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From 2 or 3 months old, your baby or toddler will love shaking a rattle. Perhaps you can sing the classic Bill Hayley song "Shake rattle and roll" and let your baby provide the sound effects?
You can make a simple shaker (that's not too loud) by putting a few grains of rice into a plastic bottle or other container your child can hold.
Or make a rain-stick shaker. What you need is:
• a cardboard tube (for example from a kitchen roll),
• some dry rice grains,
• sticky tape, and
• long pipe cleaners.
Colour and decorate the cardboard tube. Your older baby might like to help by putting a mark on the cardboard with a crayon or by helping you stick on some coloured paper.
Coil some pipe cleaners inside the tube and close one end with tin foil and tape.
Pour in some rice and close the other end with more tin foil and tape.
Now turn it upside down to make lovely rain sounds. (Hope it doesn't bring on the rain!)
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.
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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