Our baby’s sense of hearing is the most developed sense at birth and that is why they are able to conduct a hearing test within hours of them being born. It can take many months for our little ones to understand the noise that they are hearing and be able to identify where a noise is coming from and this is where we can help them.
Dive into your toy box and have a look for some toys that sound differently. For young babies we are lying them down to play on their backs and shaking the toy in front of them starting and stopping frequently so they can look at the toy and listen to the noise. The next stage is to hold the toy to the side, shake it and see if you they can turn their head in response to the noise to identify where it is coming from. Your mission then is to try another toy so they begin to understand that things you can shake sound different. Once our little ones have some head and neck control you can do this activity in tummy time too. As their sense of space and grip develops you can give the the toy to shake and encourage them to move it, this helps them develop their gross motor control (the bigger muscles in the body) as well as their fine motor control, the smaller muscles in the body.
Some of our favourite toys to shake feature in our images here and include
- Bright starts links – you can find out more about links and why we love them here
- Halilit Rainmaker – such a great visual toy too!
- Halilit Cage Bell
- Egg shakers
- mini maracas
Making your own musical shakers is easy, take a bottle and fill it with things that look and sound different. Great things to consider are beads, lentils and pasta. Please make sure that your little one can’t get into the bottle and that the lid is secure to ensure that it doesn’t become a choking hazard.
This is an activity to keep repeating and scale it up as your little one develops. Have lots of fun and we’d love to hear how you get on!
Safety first – as always make sure that your little one is in eye sight and arms reach at all times