Do infant care centres in Singapore have curricula that benefit a baby’s development? Consider those that incorporate sensory play.
Remember that when a child is born, everything is new to him or her. Infants are experiential learners.
Each of the senses plays a role in young children’s exploration and interpretation of the world around them. The best infant care centre in Singapore provides a nurturing environment of engagement, security, and exploration.
The most critical periods for the development of sensory “pathways” are in the first four years of life, especially in the first two years. Thus, it is crucial for infant care centres in Singapore to incorporate sensory play in their curriculum, with the acknowledgement that all brains in their formative stages need all aspects of the mind stimulated.
Sensory skills development in the best infant care centres in Singapore
Infant care should prepare your child’s brain for optimal growth. Research has shown that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, supports cognitive development and cultivates a strong foundation for future growth.
By stimulating your infant’s senses through age-appropriate sensory exercises, you can boost his or her language development,problem-solving skills, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, social interaction, memory and attention span.
At the best infant care in Singapore, there are plenty of opportunities for your baby to experience new awareness through sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. The following are some activities that develop sensory skills in infants.
Read also: A Complete Guide to Choosing an Infant Care in Singapore
Infant care in Singapore with one-on-one Together Time
Infants enjoy the experience of interacting one-on-one with a trusted individual, so opt for an infant care centre in Singapore that incorporates this into their curriculum.
At home, you can engage in “Together Time” with your infant by gently moving her arms and legs, and keeping up a constant monologue or rhyme about the body part to build connection and reinforce different sounds of the words (i.e. “I have ten fingers and toes and they all belong to me/ I can make them do things/ Would you like to see? I can shut them tight, I can open them wide,” etc.)
Keep up this monologue throughout Together Time, whether you are tickling your baby under her chin or placing her face-down on your stomach and letting her reach for your ears and nose. Research suggests that babies feel calmer when they experience endorphin-releasing intimate contact.
Easy Breezy tactile fun
Infants enjoy and respond to tactile sensations such as the breeze from a fan.
For “Easy Breezy,” simply blow gently through a drinking draw onto your baby’s hand, arm, or foot (never directly on her face), and watch her response. Does she feel tickled by the breeze on her foot? When you blow on her adorable chubby arm rolls, does she flap her arms in delight?
Feel free to switch things up by using a colourful handheld fan or the breeze from an open window.
A Smorgasbord of Smells
Have you ever heard about babies recognising their own mothers’ smell? There is truth in that. Research shows that smell is processed directly by the limbic system and is strongly associated with emotion and memory.
For “A Smorgasbord of Smells,” introduce your baby to a variety of scents, from more unconventional scents like a prawn or coffee beans to “pleasant” fragrances such as soaps and lotions. (Fun fact: In one study, infants exhibited signs of pleasure when they smelled fruity scents such as strawberry shampoo for children).
Hold an orange peel or lemon wedge to your baby’s nose and see how she reacts. Let her smell a flower or herbs like mint and parsley. Always name the objects and watch for reactions.
Training Taste to widen smells and tastes
The best infant care centre in Singapore is invested in developing all of your child’s senses, including smell and taste. At MindChamps, Training Taste is a fun game for babies who begin to take solid foods. You can try it too, by allowing your little one to smell and “sample” different flavours. That way she can learn to associate the smell with the taste. Does she show any preferences?
If you’re worried about “fussy eater” problems that commonly emerge around age two, Training Taste is a game that can help avoid that because it trains and broadens your child’s “scents library” and palette.
Read also: The Beginner’s Guide to Infant Care Subsidy in Singapore
Rough and Smooth for an adventure in touch
Infants use touch to learn about the environment. To encourage “cross-lateral” connections between the left and right hemispheres of your baby’s brain, try this fun experiential activity from MindChamps Infant Care centres that encourages her to use both hands.
During “Rough and Smooth,” gather clean, safe, and colourful objects with different textures for your child to touch and explore one at a time. Soft toys, swatches of rough, sticky and smooth materials, rattles and other noise-making items, as well as brightly coloured plastic objects are great to use.
Hold each object close to your child and move it to attract her attention. Place each object in her left hand, let her explore it, then repeat with the right hand.
Again, keep up a monologue during this activity by naming individual objects and describing them.