Infant Activity Calendar - Alberta Health Services

Infant Activity Calendar - Alberta Health Services
Infant Activity
Ideas for children from birth to 18 months old
Moving and Growing: Exercises for the First Two years; Fitness Canada and the Canadian Institute of Child Health
Play Calendars: Weekly Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; Rachel B. Diamant M.S, OTR/L Therapy Skill Builders 1996
Growing Together: Communication Activities for Infants and Toddlers (Birth-12 months); Monica Devine, M.A CCC-SLP, Communication Skill Builders 1990
Amazing Good Ideas (for nothing); Alberta Health
Decreased language with TV;; copyright 2009 Merion Publications
Children and Technology fact sheet; National Aboriginal Health Organization, December 2009
Eye See-Eye Learn; The Alberta Association of Optometrists handout
First Impressions; The Canadian Association of Optometrists pamphlet
Fight the Bite; News release Government of Alberta 2003
Children safety seats;: or
Sleep Problems and your Preschooler; Children’s Health and Developmental Services, Alberta Health Services, Medicine Hat
Will I Grow out of it (Milestones and warning signs for Speech and Language development); Alberta Health and Wellness SP00005 (2004/08)
Babies, children and sun safety; Health Canada release
Feeding Baby Solid Foods (6-12 months) Alberta Health
When Your Baby can’t stop crying; Alberta Health Services pamphlet Dec.2008
Feeding Baby Infant Formula; Alberta Health
Breastfeeding Your baby; Alberta Health
Special thanks to the following people for their recommendations and edits: from Alberta Health Services, Nutrition Services: Vanessa Restivo, Danielle Wohglemuth, Emily Burt, Marissa Salon and
Martina Sung; from Alberta Health Services Provincial injury Prevention Program: Valerie Cook and for help with the Baby Friendly Initiative messaging: from Alberta Health Services Public Health:
Lorissa Jones
Copyright © (2011, revised 2013, 2014, 2015) Alberta Health Services. This material is protected by Canadian and other international copyright laws. All rights
reserved. This material may not be copied, published, distributed or reproduced in any way in whole or in part without the express written permission of Alberta Health Services (please contact Kim Nowicki at Early Childhood Intervention program at 780-623-6227 or [email protected] This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. Alberta Health
Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.
Dear parents,
You are your child’s best teacher. They will learn the most about the world from you. This
calendar has been created to provide you with an activity to try with your child every day.
These activities do not require a lot of time, materials or preparation so you can fit them into
your daily routine.
Activities are designed to encourage development in the areas of:
communication-the language they understand and the language that they express
gross motor skills– how they move their bodies in physical activities
fine motor skills– how they use their hands
self help skills
social skills
problem solving skills with focus on their auditory attention, visual attention and memory
building skills
Recipes, rhymes and parenting tips are included also to inspire and encourage.
Please use caution and supervise all the activities.
Take time to play and enjoy creating special moments with your little one. Your
impact on their overall development will be significant and will last a lifetime!
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: Sleep and your infant
Infants in their first year need on average 14-18 hours of sleep. Usually they
sleep for up to ten hours of sleep at night and the remainder of sleep takes
place during many naps throughout the day. From 12-18 months a child needs
up to 13 hours of sleep with possibly 1-2 naps a day and around 10 hours of
sleep each night.
Eyes, Nose, Cheeky, Cheeky Chin
(Point to each body part while you sing:)
Eyes, nose, cheeky, cheeky chin
Eyes, nose, cheeky, cheeky, chin
Eyes, nose, cheeky, cheeky chin
Cheeky, cheeky, chin, nose eyes
At first it is difficult to have a set routine for sleeping and waking, but as the child
grows, try to establish a bit of a routine to have similar waking and sleeping
times, with regular feeding times and play times throughout the day.
Regular sleep will help with irritability and fussiness. Put your child to sleep in a
similar way each time, in a darkened room, with secure and loving ways to
encourage settling and self-regulation.
Head and Shoulders
(Point to each body part while you sing:)
Head and shoulders, knees and toes
Knees and toes, knees and toes
Head and shoulders, knees and toes
Eyes, ears, mouth and nose
Carrot puree (6 months+)
Cut carrots in 1 inch pieces and steam in a stovetop steamer for 12 minutes.
Cool in ice water. Boil some water and let cool. Blend carrots in a food
processor or blender, add some cooled water to mixture if not smooth. Fill
1/4 cup plastic containers or ice cube trays with the puree and freeze. Thaw
and warm as you need.
Apple/pear cereal (6 months+)
Mix applesauce or pureed pears with your child’s iron fortified rice cereal for
a different taste.
Note: As your child grows older, make your purees thicker and less smooth.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Carry your child
around your home
and talk about what
you see.
Rub lotion on their
arms and legs, and
massage. Talk or
sing to them while
rubbing in product.
Encourage your child
to grasp a rattle or
another toy. Once
mastered hold it a bit
out of their reach and
see if they will move
to grasp.
Imitate your child’s
sounds. Pause and
see if they will try to
imitate you. Use
expressions and
gestures and see if
they will imitate also.
Look at a book facing
your child. Point at
pictures and say
single words and
make sounds where
possible. In this way
your child can look at
the pictures and at
your face to see the
Cover your face
with a cloth or
blanket and hide.
Say “Where did I
go?” Uncover and
say either “Boo!”
or Here I am!”
With your child laying
on their back, pull off
their socks one at a
time and say ”Bye-bye
sock” or “sock off”.
Place child on tummy
on a beach ball or
exercise ball,
encourage tummy
time play with the ball
straddled between
your legs on floor.
Good eye contact!
Massage feet and
hands and count
each toe/finger. Clap
feet or hands together
and sing rhymes!
Hold your child
and look into a
mirror together.
Talk, make faces,
name body parts,
make sounds,
Give your child something large to hold so
that they need two
hands to hold it. A
large stuffed animal, a
large ball or a large
bowl would work.
Make sounds like
“ba,ba” or “da-da” and
see if they will copy.
Sing these sounds to
the tune of “Row, row,
row your boat”.
Roll a ball or a toy
car to your child in
lying or sitting
position and see if
they will reach out
to grab or
eventually roll
back to you.
Help your child to
squeeze their hands
when holding
squeezable objects.
Squeeze toys and
sponges in the tub,
squeak toys, foam
balls etc.
When it is time to eat,
say just that “it is time
to eat” as you position
them for feeding. Try
to say it consistently
each time.
Look at a picture
book together,
when your child is
cuddled on your
lap. Talk softly
and label each
picture and point
to it.
Help your child
touch something
that is cold like an
ice cube or snow.
Then say
Crumple some
aluminum foil into a
ball. Hold your child
on your lap in front of
a table. Roll the ball
in front of them to
watch and encourage
him to “catch it.”
Hold your child so
they are facing you.
Make funny faces and
encourage your child
to touch your face and
label. “Nose”, “eyes”,
“mouth “ etc.
Hold a toy or
medium sized ball
above their arms or
Help or encourage
them to lift legs to
kick the toy or lift
arms to grab the
Position your child on
their back or in sitting
position and help
them touch soft things
(i.e.: soft animals,
washcloth, blanket
etc.) with various body
Make a repetitive
sound, word or noise
and wait for your
child’s reaction then
repeat. Examples:
make an animal “hop,
hop, hop” or a car
goes “Brrrm!”
Help your child to
grab for different
objects and allow
them to explore
each. Say “Look at
the ___. Get it!”
And when they do
exclaim “yeah!”
Make a funny “wa-wa”
sound by patting your
lips with your hand.
Wait for a reaction
then pat you child’s
lips and see if they will
make the sound.
Show your child items
in your house that are
hard like furniture,
toys, plastic items.
Help them to pat the
object. Talk about
each item.
Tie a soft rattle or
bells around your
child’s wrist or ankle
and encourage them
to shake. Say and
sing: “Shake, shake,
shake”. Repeat.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Tony Chestnut
Tony Chestnut (point to toes, knees, chest and
Knows I love you (point to nose, eye, cross arms
over chest and point to “you”)
Tony knows, Tony knows (point to toes, knees,
Tony Chestnut knows I love you (continue with
That’s what Tony knows (point to toes, knees,
Parenting tip:
Rock-a-bye baby
(same tune different words, can interchange
“name” with the word “baby”.)
