Extension Specialist, Family Life Education
Cape Cod Extension
University of Massachusetts
It is important for parents and day care providers to help infants
with thinking and language skills. This is a time of tremendous
change in the physical, emotional, and intellectual development
of infants. Everything
infants learn sets the stage for later development!
INFANTS FROM BIRTH TO SIX MONTHS OLD:
– focus on and follow moving objects with their eyes.
– have different cries to express hunger, anger, and pain.
– babble, coo, and gurgle.
– turn to locate the source of sounds.
– study their hands and feet.
– forget about objects they cannot see.
– explore things by putting them in their mouth.
INFANTS FROM SEVEN TO TWELVE MONTHS OLD:
– make sounds like “dada” and “mama.”
– repeat actions that cause a response – when given a rattle,
they will shake it and laugh.
– wave bye-bye and play pat-a-cake.
– look for things not in sight.
– begin to pretend by acting out familiar activities.
– respond to simple directions.
– make sounds that can be understood by people who know them well.
– may speak their first understandable words by 12 months.
ACTIVITIES TO TRY WITH INFANTS
– Hold, rock, and sing to young babies.
– Take them outside on nice days.
– Explain what you are doing throughout the day when you change
or feed them.
– Let young babies lie on a big piece of paper and hear the crunching
noise when they move.
– Play different kinds of music on the radio.
– Hang bright toys for babies to see and hear. Hang aluminum pie
plates on a string. Let a breeze blow them, or move them with
– Give them soft toys – a stuffed animal or a clean sock – to
hold and feel.
– At their eye level, hang up big pictures of people and animals
on the wall.
– Have a clean space for babies to crawl. Put bright toys near
babies to reach out for or move toward. Put a big cardboard box
on the floor so babies can crawl inside and play.
– Put cushions on the floor so babies can bounce and roll on them.
National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the
National Extension Service Children Youth and Family Educational
Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce these materials
in whole or in part for educational purposes only(not for profit
beyond the cost of reproduction) provided that the author and
Network receive acknowledgment and this notice is included:
Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child
Care – NNCC. (1994). Intellectual development of infants. In M.
Lopes (Ed.) CareGiver News (October, p.3). Amherst, MA:
University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension.
Any additions or changes to these materials must be preapproved
by the author.
FORMAT AVAILABLE:: Available only on the
Level 2 – University of Massachusetts Cooperative
DOCUMENT SIZE:: 7K or 2 pages
ENTRY DATE:: October 1995
Contact Us | Non-discrimination Statement and Information Disclosures | © Iowa State University, 2002 | Last update: 8/3/06