Our newest game is Magic Piano, the iPad app. The tone quality in this app is good, and even in the atonal clusters that Baby plays, it sounds rather pleasing. There is some fun and exciting visual feedback as well and baby has been experimenting a little more each day with different ways of touching/hitting the screen. It both fascinates him and excites him and is perfect for when he is getting fussy with boredom from his usual games.
Talking Tom Cat is another game that can be fascinating for babies and educational as well. The cat repeats everything you say in a higher pitch. Babies love high pitch voices, and this allows them to get a second chance to hear everything you say. Repetition is important for learning. When baby starts talking to the cat him/herself, the repetition can help build self awareness. Recording oneself and playing it back is a really valuable tool when trying to master a skill like playing an instrument. The same would be true of learning to talk. The cat makes it fun!
Here is a really good article that sums up the best basic things you can do to stimulate your baby’s development. I am just reading this now for the first time and I am glad I did because it is so easy to get lazy about some of these things, especially when there are chores and work to do while taking care of baby.
And here is another on the same topic from Parents.
About letting babies cry without comfort….
Here is more advice from Penelope Leach.
I put together this mobile from some postcards of modern art. They tend to be similar to baby-oriented pictures, with their bold contrasting colors, but I like the fact that they were made to be interesting to adults as well. I think this adds something extra, even if baby can’t fully appreciate the art yet. He certainly gets excited by the pictures.
When trying to grab one, he discovered that they would move away from him if he hit them too hard. He started to adjust his approach and tried to be careful. He also chose to use two hands instead of just one, since the other could catch the card if one hand hit it too hard. In any case, he was given the opportunity to make these discoveries because the cards were presented to him in a tricky way.
Singing is a fun way to get your baby’s attention and when baby is in the right mood, you can do a back and forth session. This can mean a lot of waiting on your part while baby opens up his mouth like yours and tries to consciously make a sound come out. It is interesting how baby can easily make many songlike sounds without really trying, but when he starts making an intentional effort to imitate me, a strange tense croak comes out, which pleases him greatly. I give him tons of congratulations when he does this because what he is really learning is the process of learning. We are practicing the most basic ingredients of a mini music lesson.