Mommy loves baby, yes she does
Daddy loves baby, yes, he does
Grandma loves baby, grandpa does too
Yes, little baby-we all love you.
Formula Feeding
Baby teething cookies (9 months+)
iron fortified infant cereal (plain or flavored)
1 cup whole grain flour
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup cold water
Preheat oven 425 F. Combine flour and cereal in a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in oil.
Add water 1 tbsp at a time until dough forms. Roll out dough onto a floured surface .
Cut into rectangles or fun shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer shapes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
Cool completely and transfer to an airtight container and use within one week.
Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your
baby. Breast milk is the only food or drink your
baby needs for the first 6 months of life to support healthy growth and development. Solid
foods can be given at 6 months of age with
continued breastfeeding until to 2 years of age
and beyond.
For non-breastfed babies, iron-fortified formula
should be given. Cow’s milk (3.25%) can be
offered between 9-12 months of age if baby is
eating many iron rich foods. Weaning from the
bottle can start at 6 months of age by giving
water or formula in a regular cup. By 12-14
months, babies should not be fed from a bottle.
1 cup
Vitamin D
All babies should receive 400 IU of Vitamin D
every day.
For more information about feeding your baby,
contact your local Community Health Centre or
call Health Link at 811.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Put a cloth or blanket over your child’s
face and say
“Where are you?”
Take it off and then
say “there you are!”
or “Peek-a-boo!”
Give your child a
rattle or noisy toy to
hold, and you hold
one also. Show your
child how to bang
the toy on the floor or
on a table top.
Sit your child on your
lap. Hold your child’s
shoulders and gently
bounce and sing a
song. As they get
stronger hold them
by the sides and then
later by the hips, in
this activity.
Call your child’s
name when you
enter a room or when
trying to get their
attention, smile and
respond when they
look at you.
Experiment with new
sounds and see if
your baby will copy
you (try clicking with
your tongue,
smacking your lips,
blowing bubbles with
saliva, gurgling etc.)
Give your child a
picture card such as
a greeting card or cut
a picture from a
cereal box. Show
them how to turn the
card over using their
wrist and forearm.
See if they will copy.
With an empty paper
towel roll or plastic
cup make “do-do-do”
sounds. Give to your
child to see if they will
make the same
sound: “do-do-do”.
Blow bubbles so
they can watch
them, when they
pop say “pop”. Be
careful of eyes, try
to blow near their
While carrying your
child, move fast,
dance to music or
move in a circle. Say
words like “whee” or
“dance” or “spin”,
while moving.
Sing this month’s
rhymes with your
child. Do the actions
with your child.
When you say the
word “love” in the
“Rock-a-bye baby”
rhyme song, give
them a kiss!
Tie a short string no
longer than 6 inches
to one of your child’s
toys. Show how the
toy moves when you
pull the string. Encourage them to pull
and say “Come here
Say “Who’s my valentine?
sweetie? love?”
Then say “You are”
then tickle or kiss
them. Pause and
Show your child a
stuffed animal, when
you touch the nose
say ”beep”, when
they touch the nose
also say “beep”. A
great cause and
effect game!
Sit on a chair with
your child facing
away from you,
support their hips,
bounce them gently
and sing a rocking
Turn the water on
and off in your babies
presence. Say “Here
it comes, the water is
on”...then say “the
water is off, all gone!”
Play “So Big” with
your child. Using
different tones, whisper, use deep tones,
or a high pitched
voice, combine these
and say “so big” as
you lift your child’s
arms to the sky.
Show your child a toy
with moveable
wheels or a doll with
moveable limbs and
show them how they
move and see if they
will try to grab to
imitate the movement.
Lie on your back with
knees bent and
place your child on
your stomach sitting
with their back
against your thighs.
Bounce them and
play “horsie”, helping
them to balance.
Encourage your child
to touch your mouth
or your throat when
you are talking. They
will enjoy, feeling the
vibrations and are
learning about
communicating in
this way.
While you are holding
your child next to a
table, drum your
hands on the table.
Try loud beats and
soft beats and help
your child to copy.
Partially cover a toy
with a cloth. Make
sure they can still
see part of it. Say
“Where’s the ___?”
and pull off the cover
and say “there it is!”
Listen to music together. Sing along
and encourage your
child to sing also!
When entering a
darkened room,
when you turn on the
light say “lights on”
and same when you
leave “lights off”.
Help your child to
hold two toys. Help
your child to move
them up and down or
bang them together.
Say “up...down” or
“bang, bang, bang”
during the actions.
Shake a rattle or
squeak a toy next to
your child, but slightly
out of their sight.
When they turn to
see it, say “you found
Sit your child on your
lap or in their high
chair. Put some
floatable toys in a pan
of water and show
how to bob them up
and down.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: Soother safety
There’s a cobbler on my street
There’s a cobbler on my street
Mending shoes for little feet
With a bang and a bang, with a bang, bang, bang
(lightly tap the bottom of your child’s feet)
Mending shoes the whole day long
Mending shoes to make them strong
With a bang, and a bang, with a bang, bang, bang
(again tap your child’s feet)
Avoid giving a soother or artificial nipple to breastfed babies until
breastfeeding is going well (about 4 weeks).
If you choose to give your child a soother or pacifier, purchase one that
has a soft nipple that is all one piece, so that it flattens out against the
roof of your child’s mouth when they are sucking. A hard nipple may
cause jaw problems later in the child’s life.
Check your child’s soother often to make sure the nipple is firmly attached
to its base.
Replace pacifiers every two to three months, even if they look perfectly
fine. Throw out soothers that change color, are sticky, cracked or torn.
Do not tie the soother around your child’s neck with a cord or string.
Do not coat the soother with honey, or other sweet substances. This can
cause cavities, and honey should not be given to children under 12
Wash your child’s soother often, and rinse well. But do not clean in your
own mouth as you can transmit germs that cause sickness or cavities.
The Moon is Round
The moon is round as a round as can be.
(Trace your child’s face with your finger)
Two eyes, a nose, and a mouth
(point to features while you sing)
Like me!
(point to yourself)
Sweet potato with cinnamon (6 months+)
Peel and chop sweet potato into bite sized cubes, place in a stovetop
steamer and steam for 10 minutes until soft. Sprinkle with cinnamon and
mash with a fork. With the leftovers store in ice cube trays or 1/4 cup
containers, and freeze for later meals.
Fruit puree (6 months+)
Cut up finely, mash or blend in a food processor: banana, pear, peaches,
mango, cantaloupe or kiwi, a combination of these or one or two. Serve!
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Babies like to experiment with sounds
especially when
there is a toy, spoon
or their fingers in
their mouths. When
you hear their sound,
copy it back to them.
Help your child learn
to roll from back to
their side by placing
a toy near their
Help them roll to their
side to grab it.
Say “Get it”!
Put a picture from a
magazine or cereal
box up beside where
you change your
child’s diaper. Point
it out and talk about
things in the picture,
Change the picture
Stack some blocks or
small boxes, then roll
a ball and knock
them over. Stack
again and see if they
will try to roll the ball.
Sit your child on a
table in front of you
and support. Wear a
colorful hat, tie or
scarf and encourage
your child to balance
while exploring the
item of interest.
Place a toy inside a
clear container with a
lid. Show them how
to put it in and take it
out. See if they will
try the action or if
they will hand it to
you for help.
When the family
dinner is cooking,
talk about the smells
and what is cooking.
Give your child time
on their tummy to
encourage head
control, pushing up
with arms, and later
working towards
When shopping
place child safely in
shopping cart. When
rolling vary speeds
and say “fast” ,”slow”
“go”, and ”stop”.
Always keep them at
arm’s length.
Give your child a
teething biscuit to try
to eat on their own
when ready. Say
“Mmmm, good
Encourage your child
to try drinking from a
regular cup...the
earlier the better. Try
a straw cup or sippy
cup once they have
mastered this.
