Month 4 Activities
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Upon completion of the 4th trimester, all I can say is it has been a delight to see LO’s developmental changes along the way. Our communication has improved drastically – LO has been babbling a lot, squealing with joy and laughing out loud when she’s happy and crying to express discomfort or frustration when she’s hard at work and unable to solve a problem. Here are some activities which we’ve enjoyed in month 4.
LO has been reaching out to interact with anything in her arm’s reach by grasping, batting and trying to bring them to her mouth too. We offer her a variety of safe grasping toys of different textures and sizes to facilitate this development need. Typically, we offer them during her tummy time or when she’s on our lap. Check out the month 4 shelfie for our favorite grasping toys.
We also introduced the hanging wooden beads in her activity gym as a tactile mobile and was a great hit. These grasping beads certainly sparked curiosity since they offer a different perspective when hung as a mobile. Also, she uses these beads to grab and roll over on to her tummy. Check out the Instagram post about these versatile beads.
As with any activity, we always supervise LO when she’s working and never leave her unattended, even though things may seem secure.
Mirrors for play
Mirrors are a part of the Montessori environment from the very beginning and are a great source of visual stimulation. The mirror in LO’s nursery is an acrylic one rather than real glass. In recent times, she has been enjoying seeing her face in the mirror, smiling and making expressions. Although babies don’t recognize themselves in the mirror until about 18 months or so, they are certainly entertained looking at their face. Sometimes I do get down to her level, lie down next to her and we both look into the mirror and enjoy giggling. 😊
The good frustration
LO has been trying to reach for objects near her during the tummy time, although she hasn’t started moving yet. We intentionally add a little challenge by placing the object a teeny bit away from her reach. While this motivates her to move, she expresses frustration to demonstrate her desire to grab it. A little fussing is totally okay since it’s a sign of working hard and we don’t interrupt her. We assist her only if she’s too unhappy.
Bell on a ribbon
This is the first among the tactile mobile series and is an easy DIY with a simple Christmas ornament. When LO showed signs of reaching and batting the Gobbi mobile, we introduced this as the following mobile. These are great to help babies understand the cause and effect i.e. batting the bell produces sound. This was very evident from LO’s work too since we saw her grasp / batting evolve from unintentional to intentional. Check out our Instagram post about this tactile mobile.
While we play and read in her nursery, there are other areas in the home where we spend a bulk of our time. So I have a little basket with a few textured noms which are safe for LO to mouth, such as a wooden teether, a silicone teether and a plush rattle and is easy to be carried around too. It’s certainly not the quantity of toys but providing toys with a purpose that can keep LO engaged for long.
Touch and feel book
The Touch and Feel Farm has become one of our favorite reads. While we have read the book in the past multiple times, LO has been showing deeper interest to feel different textures off late. She likes to stroke the dog’s fur among all the textures in the book. 😊 To make it a fun read, we sing Old McDonald had a farm and make the noises of the animal in each page. Check out the Instagram post about this favorite book.
Language and mental development
Finger puppet book
Finger puppets are great means to develop baby’s visual skills and finger puppet books make reading a lot more interactive, apart from facilitating visual development. We picked up this adorable little finger puppet book at a local nursery and LO gets fascinated every time I animate the baby orca with my finger movements. It almost feels like the character comes live. Check out the Instagram post about this book.
Finger plays are fun activities to keep babies engaged while providing excellent opportunities for language development. They are little rhythmic stories involving repetition of short and simple phrases. Adding actions / movement of hand or arm to those simple phrases help establish connection between the word and the action. Some of our favorite finger plays include itsy bitsy spider, five little ducks and baby shark.
How can I not mention the classic Tamil finger play, Kai Veesamma Kai Veesu! As I recite this rhyme to LO, I hold her arm gently and swing whenever I say “Kai Veesu”. Also I act out words such as candy, eat, shirt, temple, pray. She certainly likes the swinging of the arm more than anything else. 😊
Social and emotional skills
There has been a lot of babbling this month, which is key for language development as LO tries to imitate the lip movements and communicate in her own way. When she is in a playful mood, she produces a range of noises and in varying pitch too and we imitate it as well while maintaining eye-contact to further strengthen the social interaction.
Getting the giggles
Babies love silly voices and animated facial expressions. Sharing giggles are a wonderful bonding experience with the baby and encourages a healthy outlook towards life. Try to find what causes the giggle and continue doing it; they love repetition. For example, just saying “ki ki ki” like a parrot resulted in continuous laughter for LO. Trying out different ways to be silly has helped us discover her favorites. 😊
As always, follow your child! These activities are meant to spark ideas for baby’s developmental needs; some may work, and some may not. You could even try tweaking the activities to your needs with the resources you have and not necessarily with the toys that has worked for us. The goal is to provide an environment for the child to develop his/her needs at their own pace.