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Stimulating your kids

Lately I have begun to worry about how much stimulation Brielle is getting on a daily basis. I don't really know how to help her learn things at her age, besides playing with her toys, and simple things like that. I just want to be sure that I am doing all that I can do to help her learn new things and in her development both mentally and physically.
How do you stimulate your kids? Are there certain books that your kids need, or certain types of toys, or certain activities? Is it bad if I put Brielle on the floor and have her entertain herself sometimes while I clean or make dinner?
Sorry, I may not be wording this the right way, it sounded better in my head. Also, I might be thinking this as well because it seems that I've done everything I can think of to do inside with a 9 month old about a thousand times. I may just be in desperate need of warm weather. Who knows! But any advice would be greatly appreciated! Both for toddler age, and baby ages!


Anonymous said...

Babies get enough simulation just from the world around them. For instance a walk around the neighborhood, playing peek-a-boo, being sung to or read to. Toys wit different textures or noises are also good. No it is not bad to let her sit by herself when you are fixing dinner. Babies need to learn how to self stimulate without the aid of another person. It is just as important for a child to calm themsevles such as being put to bed and fall asleep by themselves. A good bedtime routine usually helps with this.

Anna said...

I let Kaylee pretty much play with whatever, cords and computer cables, etc. anything she can get her hands on, to a point. I don't let her stick certain things in her mouth but its good for her to discover the many things lying around the house. She also plays with different textured toys and I explain the different feels. It is also really good for them to have "alone" play time it helps them be a little more independent. But really after the first comment need I say more. Whoever it was pretty much summed it up.

David and Shelly said...

Reading to your baby even when they are very young is always a good thing. Charlie (14 mo) still won't sit still for very long for a book, unless he is really tired. But he is always going over to his bookcase and getting out books to read by himself. He loves books! I agree with the person (who are you???) above about talked about walks. Pray for Spring to come soon!!

Bridget said...

Babies are so excited about observing everything around them that it's nice you don't need to have special toys or books to help them learn. You guys have already summed up a ton, but one thing that we've loved doing with our 3-year-old when she was little and now with our 10-month-old is sign language. Even if you just do a few signs, it's so fun to have a way to communicate. And, it's amazing the stuff they will start to point out. You really get the feel for how excited (and observant) they are when they can show you they notice a dog, bird, or ball. Anyways, I know that you're doing a ton with your cute baby and we wished that we lived closer so that we could see her!

Cassi said...

Ditto to all that! (Does anyone ever say ditto anymore? haha)
I took lots of Child Development classes at BYU and the great thing about babies is that they are stimulated by pretty much anything. They just need plenty of attention! And repetitive activities may get old for you but they are still good for the baby! :) Being able to explore and learn for themselves is important too so definitely don't feel bad about leaving her to play while you get things done! If that were a problem then we'd all be in trouble when we have that second/third/etc baby!!!
We also do some signs and that's good for communication.
Also, with Parker we had a bunch of Baby Einstein videos that claim they help with development(for when I wanted to get something done) but I've learned from a study since then that those are actually not great for babies and if done too much can cause ADHD.

Cassi said...

Oh and as for toddler age, definitely reading, puzzles, coloring, shape/color toys, etc!!! And really getting into whatever their interested in! Parker loved letters from a really early age so we got him letter magnets, books, puzzles, flashcards and he knew the whole alphabet by the time he was 2 and how to write his letters before he went to preschool. Mayli loves to color so I try to give her lots of opportunities to be creative!
If they are interested in it then they'll like learning, and when their young they are interested in almost everything!

Chalece said...

Thanks guys, these comments are great! I have gotten some really great ideas from all of you, it's so nice to know that I have so many experts on the subject that I am most interested, being a mother. You guys are great.

Dr. Shalee (ha ha) said...

I agree with the sign language...I love it! Jared has pretty much given up signing "drink" and now he just walks to the fridge and pounds on the door.

The only thing I can add (I'm trying to put off cleaning my kitchen so this might be lengthy) is something I learned in one of my Human Development class. I had to read an article about negative stimulation and long term effects. So basically it discussed that when you are interacting with your baby and they look shouldn't jump in their face and make them respond again. They need that down time--the break from stimulation. If you force it too much then it becomes a negative interaction for the baby and they respond negatively. Anyway, I thought that was interesting. I guess with everything involving babies it's important that we follow their cues and try to respond appropriately.

Parker knew his whole alphabet by 2?! That's incredible!

The Mortensens said...

Well, the thing I would say that I think has been the funnest with Will is to make him a part of my everyday life, and always be talking with him. If I'm cleaning, he gets a rag and spray bottle of water and LOVES to "help" me clean. If I'm cooking, he gets to come stand on a stool and dump things in, or stir things. When he was littler, I would still tote him a long with me wherever I was in the house. I wasn't always doing the entertaining, but he was still there with me, exploring whatever he could reach. Also, I've really tried to make conversation with him from day one. For example, when he was little, I'd bring him in the kitchen with me while I was cooking and I would explain to him what I was doing. He loved the interaction, even though he was usually chewing on some toy or scooting around under the table, he still liked hearing my voice and would watch what I was doing. He's learned a lot of great things that way, counting, hot/cold, lots of vocab, colors, etc. I also try to let him choose stuff at the grocery store. If I need produce, he can choose apples or oranges, and he gets to hold them. Or, I can give him a choice between white or yellow cheese... things like that. It keeps him content and makes him feel like he has choices too, plus he's learning a lot that way, especially when it comes to talking. I've done this since he was a baby, even when he couldn't answer me back.... don't worry, I got lots of weird looks from people, but Will loved it, and still loves it. Grocery shopping isn't a nightmare - oh, and we also stop by the bakery to get a free cookie! That helps too. :)

SOrry for the long post! There's my 2 cents!