Another fun way to engage your baby (ages 0-1ish... or beyond!) is by chants where you incorporate their little bodies into the actions. We are all probably familiar with "Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Baker's Man" - which is a great one! - and how much the babies love it because of the rhyme and hand motions the parent does with baby's hands. These types of chants are great for several reasons:
1. They are rhyming and sing-songy, teaching rhythm, patterns and vocal creativity
2. They use baby's body, helping baby become aware of various body parts and the different feelings caused when mommy or daddy uses them for motions or tickling.
3. They bond parent and baby
4. They can get baby laughing and smiling when seemingly nothing else can.
So, if you're getting tired of "Pat-a-cake" here are a few more to try:
Old hawk goes
finds a little.... chickie!
Do this one with baby lying on back.
During first 2 lines, make your hands or just fingers into a flying motion and "fly" around baby's belly.
During third line, pause briefly after "little" and plunge fingers down (appropriately!) to baby's belly and tickle on the word "chickie!"
Around, Around the Garden
Around, around the garden
the little bunny goes.
I'm gonna get your.... nose!
This one can be with baby sitting or laying on back.
"Hop" your two fingers around baby's body.... belly, arms, legs, etc. until you come to the "I'm gonna get your..." where you get closer and closer to baby's nose. Then, gently squeeze baby's nose on the last word.
Bore a Hole
I'm gonna bore a hole,
I don't know where,
I think I'll bore a hole right..... there!
Baby can be laying down or sitting.
With your pointer finger, move in circular motion in the air around baby and then have a slight pause before picking a spot where your finger dives down to baby and tickles.
Pausing a second or two before the climax of the rhyme enhances baby's expectation and usually results in more giggles because of the extra anticipation. :-)
Don't forget the old standards like "Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Mo" too!
Which chants are your baby's favorites?