In our modern world of overscheduling activities and over-stimulating our babies, we need to leave time aside that is unscheduled and unstructured.
Your baby is a little scientist and exploring the world through the senses is the way she tests the parameters of the world and develops creativity. Exploration happens best when there is time and space to experiment. This means that your baby needs time to be bored to be creative.
Here are some guidelines:
- Schedule only one activity a week per year of your baby’s age – in other words for the first year, just one scheduled ‘class’ like a mom and baby group per week is enough. At 2, you may want to do two classes, for example, a toddler swimming and mom and baby class.
- Do not schedule activities to stimulate your baby all day. Rather have periods of time when she can just ‘potter around’ the garden or run through the sprinkler.
- Limit the number of toys your baby has to play with at one time – 3 toys plus an empty box or Tupperware will be more likely to stimulate creativity than loads of fancy technical switch toys.
- Do not hover like a helicopter guiding all she does and showing her how to use a toy – rather let her get on with it and experiment herself. It can be frustrating to hold back and let her use trial-and-error to get it right. Sit on your hands if you have to ☺
In a nutshell, let her experiment within safe parameters and have free time and less instruction – in the long run, she will learn the vital skills of entertaining herself and being creative.