Although you might think that learning games are useless before the baby can even speak, the truth is that even in pre speech period, parents can help the little one develop language and social skills. The main point of the activities of this kind is to have a lot of interaction with the little one.
There are some games that you should play with the baby until he or she gets bored. As an example you could hide behind a blanket and peak out. This may look silly at first, but the little one learns about interaction, turn-taking, imprinting and social cue regarding emotions and facial expressions. This way the baby also learns the fact that even though she might not see certain objects, they still exist.
2. Introducing ‘Where’
This is a game that you could play with infants older than 4 months. The game is the reverse of peek-a-boo. You should hide behind a blanket and ask ‘where’s the baby?’. Then peak out from the blanket and say ‘there he is’.
You could change the game a bit and ask about persons or objects that are known to the little one. Your voice should be playful, but make sure that you are using the correct language. This way you can make sure that the little one will learn to speak correctly later.
3. The concept ‘No’
If the little one is older than 15 months, there is a new game for learning that you can introduce. You should hide something or someone behind a blanket. Then ask the question ‘where is…?’ and name something that’s not under the blanket. Then remove it and playfully say that it’s not it, and name the thing that you have hidden. This way the little one will develop observation, not to mention that he or she will learn about humor and will develop theproblem solving skills.
4. Adding new words
No matter where you are, you should name the simple objects. You should ask the little one what certain objects are and then name them. As the little one develops, you could also mention details regarding the objects such as color, size and even texture. This way the little one will learn the words and the objects will remain in his or her visual memory. Repetition is the main way to teach new things to the baby.
5. Body parts
When the baby is more than 10 months old you will see that he or she is playing with the fingers and toes. You could use this natural curiosity and name the different body parts. The easiest way to play this learning game is to point to the body parts and then name them. Just as in the previous case, repetition is an important part of the learning process. The good thing is that the little one will learn to answer the questions that you ask, even if this isn’t done verbally yet, but through pointing to the body parts.