Sit on floor with legs
apart & stand your
child facing away
from you. One hand
holds the child
across the chest, the
other across the
knees. Encourage
bearing weight on
feet, and support.
Try to minimize or
allow no TV watching
until your child turns
2 years of age.
Use books often,
picture cards or just
point to objects and
label as an alternative.
When holding a toy,
accidentally drop it.
Say “oops!” and
point to where it went
and say “ fell down”.
When preparing food
for your child, even if
it is just pouring
water into a glass.
Talk to them and
describe what you
are doing.
Sing to your child this
month’s rhymes:
“There’s a cobbler on
my street” and “The
Moon is round”
Make a brag book for
your child, include
pictures of all family
members. Point at
pictures and say their
Make a tunnel out of
a box, cutting away
the ends. Roll a car
or ball through the
box. Say “Where did
it go?” and “there it
is” when they discover and see it.
Holding a doll or a
stuffed animal .
Point out the facial
features and label for
your child. Touch the
body parts on the
object then on yourself or on your child.
Sit on the floor with
legs outstretched and
place your baby on
their tummy across
your lap. Encourage
them to push their
hands down on the
floor to push up.
Take your baby to
“people watch” at a
recreational facility, a
shopping center,
park or restaurant.
Name things or people as you see them
Make a color shaker,
using a clear bottle
such as a vitamin
bottle. Fill with
water, sequins,
glitters, marbles.
Seal and glue lid on.
Encourage your
child to shake!
Place your child
propped with towels
if need be in a box or
a laundry basket and
give them ride.
Great for
balancing muscles.
When your child
makes a sounds try
to repeat it back.
This is important in
building the
foundation of
Make a ramp using
books, propped.
Then take a ball or a
car and release at
top of ramp, position
your child at the
bottom to catch item!
Say words like “here
it comes!” , “go”,
“stop”, “catch it”.
When they have
learned to sit, then
offer toys to their
side and front to
strengthen balance
and righting
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip:
Round and round the garden
Round and round the garden, (draw
circles in your child’s palm or on their
Like a teddy bear,
One step, two steps (take steps with
walking fingers)
Tickle you under there (tickle them under
their arms)
Dental hygiene for babies
Round and round the garden
Through the wind and rain
One step, two steps,
Tickle you there again
No toothpaste is required to use before their
1st birthday. Then you can use but only a
small small as a grain of rice!
Itsy-Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water
Down came the rain and washed the
spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the
spout again
(Variation: lower your voice for “the great
big hairy spider”)
Check your child’s teeth often for signs of
tooth decay, if you see white lines along the
gum line or brown areas along the gum line
this could be a sign of early tooth decay.
Wipe gums with a soft cloth, after eating,
and first thing in the morning and last thing
before bed at night.
When they have teeth appear, use a soft
bristle brush and brush twice a day, and
especially before bed.
Have your child’s teeth checked by a dental
professional at one year of age. Check your
local Community Health services office for a
dental program that offers checks and tooth
brushing strategies.
You should help your child brush their teeth
until they are 8 years old.
Drinks for baby (6-12 months
Breastfeeding is recommended until 2
years of age and beyond. Along with solid
foods, breast milk will provide your baby
with the nutrients they need.
Water can be offered in small
amounts to quench their thirst from a
regular cup with two handles. Do not use a
sippy or straw cup.
For non-breastfed babies, iron fortified
formula should be given until 9-12 months
of age, then they can be given whole cow’s
milk in an open faced cup. Baby should be
weaned off bottle by 12 months of age.
Juice is not needed by babies. If you
do offer juice make sure it is 100%
unsweetened juice.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Sing to your child
when washing their
face and hands or
when bathing. “This
is the way we wash
our hands, wash our
hands, wash our
Bounce your little
monkey on the bed.
Try it on their
stomach and on their
back and bounce
them gently. Air
mattresses work
great for this also.
Lay your child on a
large blanket or
towel, on their back
or stomach. Hold the
corners and give your
child a ride on a
smooth floor. Wheee!
In a metal coffee can
or metal bowl, show
your child how to
drop something
inside to make a
noise. Continue until
they try it.
Hide a toy under a
washcloth. Say
“Where is it?” See if
they will uncover to
find where it is.
When they do say
“There it is!”
Play with nesting
containers. With a
bunch of similar
shaped containers of
different sizes. Nest
the smaller into the
larger. Let your child
take apart and guide
to put together.
If your child is over 8
months old place
some bite size
crackers or cereal
pieces in some plastic eggs. Encourage
your child to shake
and then to open
them up to try eating.
Look at a picture
book or a magazine.
Talk about what you
see and label and
then give the sound
that the object
makes. “Car...beepbeep”; “Cow...moomoo” etc.
“Foot up, arms up”
When dressing your
baby, each time talk
about clothing items
and body parts.
“Pants on...foot up” if
they do not do the
action help them and
repeat “ foot up”. Do
the same with arms!
Make homemade
baby food (when
baby is over 6
months). Blend
cooked vegetables in
a blender and place
into ice cube trays.
Freeze and thaw
Play the telephone
game with a toy
phone or an old
phone. Push buttons
and pretend to talk,
“hello”, “hi”, and then
give to child. When
finished say “bye”
and hang up.
When preparing a
meal make some
pasta and when it is
cooked give some
cooled pieces to your
child for them to
explore while sitting
at their high chair.
Practice the featured
rhymes with your
child: “Round and
round the garden”
and the “Itsy Bitsy
Use one or two word
phrases with your
baby. Use an
animated voice and
repeat often. Also
speak closely to your
child so they can see
your face when you
are talking.
Make your own
pegboard. In the lid
of a shoebox, cut
holes big enough for
spoon handles or
straws to poke
through. Your child
will like to put these
in the holes and take
them out.
In a sink or in a
basin, pour in some
bubbles and water
and mix with a whisk.
Make lots of suds
and have your child
explore, grabbing and
popping. Watch their
At bath time, use a
sponge, cup or a
squirt toy and drop
water on different
body parts. Say
“water on your leg”,
“water on your
tummy”, “water on
your arm” etc.
When your baby is 9
months+, put cereal
pieces in muffin
cups. Encourage
your child to grab one
out of each cup and
eat. Great
concentration and
hand muscle work
Go to a park and
slide down a slide
together. Hold on
Make a puppet,
stuffed animal or
even a sock, talk or
sing to your child.
This is especially
handy if you are
waiting somewhere.
Sit your child on one
of your legs, with hips
bent and legs on flat
surface. Support if
necessary. Say “I am
going to get you” and
then tickle or kiss
their neck. Repeat!
Take a walk outside
and point out all the
things that you see.
Explore your
neighborhood or
Stand your child
beside an upside
down sturdy box or
basket and support.
Stack some blocks
on the top and see if
they will try to knock
Time to get the
stroller out and go
for a walk. Go over
grass, sidewalk, and
gravel for different
feels. Talk about
what’s happening.
“Bumpy, fast, slow,
Put a toy in a container. Show them
the item and then
dump it out. Repeat.
Say “in” and “out”
during activity.
Make a peek-a boo
book. Place a
favorite photo between two pieces of
cardboard that are
taped together.
Decorate the top
page. Say “Where's
___?” “here they
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: Language development warning signs
A lady goes…
(place your child on your lap and vary the degrees of
A lady goes bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bounce
A gentleman goes trotty trot, trotty trot, trotty trot
A cowboy/cowgirl goes gallopy gallop, gallopy gallop,
gallopy gallop Yee Haw!
If you answer “no” to any of the following questions with respect to your
child’s language development and your child is between ages 0-18 months,
please contact your local community health service office or a speech and
language pathologist for further assessments.
During your child’s first three months, do they react to sound by either
startling to loud sounds or can they be soothed by calm and gentle
Does your child (between 4-6 months) respond to your smiles and
interactions with interest or try to “talk”?
Between 6-12 months does your child babble or try to “talk”?
