy, musical toy, small board book)
Step 1: Set up a safe place on the floor for your baby. You might place a clean, soft blanket or quilt on the floor for him to lie on.
Step 2: Place your baby on his tummy on top of the blanket. Position yourself on the floor next to him.
Step 3: Place two of the objects or toys on the floor in front of him. The objects should be spaced about 12 inches apart from one another. Be sure that the objects are within your baby’s reach.
Step 4: When he begins to show interest in one of the objects, either by eye gaze, head turning, reaching or pointing, follow his lead by verbally responding to the initiation. Comment on his interest using a higher pitch, slow and exaggerated voice.
For example, if he looks at and reaches for a colorful rattle, respond to his choice by saying, “Kyle sees his rattle! Look at all of the bright colors! I see blue, and yellow, and orange. Wow! So many colors! Let’s listen! Shake, shake, shake! I hear the sound!”
Step 5: Your baby is more likely to maintain his attention toward an object that he has interest in and self-chooses. Be sure to follow his lead and let him explore the object of his choice. He may want to touch it, hold it, or explore it with his mouth. When baby shifts his attention to the other object, respond by shifting your attention and verbalizations to the other object.
Step 6: When your baby no longer shows interest in the objects, change out the objects or toys for two different ones and repeat the activity.
Step 7: Discontinue when baby is unable to maintain his attention to the objects or toys. He will let you know when he is ready to stop!