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Baby tug-o-war

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Baby tug-o-war

What to do with this activity?

It's amazing how strong a baby's grip can be! If you tickle a new-born baby's palm, they will automatically close their hand around your finger. It's called the palmar reflex, and some scientists believe it is to do with our ape ancestors! Babies lose this primitive reflex at around 5 or 6 months, but they still like to grip and tug at things. Ever noticed how a baby can pull hard at your hair, or grab onto a necklace or scarf you are wearing?

Gentle tug-of-war games can be good fun and build your baby's strength. Use whatever soft cloth you have to hand, like a baby's bib or a tea towel. See who wins and have a laugh. 

Look at this video showing a toddler having a tug of war with their mother. 

  • Why am I doing this?

    Learning to move, reach and grasp helps children develop the muscles and skills to scribble and learn to write when they get older. Body awareness and learning to do big movements (like crawling and walking) and small movements like the pincer movement (where you lift up things with your index finger and thumb) are important parts of your child's development. It is part of awakening and developing your brain. For your young child, reaching for objects helps build their coordination and will help them hold crayons later on.

  • How can I do more?

    Have fun with your child dancing to music. This helps their coordination. If your child is moving their arms or body at all they are dancing!

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