Have you ever found yourself waiting in a long line with your child? This happens even more frequently during the busy holiday season when you’re trying to get all of your shopping done. Here are several fun ideas to keep your child busy while you wait, and an added bonus is that these activities promote development!
1) Scan your immediate environment and tell you child, “I see a rectangle (ex. magazine). Can you find one?” Once your child locates the item, encourage her to find a shape that you can search for. This can also be done using different colors. This is great for your child’s attention span and visual scanning skills.
2) Play several games of Simon Says while you wait. This activity promotes active listening skills.
3) Play the “Rhyme Game” by naming a word and having your child come up with as many rhyming words as possible. Naming rhyming words is great for language skills.
4) Practice counting (this can also be done counting by twos or counting backwards) or have him work on basic adding and subtraction problems to promote math skills.
5) Point out an item and have your child spell the word or one of the item’s characteristics (color, shape, etc.). This is good for language and spelling skills.
I was so pleased to be interviewed by USA Today for a story about my new book “Retro Baby, Cut Back on all the gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development with Time-Tested Activities.”
What gear should parents skip?
“Some popular baby products that child development expert Anne Zachry and other pediatric experts says parents don’t need:
1. Educational DVDs. Research indicates educational DVDs do not help babies learn. Various studies find either no difference in language acquisition between children who watched educational DVDs and those who didn’t, or that babies learn language better by interacting with live speakers than by passively listening to language coming from a DVD.
2. Sleep positioners, a flat or wedged mat intended to keep babies positioned on their back while sleeping. They are unnecessary and pose a suffocation risk, Zachry says.
3. Jumping devices, including Johnny Jump Up, Jumperoo, and Jump & Go. Some attach to door frames, others are freestanding. Those that suspend from a door frame pose dangers including head trauma, strangulation and whiplash. All versions encourage standing on the tiptoes, which is not good for baby’s feet, and excess jumping puts unnecessary stress on an infant’s legs, hips and spines.
4. Bath Seats. They provide support so a child can sit upright in an adult bathtub, but are capable of tipping over. Instead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using a hard plastic child bathtub and make sure you never leave a child unattended near water and always have at least one hand on the child while bathing him or her.
5. Bumper pads. There’s no proof that the pads, used to keep babies from bumping their heads against the slats of a crib, prevent serious injury. In fact, they are pose a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment.
6. Baby walkers. These wheeled seats are intended to give babies mobility and learn to walk. But children with have fallen into pools, down stairs, and over ledges and been burned when using walks and they may actually delay, not help when a child starts to walk. A safer option is a stationary activity center used in moderation – no more than 15 minutes a day.”
When a baby is born, she has 100 billion neurons in her brain. What are neurons? They are the building blocks of the brain! Early in life, the brain forms many connections among these neurons, and connections are a good thing. Why? Research tells us that more connections means greater potential for learning in the future. Can you believe, approximately 1,000 trillion connections typically grow to connect the neurons in the brain during the first 36 months of life? It’s true! Most importantly, the number of connections that form directly relates to a child’s life experiences. As parents, this means it’s important to provide your baby with excellent nutrition, lots of language, an emotional connection, as well as touch and movement. The more balanced yet stimulating baby’s environment, the more nurturing and supportive interactions provided, the greater number of neurologic connections that form. So now you know that it’s extremely important to cuddle, play with and talk to your baby as much as possible! Have fun!!!
“Put down your smartphone and pick up this book. With plain-spoken, concise wisdom, Dr. Zachry provides vital, research-backed information for parents of young children. Creative, interactive play with other children and adults supports healthy brain development in ways today’s technology never will. “Retro Baby” provides parents fun, money-saving activities that will set their children
up for lifelong success.”
Thanks for this wonderful review by:
Mark Bertin, MD, FAAP
Developmental pediatrician, author of The Family ADHD Solution:
A Scientific Approach to Maximizing Your Child’s Attention and Minimizing Parental Stress, and editorial advisor, Common Sense Media
To win a copy of “Retro Baby,” all you have to do is like the “Retro Baby” Facebook Page by clicking HERE, and send me a message explaining why you’d like to win a copy. The drawing will be in October. Good luck!!!!
Zachry, A. H. (2013). Retro Baby: Cut Back on all the Gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development with Over 100 Time-Tested Activities. Elk Grove, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. – See more at: http://drannezachry.com/wordpress/blog/#sthash.ds32rCAN.dpuf
Many babies and toddlers absolutely love playing with touch-screen technology—and it’s no wonder! The touch screen provides instant gratification with its cool images, movements, and sounds appealing to their senses. Understandably, many parents are thrilled with this interactive technology because, mostly through media ads, they’ve heard that babies can learn letters, numbers, words, and concepts. However, to date there is no research studying a connection between tablets or smartphones and infant learning.
Whether traveling in the car or waiting in the pediatrician’s office, it’s not uncommon for parents to hand over a smartphone, laptop, or tablet to their toddler. To parents, these devices act much like a babysitter, and with hundreds of apps available for young children, they’re increasingly appealing to little ones. Are there potential benefits or harms to babies being exposed to these interactive screens? Again, proper research hasn’t been completed, so there’s no scientific proof yet.
For older children, the interactive element allows them to learn concepts such as cause and effect and sequencing, but for babies still experiencing critical brain development, long-term effects remain unknown. When it comes to screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made a clear stance: it advises eliminating screen time for children younger than 2 years completely, linking it to language learning delays. It’s important to note that just like TVs, videos, and computers, tablets and cell phones have screens too.
Zachry, A. H. (2013). Retro Baby: Cut Back on all the Gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development with Over 100 Time-Tested Activities. Elk Grove, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
Is it possible to overuse baby equipment?
Are “educational DVDs” harmful?
Can stationary play centers be detrimental to your child’s development?
My new book, Retro Baby: Cut Back on all the Gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development with over 100 Time-Tested Activities discusses the importance of one-on-one play with children in the early stages of life and good old-fashioned bonding and recommends over 100 OT-approved activities.
Click Here to pre-order your copy now!
Pathways.org “strives to empower health professionals and parents with knowledge of the benefits of early detection and early intervention for children’s sensory, motor, and communication development.” Their website has some wonderful informational videos that I’m excited to share with you. Please check them out!
Sensory Processing Videos by Pathways.org
Tummy Time Video by Pathways.org
Typical/Atypical Development by Pathways.org
The Importance of Early Therapy by Pathways.org
Does your baby hate tummy time? With time and a few simple techniques, any infant can learn to tolerate tummy time. My website www.TummyTimeTips.com provides tips on how to introduce tummy time and increase an infant’s tolerance without making parents’ and baby’s life miserable. To visit the site, just click HERE!
Congrats to Viorletta for winning the AAP Autism Book!
Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Every Parent Should Know is a new resource published by the American Academy of Pediatrics that provides information on the most current types of behavioral and developmental therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Here are several facts taken directly from the book:
-Recent research suggests that one child in every 88 will be diagnosed with autism.
-Studies suggest that mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to have babies with ASD.
-Based on 29 studies since 1999, scientists report no evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
-Between 25 to 30% of children who develop autism appear to be developing normally, then regress, losing many or all of their language and social skills.
-Early signs of ASD are not pointing to draw attention and limited social interaction.
-Early intervention and treatment leads to better outcomes for individuals with ASD.
For a chance to win future books and prizes, all you have to do is “like” my Facebook page and sign up for my newsletter. You will be entered in the next drawing! Good Luck!!!