Does your child (between ages 12 to 18 months) try to use words and
talk a bit and do they interact with others?
This little piggy
(wiggle their toes one at a time)
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed home
This little pig had roast beef
This little pig had none
And this little pig went whee, whee, whee, whee
All the way home.
Early detection can mean helping your child to talk easier as well as to
understand more about their world. Early intervention activities and ideas are
essential to enhance communication. If you have concerns contact your
local Community Health Services office for more information.
Potato deluxe (8 months +)
Mix cooked mashed potato, with tuna or shredded cooked chicken, milk,
grated cheese, peas or corn. Serve! Great as leftovers also.
Fruit blend (8 months+)
1 apple peeled, cored and diced
1/2 pear peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup blueberries
Place fruit in a saucepan and just cover with water, then simmer for 5
minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender and puree. Serve.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Tie a string to a toy or
a ring. Dangle in
front of your child and
see if they will reach
to grab. Move it side
to side, up and down
and see if they will
Play a clapping game
with your child. Sing
or just say “clap, clap,
clap” With two blocks
see if they will hit
them together also.
With another family
member play hide
and seek. Hide
behind a sofa or under a blanket. Then
say “Where is ___?”
See if they will look,
then pop out and say
”there they are”
When dressing, name
body parts. With feet
and hands when
putting into sleeve or
pant leg, look for
them in the openings.
Say: ”fingers, where
are you?” “toes…”etc.
While playing with a
toy they are
interested in, see if
they hold it firmly and
will they resist your
pull with a tight
grasp? Play a bit of
tug of war, but let
them win.
Look at a touch and
feel book that has
textures. Or when
you are looking at a
book together point at
the objects and just
say one word, and
tap your finger to get
their attention.
Sing featured rhyme
for this month. Try to
sing them throughout
your daily routines.
Whatever your child
does, whether it is an
action or a sound
copy it. “Monkey-see
Monkey-Do”. See if
they will take turns,
and if they will start to
copy you.
Hide a toy that makes
noise turn it on. See
if they will search out
the sound. Then
show them the toy
once you have seen
their response.
Place your child on a
beach or large ball,
on their stomach and
roll back and forth.
Also try sitting them
on the ball, move
them side to side,
supporting at hips to
see if they will react.
Put a sticker on one
of your facial
features. When your
child tries to grab it,
name the body part.
Repeat with another
placement. Watch
that they do not eat
the sticker.
Present two different
toys to your child for
your child to look at,
encourage them to
inspect one and then
the other.
Add a gesture to a
new word when
introducing it. For
instance when saying
“Bye-bye”, then wave;
for “no” shake your
head; for “up” hold
out your hands, etc.
Set up a mirror for
your child to see
themselves while
they play on the floor.
Watch their responses to their image.
When your child is
lying on their back
see if you can pull
them to sit and
then to stand just
holding their
hands. Make
sure they are
through their neck
and back if weak.
While playing see if
they will give a toy to
you. Just say “give”
and reach out your
hand and see if they
will give it to you. If
they do, praise them;
if they do not keep
Change your child’s
play positions
throughout each day,
to workout their whole
body. Lay on back,
sit upright, tummy
time, stand with support, sit in chair etc.
Place your hands
under your child’s
chest and hips.
Then hold him in
the “superman”
position and fly!
Try in front of a
mirror and encourage the child to
reach out!
Try giving your child a
regular cup to drink
with especially at
meal time. If they
spill, give them a
cloth to wipe up with.
Walk outside today,
explore grass, sit and
let your child feel and
pull with their hands.
Some will love; others
will not.
When talking with
your child, let them
see your face and
mouth as you form
words and sounds.
Simple words and
short phrases are
best. Do not use
baby talk.
Use a rattle or
bells to see if they
will turn both directions to listen.
Try shaking a bit
out of their sight
also. Let them
explore and shake
to make their own
sounds after.
Put a sock on one of
your child’s hands
and encourage them
to remove. Try the
other side also.
With a cup, place a
toy or ball underneath
and see if they will
find. Ask “Where is
the ball?”
Give your child a
massage. Use lotion
and rub their arms
and legs and back.
Name their body
parts as you rub them
Make up a little song.
Ask your child
“where’s your
tummy?” Lift their
shirt and say
“there it is”, and
give it a tickle.
Repeat. Eventually they will lift
their own shirt.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: Sun safety
Be careful with your baby when you go outside on a sunny day. Cover your
baby up with a blanket, and/or have them wear a hat and long sleeves and
pants. Stay in the shade with your baby, use an umbrella if there are no other
sources of shade. DO NOT put sunscreen on babies less than 6 months old.
Apply children’s SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen on all skin that is exposed to
the sun, when your child is 6 months and older.
Mosquito safety:
Use mosquito netting around your child when in a seat or in their stroller. Do
not use repellant with DEET on infants under 6 months of age. For children 6
months to two years use only one application of repellant containing 10%
DEET per day. A repellant with 5% DEET is preferable. When applying avoid
putting on your child’s face and hands. Wash treated skin and remove treated
clothing after returning indoors.
Or have your child wear long sleeved clothing and pants and avoid going outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their worst.
Watermelon ideas (6 months+)
Wash the exterior of the watermelon and slice into pieces and prepare in
a away that is appropriate for you baby.
Mash or puree for your baby(6 months+). Enjoy alone or add to iron fortified infant cereal.
Combine watermelon, frozen strawberries and full fat plain yogurt for a
delicious smoothie that can be enjoyed by spoon, straw or even frozen
into homemade popsicles.
Chop watermelon into bite size pieces for a healthy and refreshing finger
food. Serve alone or mix with cottage cheese.
Peek-a-boo song (Tune:“Where is Thumbkin”)
(Hide your child under a blanket)( Can use name in
Where is baby? Where is baby?
What should we do? What should we do?
Peek-a-boo baby Peek-a-boo baby (lift blanket)
I see you, I see you
A Smooth Road
(with your child on your lap, vary the bumps according to the
A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road
A….hole! (let your child fall between your legs)
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Wear a shirt with a
pocket. Put a small
toy or object of
interest into the
pocket. Ask “Where
did it go?” and see if
they will seek it out.
Dip “O”-shaped, multi
grain cereal into applesauce or yogurt
and place on their
tray. Are they raking
with all fingers or are
they using their
thumb and pointer
finger to pinch to pick
it up?
Play the dump and
pick up game. Fill a
container with blocks
or small toys and
dump. Then pick up
and put back in.
Caution: they will
want to repeat again
and again.
Help your child with
cause and effect
activity such as turning a light switch on
and off, or pulling a
ceiling fan cord. Say
“on” and “off’ to
correspond with effect.
Allow your child to
play with some pots
and pans. Show
them how to bang
two lids together.
Give them a spatula
and let them bang on
the pot. Fun and
Place your child’s
snack– baby cookie
or biscuit inside a
container and see if
they can get it out, by
grabbing it or
dumping it out.
When outside allow
the wind to blow
bubbles, you may
have to move your
arm to create your
own wind. Use
words like “look”,
“pop”, “uh-oh”, “all
gone” etc.
Make an indoor
wagon out of a box
with a string
connected, put things
in and pull towards
your child, so they
can peek. Great for
when they are mobile
to help clean up.
With your child have
fun helping them to
kick a ball. You can
swing them into it
before they can walk
or if they are walking
place the ball in front
and they will walk
into it. Say “kick”.
Fill a small bowl with
water and together
explore filling cups,
small bottles, scoops,
big spoons and funnels.
Set aside a kitchen
cabinet with things
that your child can
play with. They will
enjoy opening and
closing and taking
everything out.
Keeps them busy
while you cook!
Hat play. Try putting
on hats (or even a
bowl, fresh diaper,
aluminum pie plate)
on their heads and
when they take it off,
Put on something
different. Ask
”Whose that?”
Place a stuffed animal or toy in front of
them when they are
in their jolly jumper,
or when you are
holding them, and
encourage them to
reach out with both
arms for the item.
With a glass of milk
and a straw, blow
bubbles for your
child to see. Say
“bubbles”. Stop and
ask “Want more?”
