|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Unlike hearing, baby’s sight develops slowly over the first 6 to 8 months of its life. This is not due to eye development, which doesn’t change, but brain development which is responsible for processing everything the eye is seeing. At first, young babies find it hard to distinguish between similar colours and tones and find high contrast images easier to see. At first they may prefer looking at black and white images, but quickly, as their sight develops, they also love to watch bright colours and contrasting patterns and they should be given lots of opportunity to look at colour.
A variety of props or toys which are brightly coloured
Up to six weeks
How it works
Use different props each week which are highly coloured such as:
- Parachute (laying babies under it)
- Wind spirals
- Chiffon Scarves
- Gel tubes filled with bubbles or glitter / motion glitter lamps
- Coloured lights
- LED finger torches (NOT Laser touches as these can be dangerous for eyes)
- Coloured bottles (fill small clear water balls with water and assorted small colourful objects (such as gem stones, sequins, glitter, cut up bits of pipe cleaners, foam shapes. You could also put a few drops of food dye of different colours in different bottles. Glue on the tops of the bottles securely).
What to do in the class
Parachute – Put some upbeat music on. A variety of parachute activities can be used. In a ring, mums take hold of the edge of the parachute, and lift it up and down. They lay their babies underneath so that they are looking up at the different colours as the parachute rises and falls. Mums could continue to lift the parachute as they move around in a circle, so changing the colours the babies’ experience. Babies could be placed on the parachute, sitting or lying, while mums ruffle the edges to make the material billow around them. Encourage mums to place babies on their tummies on the parachute – not only is this helpful to strengthen their core muscles, they can experience the colours at close quarters. Mums sit with babies on their laps, facing the parachute and ruffle the fabric. Coloured balls can be added so the babies can watch the different colours.
For wind spirals and windmills or any prop where there is not one item per baby, lead from the front of the class, moving the object slowly across each babies line of sight. You can perhaps combine two or three different prop ideas to use to add extra interest and create richer sensory experience, but try to allow the babies to focus on one at a time.
Give babies more reassurance by keeping them laid on legs or your lap, instead of on the floor and put balls on top.
Tell mums in advance that not all children will like this at first, some may take a little time to get used to it. If a child does not react well to the parachute, just move them further away to watch
REMINDER – mention safety as it is easy to slip if any one stands on the parachute
There are some nice ideas at:
Adaptations for older/younger children
This element is primarily designed for young babies
What to do in a nursery setting
No adaption required but be extra careful with safety where adult ratio is not one to one.