How to Create a Baby Genius Without Television
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made it clear that television viewing by children under the age of two is not recommended. Tell that to parents who are the targets of marketers promoting DVDs and television programming claiming to transform babies into geniuses! However, AAP continues to assert its opinion that TV may adversely affect a child’s development during these critical early years. So, what’s better than so-called “genius” videos? That’s easy! There are plenty of activities for parents and their little ones that will help to enrich their baby’s mind, create a stronger body, and encourage parent-baby bonding.
Reading–It is never too early to introduce a child to the wonderful world of reading! Babies love looking at the bold, colorful images in picture books and can never get enough of hearing mom or dad’s voice. The cadence of a parent’s voice reading a nursery rhyme can be soothing to a fussy baby. High-contrast pictures, especially those that are black, white, and red are good for the developing eyes of the youngest babies. Early reading also helps to foster a child’s love for reading–a love that may positively affect a child’s literacy and educational success in the future.
Singing–Don’t worry! Babies don’t mind that your pitch isn’t perfect. They just love the sound of your voice, no matter the octave. Silly songs during playtime and lullabies during naptime both help create a sensory environment for babies, which stimulate their little brains. You could just play a CD, but babies prefer your not-so-perfect singing voice and find it more soothing than any classical music CD. Take that, Mozart!
Dancing–They don’t call them bouncing baby boys for nothing! Babies love movement–boys AND girls for that matter. For older toddlers, encourage them shake their little booties by demonstrating a few of your dance moves. Dancing is fun and teaches them that moving is a good thing–a lifetime lesson that will help prevent a sedentary lifestyle as they get older.
Talking–You may not completely understand each other yet, but talking to baby teaches them basic language skills, which is a complex feat! In fact, some researchers believe that talking to babies can actually improve their language development because they pick up speech patterns during conversations with mom and dad. If you don’t have much to say, simply narrating what you’re doing is a great way to interact with baby.
Breathing–Breathing fresh air, that is. Take baby outside to not only enjoy the scents of nature, but also the sights, sounds, and textures to stimulate baby’s senses. Find some open space and let baby explore. All of this is new to her, so the grass, sky, trees, and are part of an exciting adventure!
Remember that there is no replacement for parent-child interactions. Parents are what’s best for our children; TV, video games, hand-held electronic devices, and the like cannot replace YOU.