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Physical play with your child is lots of fun, great for bonding, and good for their development.
Be extra gentle with your baby in the first six months. At this early age hold them close to you and always support their head and neck. Cradle your baby and dance around yourself. Talk or sing to your little one as you go.
When your baby is able to support their own neck and head you can lift them higher. Hold them securely under their arms. Toddlers love being lifted high by someone strong enough - often Dad's job.
Make a game out of lifting and crawling - talk out loud about "bridges" and "tunnels". Hold them tight and lift them "over the bridge" from one chair to another, or between two outdoor points of similar height. As soon as they can crawl, create tunnels for them go under and emerge. Stand with your legs just wide enough and say "under the bridge" or "through the tunnel". Make it up and repeat whatever your child enjoys.
Talking is one of the most important skills your child will learn. It seems to happen naturally, but in fact you have a very important role to play. Your baby will learn to talk by hearing other people talk. The more you talk with your baby and respond to their noises and babbles, the more you help them learn to communicate. This will help them in every aspect of their life.
Songs and rhymes are especially good for children as the rhythms and repetitive language make it easier for babies to learn language skills. Babies love songs and rhymes, especially hearing the sound of your voice. This is a great way to help your child to talk and listen. Rhymes with actions explain what words mean - "pour me out" in "I'm a little teapot". You can also create sound effects when you are singing songs and saying rhymes. Use your hands to clap, your fingers to click and your mouth to make playful sounds and whistles.
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