How it Plays
Print out black-and-white faces, cut them out, and have each square laminated at a copy store. These provide the foundation for any number of captivating toys for newborns.
Activity cards. Hold each Smiling Face activity card 9 to 12 inches away from your newborn's face and describe what you see. "See this face? It has eyes that are open wide. And this face has wavy hair, just like Mommy." Babies love a good chat.
Mobile. Pick four activity cards and punch holes at the top midpoint of each. Take a sturdy paper plate, and punch into it four equidistant holes. Run a 3-foot length of yarn or string through each hole. Tie the pieces together in a knot at the top of the plate and at the bottom side of each hole. Trim the yarn dangling below the plate into even lengths and tie an activity card onto each. You can punch more holes, if you like, to hang ribbons, shiny foil strips, or other decorations your baby might like to look at.
Hang the mobile over a crib, changing table, or anywhere your baby is sure to see it. Position it slightly to the right of her head so she can view her mobile comfortably. Studies have shown that newborns tend to look to their right. Change the objects on the mobile every week or so to keep your baby interested and stimulated. Note: Do not use any objects that have small or sharp parts, and make sure nothing dangles within your baby's reach. As soon as she is old enough to sit up and touch the mobile, it's time to take it down.
What You'll Need
Learning and Growing
Although your baby can see at birth, she needs lots of opportunities over the next few months to develop her ability to focus, track, and view things from a distance. By 3 months, she is able to track and follow an object and look directly at it, a developmental milestone that coincides with her "discovering" her hands. An appreciation for colors and their nuances sets in at about 4 months; depth perception and the ability to see things farther away are in place by 9 months.