Kicking play activities for babies

Around 3-4 months, when placed on their back, babies will start to kick. This makes them aware of how their feet and legs are connected to their bodies. This act of kicking is a very important part of their growth and development.
Here are some of the benefits of kicking 

1. Develops gross motor skills and muscle strength

2. Gets the baby ready for rolling over

3. Baby develops spatial awareness as they learn more about the movement of their bodies 

4. Cause and effect - When they kick and make a sound they realize they have the ability to intentionally make it move 

7 activities for you to get your baby

1. Balloons

Tie a ribbon to helium balloons and attach them to your baby’s ankles. As your baby kicks their legs, the balloons will move. Faster leg movements makes the balloons move faster, whereas slower movements will make the balloons move slower. Since a newborn’s vision is still developing, at first, you can buy black balloons with white stripes or polka dots for the high contrast effect and slowly move to primary colored ones.

2. Kick and splash

In a shallow tub, fill approximately 2 inches of water and seat your child in your lap with their legs in the tray. Watch their face light up as the water splashes with each kick. The movement of the water will make the balls float around, occasionally touching your baby’s feet. This will also allow them to feel the textures of the balls with the soles of their feet. After all, this helps build nerve connections in the brain, making it a great activity! 

3. Foil Blanket

Foil blankets make a great sensory play provocation. This allows babies to use their feet to make music. The foil blanket is also partially reflective which is exciting and interesting for babies to look at. All you have to do is open it up and lay it down on the floor. You can either have your baby lay on it on their tummy or their backs. You can also have them sit in your lap with their feet touching the blanket. It is a simple yet effective way to get your baby to kick. 

4. Rattle Socks

While your baby is on their back, put a pair of socks on them which have a small bell at the end (sew a small bell where the toes touch or get them in the level 3 playkit). As your baby lifts up their legs and begins to kick, they will enjoy the gentle sound the bell makes. 


5. Kicking Ball

The level 1 Montessori Box comes with a kicking ball that is easy to attach anywhere. Whether it is a playgym, car seat or stroller - you can give your baby the opportunity to practice kicking when you are on the go too. Kicking, just like most other skills developing at this age, shouldn’t be limited only to certain parts of the day or certain spaces. 

6. Streamer Curtain

Reuse party streamers, fabric or even ribbon to create a curtain as shown in the image. Hang them from a play gym or door frame, but ensure that it is low enough for the baby's legs to reach. You can use alternate black and white colors from birth till 3 months and then add red, orange and yellow. Your baby will feel the different textures as well as see the curtain move as they kick. This gives them a sensory input while teaching cause and effect i.e the curtain moves when I kick. 

7. Rotating Drum

Around 5 months Place a rotating drum near your baby’s legs and you will notice they will try to spin it with their feet. This improves spatial awareness while working on gross motor skills as they need to think how to move their legs to spin the drum

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