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Playing for Keeps: The Seriousness of Play to Little Children
Another way to stimulate baby’s interest and learning is to hang a mobile 8 to 12 inches over the cot. Babies are entranced by figures that dance and sway above them. A simple way to stimulate vision is to hang a specially made baby mirror in the cot; baby won’t know whose image is being reflected until later in the year, but your little one will love to stare nonetheless. As your baby becomes more active, eyesight development keeps up with your child’s new mobility. Spying interesting toys and exciting happenings across the room gives your little explorer even more incentive to strengthen motor skills.

Watching objects move is another source of endless fascination. If you want to give your baby a thrill and yourself some well-deserved relaxation, visit a pet store. Ever wonder why fish tanks are so popular? It’s because of their naturally relaxing effect. You and baby can look together at the brightly coloured fish swimming soothingly in the tank. The Lights and Sounds Aquarium has a similar effect, and mounts right on baby’s cot.

Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education