Friday, January 16, 2009

Physical Friday: So Big!

Around two months of age a baby's movements begin to transition from pure reflexes to more purposeful actions. At this point it is fun to help baby move in a more purposeful way. One of my favorite games for the arms is "So Big!" One reason I like it so much is because it grows with your child to offer new challenges and joys in each developmental stage.

How to Play So Big!
Lay your baby on your legs or the floor. Place your thumbs in the palm of baby's hands causing them to close around your thumbs. Start the game with your hands resting on baby's tummy. As you answer the question, raise your hands (with baby's hands holding on) high above baby's head. Here's what you say:

How big is baby?
So big! (raise hands high above baby's head)

Older Infant
How big is baby?
So big! (Child starts to raise hands all by himself)

How big is (use child's name)?
So big! (Child will raise hands and say So Big! with you)

Other Variations
  • An older sibling can help a baby raise hands high above their head.
  • Play with older children using stuffed animals or dolls. They can even throw them up high to see how big they can be!
  • Put your name (Mommy or Daddy) in and raise arms up. When you bring them down, encircle baby or toddler in your arms.
Starting between 2 and 5 months babies start to anticipate actions. This game encourages that anticipation because is has the same action with the same words over and over. Babies will start to anticipate the So Big! line and you'll see their bodies wiggle in excitement as they get ready for their arms to go up. It's also great for moving the upper body and helping baby recognize a purposeful movement. Another way to encourage this purposeful movement: when you see your baby raise her arms high above her head, say "So big!" and then play the game with her again. Look for your baby to initiate this game with you long before he can talk!


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