Then repeat.
Pretend play with
invisible food. Use
play dishes and invisible food. Use
words like “mmm”,
“good” ,“drink”, etc.
Play with fridge magnets on a refrigerator
door. Position
yourself in front of
the fridge with your
child on your lap or
standing bearing
their weight.
When outside see if
you can find an
insect (ladybugs
work great) place in
a jar for the child to
watch them walk
Use manners in your
directions . “May I
have that please?”
When they give you
something that you
asked for, say “thank
you”. Early modeling
of manners will help
them to learn theirs.
Messy play! On their
high chair give them
a scoop of pudding,
yogurt or whipped
cream and then show
them how to make
lines, shapes and
circles in the substance.
Sing “Pop goes the
weasel”. When you
sing the word ”pop”
coincide it with an
action like a clap,
falling down, or closing a book. Sing
again and repeat.
When outside find a
dandelion flower
which has gone to
seed. Blow the
seeds, and watch
them float away.
Sing the featured
rhymes: “Peek-a-boo
song” and “A smooth
road” for this month
with your child.
After a diaper
change, pull your
child up from laying
to sit or to stand.
And say” Up!”
Hide a toy in a box,
an old purse, a paper
bag or a container,
and help them find it.
When they find say
“there it is!”. They will
want you to repeat
again and again.
Purchase a pinwheel
toy and either blow it
or show your child
how it blows in the
wind. Listen to the
wind, rustle leaves
Sit outside in the
grass. Turn the
sprinkler on a low
setting. Have your
child watch and see
if they will try to
catch the water.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: Crying and your child
Sometimes you won't know what your baby is trying to tell you.
when they cry, just try your best to figure it out . Stay calm and
ask your partner for help. Know that even if you can't calm your
baby, they will still know that you love them and that you are
Babies cry for a number of reasons. Sometimes crying is a late
sign of hunger. Feed you r baby when they show the early signs
of hunger such as smacking lips, sucking on hands or fists and
searching with an open mouth.
If they are not hungry ask yourself, "what do they need? A clean
diaper? A burp? A cuddle? Try different things, such as gently
rocking , walking with them or talking , singing and playing soft relaxing music.
Never shake a baby for any reason. Babies and young toddlers
have heavy heads and weak neck muscles. Even a few seconds
of shaking can cause blindness, hearing loss, and life long health
problems or death.
Here comes the mouse
Here comes the mouse, (speak slowly and walk your fingers up
their legs or arms)
Here comes the mouse,
Here he comes, here he comes, here he comes!
(spoken quickly and tickle your child at the same time)
You are my sunshine
You are my sunshine
my only sunshine
you make me happy
when skies are grey
You’ll never know (child’s name)
how much I love you
Please don’t take my (boy/girl) away
Chickpea Hummus (6+ months)
1 1/2 cup canned chick peas drained, rinsed and mashed
1/3 cup tahini paste or peanut butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. full fat yogurt
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if
needed until desired consistency is achieved. Serve on its own or as a spread.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Go for a walk
outside, and help
your child feel different things (i.e.: rock,
twig, branch, leaf,
etc) Describe how
they feel: smooth,
bumpy, rough etc.
Roll up a blanket and
place your child on
their tummy so that
they are on their
hands and knees.
Hold their hips and
rock them back and
forth. Place a mirror
on the floor.
Tie two or three items
on to their high chair
and encourage them
(while sitting) to
retrieve the items by
pulling up on the
strings. Make sure
they are securely
fastened to be safe!
Go to the park and
swing together.
Place your child on
your lap and hold
with both arms. See
if they like it; keep it
low and help them
feel secure.
Sing “Ring around
the Rosie”, holding
your baby and
dancing in circles.
Then when you sing
“they all fall down”
either fall down or dip
your child lower and
then pop back up.
When your baby is in
their high chair or
sitting with you by a
table, put a little
water on the flat
surface. Encourage
them to explore with
their hands moving
back and forth.
Sit you child on a
cushion, a thick book
or stool with their feet
planted on the floor.
Place some toys at
their feet and see if
they will bend to pick
up toys. Support at
their hips!
Before you change
your child’s diaper,
lower your child from
sit position into laying
position by holding
their hands; and say:
“down, down, down”.
Read a book in a tent
with a special snack.
A tent can be made
by just throwing a
blanket over your
head. Use a flashlight
to look at a book or
each other.
Young babes like to
look at black and
white designs and
faces. Make a
design on a paper
plate with a black
marker and
encourage them to
look at it, in sit or in
side-lying position.
When your child is 9
months or older, in a
clear, dry plastic bottle, place some
cereal or bite sized
snacks inside. Shake
it and dump it and
see if your child will
copy you.
When a toy falls over
or when something
tips over say “uh-oh”,
or “oh no”. See if
your child will imitate
Sit on a sidewalk or
porch with a bucket
of water, cups, and
sponges. “Paint”
with water on the
surfaces, try making
footprints and
handprints too!
On a hot day, give
your child an ice cube
to explore on a flat
surface. Will they
pick it up? Try eating
it? Play with it until it
melts? Supervise!
While holding your
child on your lap sit
and bounce gently on
your bed. Make fun
sounds as you
bounce. Then rock
them side to side and
pretend to almost fall
over. Whoa!
When grocery
shopping, point out
different items and
label them, also let
your child feel or hold
different (safe) items
while they are in the
Hold a ribbon or paper streamer or a thin
strip of aluminum foil,
in front of a fan or
outside when windy
and watch with your
child how it moves in
the wind.
Stand your child on
your lap facing you,
and support. Move
your legs up and
down to march their
legs up and down or
encourage them to
dance to the beat.
Place water in an ice
cream lid, and have
your child place their
feet in it. Help them
walk or stand on a
cement surface and
leave their footprints.
Can vary this activity
with paint and paper.
When you hear your
phone ring, say
“phone!” Encourage
your child to play with
a play telephone ,
and if the call is a
familiar person let
them listen to the
Sit in front of a table
together, stack some
blocks or measuring
cups. Encourage
your child to knock
them down. Say “Oh
no”, or “fall down”.
When outside, lift
your child high above
your head and say
“So big” then bring
them down and say
“whee”. Repeat.
When playing with a
stuffed animal or
puppet, make it hide
and say “bye-bye”
and wave. When it
comes back say “hi!”
Encourage your child
to copy words or
Lay your child on
their tummy, hold a
toy above their face,
lift it up and across
their body to
encourage them to lift
their head and push
up on arms or to turn
over to watch or get
When sitting at the
table together give
your child an object
to look at. See if
they will pick it up.
Make sure that the
item is not small
enough to fit through
a toilet paper tube, to
reduce choking risks
Fasten a rattle, or
slide a ring toy or
teething bracelet on
one of their legs and
see if they will bang
their feet to make
noise or lift their leg
to inspect.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: Car Seat Safety
Your baby must be in a rear-facing seat that is correct for their weight and height
when in a vehicle. It is safest for a baby to stay rear-facing until at least 1 year old , at
least 10 kg (22 lbs) and walking. Don't rush to put your child in a forward-facing seat
the rear facing position is the safest. Many child safety seats allow children to stay
rear-facing longer.
For installation instructions refer to the safety seat instruction manual and your vehicle
manual. Take the child safety seat yes test on line at or or in your Health Parents Healthy Children
Book: Early Years book.
For further information call Health Link at 811 or Alberta Transportation at 780-4278901 or toll free 310-0000.
Rhymes: Pat-a cake
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake Baker’s man (clap your child’s hands together)
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Roll it and roll it (roll arms over one another)
and mark it with a “B” (or the 1st letter of your child’s name)
And put it way up in the oven for “baby” and me (lift hands way up and point to child
and then to self)
Here is the Bee hive
Here is the bee hive (clasp hands together)
But where are all the bees, (open hands palms up)
Hidden away where nobody sees (cover eyes)
Out of the hive they will come
1,2,3,4,5 (unfold fingers from fist)
Buzz (tickle your child all over) says the bees
Banana French Toast (6 months+)
Mix 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup of milk, 1 egg and
1/2 tsp vanilla or cinnamon in a wide bowl.
