Babies start to use all their senses as they develop, doing different things at the same time. Some activities, like unwrapping, can be useful to stimulate that development.
A baby’s skills are developing very quickly at this stage. Almost every week, parents will be seeing some new development.
Ask the whānau:
- What have you and baby been up to since last time we were together?
- What is baby interested in at the moment?
Affirm what parents have been noticing.
When baby was a newborn, too many sights, sounds and textures all at once could be overstimulating. But now they’re multi-tasking all on their own. Using all their senses, they’ll try to explore and manipulate whatever they can reach.
They’ll be grasping, mouthing, shaking, banging, dropping and then throwing things to see what happens and what they can make happen. This is called cause-and-effect testing and is the beginning of problem solving.
In Whakatipu Te Pihinga 2, page 8, whānau say:
‘We notice the types of taonga tākaro that pēpi is interested in. Lids that open and shut, and things to bang, shake and make noises with are lots of fun. Their little fingers love to explore, poking and pulling, and that waha still loves to taste test everything.'
Pepi is learning to “multi-task” using information from her senses all at once, e.g., reach, poke, mouth, grab, listen and look.
- Have you made any activities for baby lately?
- What are some of the things pēpi likes to play with from around the house that you’re happy for them to have?
- What sort of multi-tasking have you seen them doing?
Affirm what the parents have been noticing.
Invite the whānau to do the following unwrapping activity with baby (take some squares of material with you just in case they’re needed, but there’s probably something suitable in the home). You could introduce it like this:
‘Shall we see if baby is interested in doing some problem solving today, with this unwrapping activity?
‘I have some pieces of material here, but we could use something from around the house. What might you have that you’re happy to use instead?
‘Choose a small toy that you know baby is familiar with and then wrap it in the cloth. Let baby see you wrap it, and then offer it to them and see what they do.
‘What might we do to encourage baby’s interest?
‘Do you think baby might need some help to get started?
<.p>‘What could we say or do to get them involved?’
Whānau can extend this activity by using different wrappings and different objects, and rather than offering the parcel to baby, they could place it down in front of them and see what they do.