Early childhood intervention (ECI) strategies favor the development of skills and abilities during childhood. Scientific research has shown that the early years in children's life are vital for their development.
Such strategies become more effective when performed during the moment in life in which more brain-cell connections are produced. This moment covers the period from 0 to 6 months age. From that moment on, brain-cell connections still keep on being created, but the number decreases gradually as we get older.
There are plenty of early childhood intervention activities adapted to each age group. Here you will learn about some activities that can be done with your child during his or her first years of life. It is advisable to start on day 45 after your baby’s birthday. Do not forget that you should lovingly and carefully carry them out, always respecting your baby's hours of sleep and feeding times.
ECI activities by 45 days to 3 months age
- Lay your baby face-down and caress his back so that he straightens up both the head and the trunk.
- Lay your baby face-up and hold out your thumbs so that he can grab them. Then hold him firmly as you raise him.
- Lay your baby face-up, while you make him turn his head to one side by caressing his cheek.
- With a soft-bristle brush, rub his lips so that he develops his ability to move his mouth. Do the same on the feet.
- Raise your baby's legs while they are tied together and extended, and then move them back to the starting position. Do it with both legs.
- While your baby is laying face-up, use some crib toys, balls, rattles, etc. so that your baby stares at them whenever he likes.
- While your baby is laying face-up, shake some noisy toys around him. Your baby may start turning towards these sounds. Let him grab the toys if he tries.
- Lay your baby face-down and place a toy close to his fingertips so that he tries to grab it.
- When your baby babbles or attempts to communicate, talk and/or sing to him.
- Hold the baby and sing to him while mimicking so that he stares you in the face.
ECI activities by 3 to 6 months age
- While your baby is laying face-up with his arms either bent or relaxed, move them up and down and from side-to-side. Do it with the legs as well.
- Blow a raspberry on your baby's tummy so that he expands and contracts it.
- Lay your baby face-up and attract his attention with colourful toys or talking to him. Repeat this activity also by laying your baby face-down.
- Lay your baby face-down and place some toys around him so that he tries to reach them. Help him by carefully pushing his feet.
- Hold your baby's hands while you try to make him clap at the same time as you sing.
- Lay your baby face-up, bend one of his legs and relax the other one, and make him roll over towards the side of the relaxed leg. Repeat this to the other side.
- Lay your baby face-up while holding him on his forearms and slowly sit him down while you tell him to stand up. Do not allow his head to bend backward.
- Hold your baby by his underarms, raise him so that you are face-to-face, and play with him. Simultaneously, talk to him.
- Caress your baby across the body with a feather, a brush, or cotton.
- While your baby is laying face-down, place one hand onto his tummy and slowly move it up and down. Gradually, extend the height.
These are some early childhood intervention activities to practice with your child. Remember that you should always treat your baby with extra-gentle care. Start with five-minutes-long sessions and then extend them up to 10 minutes. You both will certainly have fun!
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