Then dip pieces of whole grain bread and
coat, place on a non stick griddle or pan and
cook both sides until golden brown. Cool a bit
and serve in small cut up pieces and allow
your baby to enjoy this tasty finger food!
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Record your child’s
babbling, on video or
on an audio device.
Send to family,
makes a great
keepsake also.
Make cookies with
your child. Let them
smell the ingredients
(vanilla, flavoring) or
lick the batter. Say
Sticky goodness!
After you change
their diaper, ask
them “Want up?”
Hold your hands out
and watch their
response, if they
look at you and try to
reach out...then say
“going up!”
With some measuring cups show your
child how they nest
together, how a small
one fits into a larger
Play with your child
with a noisy toy.
Make a sound and
see if they will copy
the movement to
make the same
Give your child a
long item to hold,
such as a serving
spoon, or a paper
towel tube. Extend
your hand out and
see if they will pass
the item to you and
then pass it back!
With a piece of yarn
or string, thread toy
rings, cardboard
tubes, jar rings etc.
and tie between two
chairs. Sit your child
in front of string and
encourage them to
move the items.
Place your child on
your lap and play
“horsie” Gently
bounce your leg.
Stop and start, and
say “Giddy up or
whoa horsie” to
correspond with the
Turn the music on
and dance! Hold
your child’s arm and
move to the music,
dip them, twirl them,
bounce. Enjoy!
In front of a large
mirror, make faces at
each other. Swing
your child close to
the mirror. Say “who
is that handsome/
pretty boy/girl?” Ask
“where’s your nose?”
With a stuffed animal
or toy, play “pop up”.
Hide your hand
under a blanket or
something and then
cue it to “pop”. Say
“hi!” then hide again
and repeat!
Sit your child on your
thigh supporting their
head and back. Tip
your child’s body
backwards and
forwards, side to
side. Bounce. This
is great for
strengthening their
Give your child some
paper. Encourage
them to squeeze and
crumple. Be
watchful if they tear
to remove so they do
not eat the paper
Sit with your child at
a table and roll a ball
or a car off the table
and say “Where did it
go?” see if they will
seek it out. Repeat.
With connectable
rings, pop-beads or
blocks, show your
child how to snap
together and pull
apart. See if they will
hold on while you
Roll a large ball, roll
to your child in a
sitting position. See
if they will push it
away from
themselves, or hold
on to it. Repeat! A
beach ball is perfect
for this as it is quite
When dressing your
child, talk them
through what you are
doing. “Now we put
your shirt on, where
are you? There you
are. Let’s put your
pants on, toes where
are you? Aha!” etc.
With two blocks, see
if they will hold both
in each hand. Then
show them how to
bang them or clap
them together. Clap,
clap, clap!
Play “peek-a-boo”
with your child. Hide
behind a blanket or
pillow and “peek”.
When they start to
crawl, hide behind a
couch or chair and
see if they will seek
you out.
Stack toilet tissue
rolls and then push
them or kick them
over together.
Sing the featured
rhymes together for
this month: “Pat-acake” and “Here is
the bee-hive”
Hide a toy that
makes a continuous
noise, by your child
and see if they will
seek it out.
While carrying your
child look for
something in a
cabinet or room or
even the fridge. Say
“Where’s the milk?”
for example have
them help open the
door then say: “there
it is” .
With a toy car, drive
the car on your
child’s arms and
legs, back and
tummy. See if they
will drive it on you.
Make car noises and
say “go!”
Tickle your child.
Name their body
parts as you tickle.
See if you can get
them to smile, giggle
and laugh. Precious!
Hide a ball or a small
toy under a plastic
cup while they are
looking. See if they
will look for and then
grab the toy.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Recipes: (6 months+)
If you are happy
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap)
Try the following ideas for adding texture, variety and new
flavors to your child’s meals:
Try mixing iron-fortified cereal with mashed fresh or
canned fruit
Finely mashed or ground pasta mixed with sauce,
cream or grated cheese
Soft cooked rice with soft or pureed vegetables
Fork mashed soft or cooked vegetables. Try foods like
Parenting tip: Safety for your baby
avocado, sweet potato, parsnips, and squash.
Always keep one hand on your baby anytime they are on a high surFork mashed flaked salmon, tuna, turkey or chicken
face such as a change table, couch or counter. Always place the car •
with pureed vegetables. Make sure fish bones are reseat and baby seat on the floor.
Always use the safety strap when your baby is in her stroller or
Fork mashed cottage cheese or ricotta cheese with
swing or
added mashed fruit (fresh/canned) or vegetables.
infant seat.
Never leave your baby alone near water even for a second. One
hand should be on your baby while they are in the bath. Do not use bath seats
they are dangerous and could tip over.
When your child starts to move, place wall mounted gates at the top of your
stairs and pressure mounted gates at the bottom of your stairs.
Reduce your child’s chance of choking by cutting food into tiny pieces (the
size of a fingernail), when they are able to eat finger foods (at around 9
months of age).
Keep small objects out of reach. Anything that fits inside a toilet paper holder
is too small for your baby to play with.
Store medicines, vitamins, alcohol, cigarettes, cosmetics and household
cleaners should be out of sight and locked up tight.
To prevent burns turn your hot water heater down to 49 celsius or install an
anti- scald device on your tap. Do not drink hot beverages while holding your
baby and keep hot food and beverages out of reach.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
With a noisy toy or
bells, move them to
both sides without
your child seeing,
and see if they will
turn their head to
localize the sounds.
Try offering breast milk
or water to satisfy your
babies thirst before
juice. If you do offer
juice provide a open
cup with 100% unsweetened juice and
limit to 1/2 cup per day.
Play with a squeaky
toy. Squeak the toy
by squeezing and
then give to your
child to see if they
can copy the action.
They may use their
hands or quite
possibly their mouth.
With your child facing
away from you on
your lap, bounce
them gently and tip
them from side to
side. As you tip kiss
their ear and say
“peek-a-boo!” on
each side.
Talk about “hot “ and
“cold” with your child.
With an ice cube
allow them to touch
and say “brrr…cold”,
fill a cup with hot
water and empty let
them feel the outside
of cup and say “hot”!
When saying “hi”
or “bye-bye”, say
the words with
animation and
wave. Help your
child to wave also,
each time.
With a favorite toy,
move the object
behind an object and
have it reappear on
the other side. See if
your child will track
where it goes when
this action is repeated.
Sitting face to face,
make a sound that
you have not heard
your baby use
before. Try “shh” for
example, put your
finger to your lips.
Will they copy the
action or the sound?
Sing his month’s
rhymes with your child
daily: “If you are happy
and you know it” and
“Sally goes round the
When dressing your
child, talk about body
parts. When putting
arm in sleeve, look in
and say “where are
your fingers? there
they are!” as they
slide them out. Try
toes and head, also.
Play “how does the
animal walk?” while
your child is laying
down. Move their
feet and legs and
make up movements:
“elephants stomp,
horse gallop, mice
scurry,” etc.
Place different
desirable toys or
objects just out of
reach and
encourage them to
move their bodies
to “reach” and get
the item.
Give them a ring toy
to play with (can use
homemade rings and
peg). Will they take
the ring stack apart?
Place rings on peg
and see if they will
put on or take off.
Cover a sibling or
parent with a blanket
and then say ”Where
did they go?” See if
they will seek the
person out by lifting
or pulling blanket.
Place a toy that makes
sound within a child’s
visual range and then
move the toy and wait
for them to re-locate.
Then say “there it is!”
With a pot, place
blocks and smaller
toy inside, and help
your child stir with a
wooden spoon and
“cook” the blocks.
Give your child (6
months+) a drink
from a cup at each
meal. Put a bit of
breast milk or water
in so they can practice. Encourage them
to gesture for
“more?” Say
“mmmm, milk” etc.
Explore leaves outside. Give your child
a leaf to touch, does
it crumble or can they
tear it in half. Just
watch so they do not
eat it.
