Reaction-oriented games for baby up to 1 year
We call games reaction oriented. It is quite logical actually, because when playing a game there is always something your little one has to react to (action-reaction). Your baby learns a great deal from this. After playing a certain game a few times your child will know something is about to happen, so they learn to wait until that thing actually happens. This creates a sort of tension. They wait until the thing happens and the fun can get started. This type of ‘waiting’ is a first step in learning patience.
Your little one learns much more from these types of games. They learn that their reaction has consequences. When should they respond to give the right reaction? Take rolling a ball for example. In order to catch it, your baby has to move their hand in the direction of the ball at the right moment and then grab the ball at the right time. No matter how slowly the ball is rolling, this is incredibly difficult for your baby. But from this they learn to respond at the right moment! The brain creates numerous connections thanks to these types of reaction games.
Examples of fun reaction-oriented games:
Baby 0–6 months
• How big are you? This big!
• Imitating (face)
• Grabbing a ball (roll the ball very slowly and use a soft, squidgy ball)
• Blowing bubbles (in the bath)
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Baby 6–12 months
• “Catching” balls (you of course throw it into their lap, but it is the start of catching)
• Buttons that they have to press and that play a tune, for example
• Building towers of blocks… or knocking them down instead