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3 months might not seem to be too long, but it is definitely long enough for your newborn to grow into a bigger, more alert child. By this time, your child might be settling into a sleep pattern and developing in terms of her interaction with the world- this is sure to give you a much-needed respite from the constant fussing and fretting over the child.
Games can help your baby develop its skills further, and improve the way it interacts with the world. 3 months might seem like too young an age to start playing games, but is that it is never too early for development. So let us take a look at a few 3-month-old baby development activities which can help your child in a great manner.
What Skills are Expected to Develop in a 3 Month-Old Child?
As a parent, there are a few things you can expect from your child at the age of 3 months. Some of these are given below.
- Your child will be able to reach out and grasp things, but for a brief amount of time.
- The neck and back muscles of the baby start to strengthen around this time, so this would be a great period to start laying the child on his tummy.
- Your child will be able to communicate in babble and baby talk, and also laugh and smile at your actions.
- Learning takes place, and your child follows toys and people when they move around. They will also be able to understand if their mother has left the room.
- You can start laying the groundwork for the vocabulary of the child by talking to them as much as possible.
Fine Motor Activities for 3-Month-Old Babies
These games help your child develop her motor skills, in a fun manner.
- Make your baby lie on her back and place or hold toys at a position out of her reach. Make her reach for the toy.
- Try action songs with your child, and make her do the actions as much as possible. Clapping and pat-a-cake are great alternatives, too.
- Give your child clean toys which she can hold and mouth as she pleases. This increases her grip strength and improves her motor skills. However, remember to give her something that is large enough so that choking never happens.
Gross Motor Activities for Three Months Baby
Gross motor activities at this age help the child strengthen the muscles of her neck and back. Tummy time is something that should be started now, under the supervision of the mother.
- You can encourage her to support her own head at this age, in a simple manner. Place the child on your lap with her back and neck supported well, and encourage your child to look at you by making funny noises.
- Tummy time can be carried out by placing the baby on her tummy and keeping toys just out of her reach. You can even lie down face-to-face with your child, and encourage her to lift her face and look up at you.
- Change her positions as much as you can, frequently. You can place her on her belly for some time, then make her lie on her back, or sit well supported for a few minutes. This will pique her curiosity, as she has a different view of the world around her always. Also, remember to talk to her about this as much as possible.
Communicating and Imitating Activities for 3-Month-Old Infants
After motor skills, you must also set aside time for play activities for 3-month-old babies just to improve her communication skills.
- Help your child look around the room, by calling out her name from different positions around the room. Remember to praise her or snuggle her if she looks at you after you have called.
- Try to make your child imitate the sounds you make. You can start this game by imitating the child yourself, and smile when she looks up curiously at you. This will help her understand she can communicate with her mother using her voice.
- At this age, your child has already started to develop her language skills. So always talk to her and paint a picture with words, so that she hears a range of words and tries to place those sounds with what they are seeing.
Learning activities at this age stimulate the brain of your child and help it develop well over time.
- Encourage her to follow something she sees as it moves, using toys. You can place the child on her tummy on the floor, and roll a ball to see if she follows its track with her eyes. You can always use a rattle to get her interest if she does not seem to mind you at first.
- In order to help your child understand her name, say it as much as possible around her. You can even sing songs with her name so that she understands that it has some meaning with regard to her. Her name will be one of the first words she understands.
- Change your tone as much as possible, so that emotions are communicated using the tone of your voice. You can modulate your voice while you sing lullabies to her.
- Let her learn her surroundings through touch, and provide lots of different textures for your child to explore. Everyday surfaces inside the home are good enough to start with, so encourage her to feel cushions, wood floors and carpets first.
Cognitive Development Activities for 3 Months Old
Cognitive Development activities for your child also help improve her cognitive skills and have a direct impact on her intelligence and personality as she grows up.
- Read as much as possible to your child. Start with picture books, so that she can see what you are trying to convey to her. Children will love looking at the colourful images in front of them while hearing your contrasting voice.
- Talk to her about anything and everything- you can start by telling your child about how your day was. Make sure to vary your tone a lot, and maintain a lot of eye contact with her while you speak to her.
- Place mirrors around her in which she can see an image of herself. She might be too young to understand that the images are a reflection of herself, but she is sure to love the person in the mirror who is constantly moving and waving her arms.
- Give your child toys that make lots of varying noises. This will help her understand the cause and effect of hitting particular noises, and she is sure to love the pleasant sounds that come out of the toys as she plays with them.
- Show your child that different items make different noises when you touch or hit them. You can use items which have contrasting sounds, like a rattle or a bell and a drum. Your child will be able to understand the differences between various objects and their sounds soon enough.
- Provide new textures for him that she can not only touch but can also mouth. This also helps her understand some of the differences between various objects when she sees them.
Sensory activities for your child aim to improve her five senses and the ways in which she uses them.
- To start with, you can hang something very colourful above her crib. It should also move around with the wind so that it is possible for your child to follow the colours easily with her eyes. This does a great job of providing visual stimulation.
- Get your child get used to the sense of touch, by gently touching and tickling her. She will understand the importance of touch soon, as she giggles because of your touch.
- To improve her sense of skin, it is important that there is a lot of skin-to-skin contact between the child and her parent.
- To help the baby develop her listening skills, sing lots of songs to her. You should also talk to her constantly, and call her name out as much as possible. This also helps her develop her vocabulary skills as time passes.
- In the mirrors present around her, tap the image and say the name of the baby aloud. As time passes, she will be able to understand the girl in the mirror is herself.
- Touch different parts of the child and say ‘beep’ out loud. Your baby might start watching the movement of your hand and begin to anticipate your touch before it happens.
Contrary to popular belief, you should not encourage your child to sleep as much as possible. Even at an age as young as 3 months, your baby might be starting to understand the world around her in a limited manner. This is the time when her brain and muscles start to develop quicker, so it is extremely important that you stimulate both her senses and her motor skills. The activities of 3 month-old baby boys and girls might seem extremely incoherent to you, but that is just your baby trying to explore the world around her using her senses. It has been found that such games and activities have a direct impact on the intelligence of your child when she grows up- therefore, it is never too early to start playing development games!