Place some
smaller toys in a
container or bag.
Say “what’s in
there?” When
they grab an item,
and inspect it, give
them the name of
the item like
“block”, “ball”, etc.
Place blocks in a
container, one by
one, and then dump
them out. Dump and
fill, they will do this
over and over.
Take turns with your
child. Lay your child
on the floor and see
if they will try to get
your attention. With
a squeal , or an
action, copy what
they do, and repeat!
With two color pieces
of fabric, wave your
arms back and forth
and make them “fly” or
“go”. Give them one
and see if they will
Make a paper
megaphone, by
rolling sheets of paper into a cone and
tape together. Make
loud sounds and
quiet sounds and see
if your child will copy.
Put a blanket over
your child and your
head and make a
tent and say “it’s dark
in here” , “where are
we” and then take
blanket off and say
“here we are!”
Sit cross legged on
the floor and sit your
child on your lap.
Hold and move their
ankles so they are
doing a tap dance on
the floor. Sing or
play some music.
Put lots of different
hats in a box! Try
them on yourself
and on your child.
Say “hat on”, “hat
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parsnip and pumpkin puree (6 months+)
Peel and dice 1 parsnip and 1 cup of pumpkin. Steam or simmer in a bit of
water until tender. Then blend in a food processor or mash well together.
Peach puree (6 months+)
Place 1 peach (peeled, pitted and chopped either cooked or uncooked) into
a blender or food processor. Puree, then add milk, formula or breast milk to
it to give it a creamy consistency. Blend and serve.
Parenting tip: Eye health
At 6 months of age, your baby is ready for their first eye
exam by an optometrist. At this age, the optometrist can
examine their eye movement ability, eye health, and
excessive, or unequal amounts of nearsightedness,
farsightedness or astigmatism.
Try to schedule your appointment for when your baby is
the most relaxed and alert. Alberta Health Care covers
the cost for all eye exams for children under the age of
Active play activities and eye-hand exploration are all very
important to strengthen your child’s vision.
For more information contact your local Community
Health Services office or The Alberta Association of
Optometrists at 1-800-272-8843 or check out
Slowly, Slowly, Very Slowly
Slowly, slowly very slowly goes the garden snail (walk fingers slowly
up your child’s legs)
Slowly, slowly very slowly up the garden trail
Very quickly goes the little bee (buzz your fingers in the air))
Quickly, quickly, very quickly
You can’t catch me
Quickly, quickly, very quickly runs the little mouse (walk fingers
quickly up their arms)
Quickly, quickly into his little house (move your fingers into their armpit area and tickle)
Wiggle, wiggle little toes (tune: Twinkle, twinkle little star)
Wiggle, wiggle little toes (wiggle toes one by one)
Oh, my goodness what a pose
Up above my head so high (lift legs above head when they are laying on their back)
Dancing, dancing in the sky (move legs)
Wiggle, wiggle little toes. Oh my goodness what a pose!
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
When turning a light
or a radio off say “bye
bye ”, or “no more”.
When turning an object on that will be
loud, prepare them
for the sound.
Give your child a box
or a basket to sit and
play in. If they still
need support to sit,
place a towel or
blanket around their
legs and trunk.
Place your child on a
large exercise or
beach ball and roll
them side to side,
front to back while
sitting or on their
Use your child’s
name when you are
speaking to them so
that they learn their
name. When playing
peek-a-boo for
example: “Where’s
Mary?” then “There is
Cut a hole in a lid of a
container, get them to
put in different toys
through the hole.
Take lid off and dump
out items.
With a wind chime or
bells, move or shake
to produce sound.
Encourage your child
to copy the
movement, and see
how they react to
When holding your
child securely either
facing you or facing
away, spin around in
one spot and then
switch directions.
Let your child explore
different items from
the kitchen especially
plastic items.
This activity is good
to offer when you are
making a meal!
Fill a bag with hard
and soft, rough and
smooth items (spoon,
stuffed animal, sandpaper, mirror). Have
them reach in bag
and pull out item and
explore textures!
With a straw, blow air
on different body
parts of your child.
Say “I going to blow
on your hand, your
leg, your toes…” etc.
When your child is
exploring different
sounds gently pat
their mouth so they
make a “wa-wa-wa”
sound. Do this action with your vocals
and hand also.
Help your child to
turn lights or a
doorbell on and off.
Say “On and Off” and
watch there reactions
and cues to
continue .
Read a magazine
with your child, point
to things of interest
and label with just
one word and point
to the object!
When your child is
playing– by banging
or shaking or making
sounds. Copy what
they are doing.
Copying is part of
Roll your child up in a
small blanket so that
just their head is
sticking out. Then on
a count of three,
“1,2,3” pull the blanket end so they can
anticipate the
Give them a bean
bag, to explore and
encourage them to
throw it. Toss it back
to them into their lap.
Play some music,
and sing along.
Clap or click your
tongue to the beat.
See if your child will
Place your child on
their tummy on a lazy
Susan (a rotating tray
for food) Turn them
slowly one way and
then another. Place
a toy for them to try
to grab as they spin.
Place some bird
seed on a surface
close to a window
where your child can
watch the birds come
to eat! Talk about
what they see.
Give your child some
junk mail to tear
apart. You may need
to start and then help
them to finish. Make
sure they do not eat
any small pieces.
Sing this month’s
rhymes with your
child daily: “Slowly,
slowly, very slowly”
and “Wiggle little
Practice washing
your child’s hands,
through out the day:
before meals, after
meals and after diaper changes! It is
just a good habit to
start young!
Pick your child up
and wander through
the rooms of your
house and ask
“What’s in here?” or
“Who’s in here?”
Comment on who or
what you see.
Carve a pumpkin for
Halloween. Let your
child watch. Let your
child feel the pulp
and the seeds.
Then light and see
what their reaction is
in the dark!
Dress your child up
for Halloween, keep
it simple and safe.
Dress yourself up too
with different hats,
scarves, glasses etc,
and see what their
response is.
With a paper towel
roll, show your child
how you can put a
spoon or small ball
through the hole.
Say words like “in
and out”.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tip: No TV for babes!
The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends not allowing any
screen time (TV or computer) for children under the age of two
years of age, urging parents to take time for more interactive play in
its place.
Many homes report always having the TV on, even when there is no
one watching. This reduces speech for both infants who are then
listening to the TV instead of Mom or Dad, and for the caregivers
they are not engaging as much with their child also, as they are
distracted by the TV.
Instead promote language development through playing, reading,
singing and enjoying music.
So Big
How big is (child’s name)?
He/she is so, so sooo big! (Lift hands over your child’s
Someone’s going to get you
Here comes a pig! oink-oink! (can interchange different
animals and their sounds)
(kiss their tummy or neck)
Ride a horse
Ride a horse, ride a horse (bounce your child on your lap)
(Child’s name) goes around,
Not too fast, not too fast
Or (child’s name) falls down (falls between your legs)
Recipes: Yummy Turkey Balls (6 months +)
1 pound or 2 cups of lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup of iron fortified cereal
1/4 cup of whole milk
2 Tbsp. ketchup
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl combine ingredients and mix well with a
wooden spoon. Form meatballs and add to a baking sheet. Make for 20 minutes at 350F or until cooked through. Cooked meatballs can be pureed with
added water or breast milk/formula for a younger baby or chopped for finger
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Use your child’s
name in
conversations with
them. If you want to
get their attention,
call their name within
close proximity of
In a dark room at
night, use a
flashlight, and shine
it on different objects
in the room. Label
as they see them.
Shine on their hands
and feet also.
Have your child
make the beds with
you. Place them in
the bed, and flutter
the sheets over top,
when they are
covered play peek-aboo. Continue with
the next layers.
Go to your local
library and inquire
into programming
for babies: like
“Rhyme Time”,
“Mother Goose”,
“signing for babies”
Sing “Twinkle,
twinkle little star” with
actions. Raise their
arms up high.
When your child is on
the floor, crawl
around them on your
hands and knees and
talk to them. This is
lots of fun once they
get mobile also.
Make shadows with
your child in a dark
room using a lamp or
flashlight. Make different hand shadows
or just let your child
see their own silhouette on the wall.
Sing this month’s
rhymes with your
child daily, “So big”
and “Ride a horse”.
Play airplane with
your child. When
laying on your back,
bring your knees up,
with feet off floor,
place your child on
your calves and hold
their arms. Move
your legs...whee!
Spin a top, or wind a
wind-up toy. When it
stops wait for your
child to gesture or
indicate for more.
Say “go?” and then
Let your child explore
your face and touch
cheeks, lips, ears
and eyes, make
sounds so they can
feel the vibrations of
your mouth and neck
Tickle your child
gently all over and
say “tickle, tickle!” or
to see if they will
anticipate, in a whisper, say “ticka,ticka”
and then gradually
raise your voice to
say “tickle, tickle”.
Make shakers for
your child. Fill plastic
containers with
different items
(beans, rice, etc.)
fasten lids on tightly
and have your child
Call grandma or
grandpa or another
family member. Let
your child listen and
“talk“ on the phone
with them.
In front of a mirror
point at your child
and say their name,
then point to yourself
and say your name.
Repeat. Point to
their body parts, and
name also.
Massage your little
one with lotion. Do
not massage when
they have a full
stomach. Massage
first thing in the
morning or last thing
at night.
Place some pillows
on the floor, and help
your child move into
different positions,
rolling, cuddling, or
crawling over the
Fill plastic bottles
with different
volumes of water,
turn over metal loaf
or cake pans. Then
show your child how
to bang them with a
wooden spoon to
make different
Dance, with your
child. Sing the
“Hokey Pokey” and
help your child “put”
each body part into
the circle.
Make a house for
your child out of
couch cushions.
Place your child
inside. Say “where
are you?” or “are
you in a house?” etc.
Blow raspberries on
your child's tummy,
arms, back, legs and
palms. Say in between blowing “I’m
going to get you”.
On a long piece of
yarn tie a toy with
wheels or without.
Show your child that
if you pull on the
string how they can
get the toy.
Count your child's
fingers and then
toes. At the end,
tickle or blow
raspberries on their
palm or bottoms of
Give your child a
small plastic funnel to
play with in the
bathtub. Show them
how to make the water pop up through
the funnel.
Tie a rope on a
laundry basket.
Place your child
inside and then pull
them towards you
with the
careful not to tip
With applesauce or
pudding, place on a
paper and have your
child poke, smear,
and slide fingers
around to explore.
Ideas for infants from birth to 18 months old
Parenting tips:
Recommended toys for infants (0-6 months):
Soft balls, rattles, noise blocks, squeeze toys, baby mirrors, soft cloth or plastic books they can explore
with their mouths, pictures of smiling faces or black and white designs they can look at. At this age ultimately YOU are their best toy!
Recommended toys for infants (6-12 months):
Floating bath toys, plastic books, picture books, wheeled toys, rattles and noisemakers, hammer and peg
toys, soft balls, mirrors and activity centers, squeaky toys, blocks, and pop-up or jack in the box toys.
Again peek-a-boo using a blanket, and one on one interactions, are the best games to play!
Recommended toys for infants (12-18 months):
Stacking and nesting toys, simple puzzles, picture books (board books and even a small photo album
with family members in it), pull toys, music CD’s, blocks, sandbox toys, toy telephones, push toys, large
balls, plastic containers for filling and dumping, and cardboard boxes.
Safety note: Do not give a young child any toy that is small enough to fit through a cardboard tube of a
toilet paper roll to prevent choking.
Rhymes: These are baby’s fingers
These are (child’s name) fingers (wiggle fingers)
These are (child’s name) toes (wiggle toes)
This is (child’s name) belly button (find belly button)
Round and round it goes (tickle baby)
Easy “Peasy” Chicken Dinner (9 months+)
Leg over leg (great for diaper changing)
Leg over leg
the dog went to Dover (gently cross the baby’s legs 4 times)
When he came to the stile,
Whoops! He went over! (Slip diaper under their bottom when
you go whoops)
Soft poach, slow cooked or roast 1/2 of a chicken breast (skinless
and cubed).
Steam a small sweet potato chunk (peeled and also diced) for 3
Add peas and cook for 2 minutes.
With a slotted spoon transfer ingredients into food processor and
blend, may need extra liquid if need be. Does not need to be too
smooth a bit of texture is better as they get older.
Cool and serve.
If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your local Community Health Services office.
Sit with your child in
between your legs,
hold a broom handle
across your bodies,
encourage your child
to hold. Make rowing
motions together,
sing “Row, row, your
Lift your child’s arms
high over their head
and when they are
sitting facing you or
when on their back
and say “So big!”
Bring their arms down
and repeat!
Stack Kleenex boxes
or toilet paper rolls
with your child and
show them how to
knock them down.
See if they will help
stack and repeat.
Pretend your child’s
teddy bear or doll is
real, feed them a
cookie, give them a
drink, put them to bed
Make shortbread or
gingerbread cookies
and roll out the dough
to use cookie cutters,
show them how you
cut the dough. Give
them a piece to explore. Cook and enjoy!
Look at pictures of
animals and make the
corresponding animal
sounds with your
Use praise with your
child, when they complete tasks, say things
like “good job”, “you
did it’, “awesome”,
“super”, etc.
Make handprints and
footprints with paint,
place on white or
brown wrapping
paper or a box for
decorating a special
Encourage your child
(6 months+) to try
drinking from a regular cup...the
earlier the better.
Fill a two liter bottle
with water, glitter,
confetti, buttons, cut
straws etc. and seal
well. Shake and swirl,
let your child watch
and feel the bottle.
Play with a squeaky
toy. Squeak the toy
by squeezing and
then give to your child
to see if they can
copy the action. They
may use their hands
or quite possibly their
Make a snow angel
with your little one,
dressed in their
snowsuit, toque and
mittens. Take a picture for a keepsake!
When your child is 9
months and older, in
a clear, dry plastic
bottle, place some
cereal or bite sized
snacks. Shake it and
dump it and see if
your child will copy
Show your child a
picture of Santa and
ask them what he
says? Then say “ho,
ho, ho” and see if
they will repeat.
Show them Santa and
say “ho, ho, ho”
When outside,
when it is snowing
encourage your
child to open their
mouths to catch
snowflakes on
their tongue. Explore snow outside
and bring indoors
to play with also.
Sit with your child and
another person, cover
the person with a
blanket and say
“Where did they go?”
When they reach for
the blanket, or pull it
off, then say “There
they are!”
Sing this month’s
rhymes with your
child daily: “These
baby’s fingers” and
“Leg over leg”.
Place a dishtowel
or a bathrobe tie
under the arms of
your child and
across their chest.
Hold the fabric
carefully and help
your child steady
to stand and later
After your child’s
bath, massage them
with lotion and sing
rhymes and songs to
Kiss your child on one
cheek then the other,
then the back of the
neck, on the legs,
feet, etc.
Tie a soft rattle or
bells around your
child’s wrist or ankle
and encourage them
to shake.
Say and sing:
“Shake, shake,
Talk through a
wrapping paper
tube to your child.
See if they will talk
back. This will
encourage lots of
babbling, as they
like hearing their
voice at this age.
Experiment with new
sounds and see if
your baby will copy
you (try clicking with
your tongue, smacking your lips, blowing
bubbles with saliva,
gurgling etc.)
Place some toys on
the end of a towel.
Show your child if you
pull on the towel, how
they can retrieve the
items to play with.
Make homemade
baby food for your
child 6 months and
older. Blend cooked
vegetables in a
blender and place into
ice cube trays.
Freeze for later use.
Give your child a
hat to put on, and
take off. Play in
front of a mirror so
they can see
themselves. Say
“on” or “off”.
Created by:
Kim Nowicki
Child Development specialist
Early Childhood Intervention program
Lac La Biche Community Health Services
P.O Box 869, 9503 Beaverhill Road
Lac La Biche, AB T0A 2C0
email: [email protected]
Alberta Health Services
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