|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
This activity is about developing babies’ visual memory. First babies have to be taught to understand that when something can no longer been seen, that it does still exist. This is done with lots of hands on practice and experimentation. Once they finally understand this concept they will start to look for objects they can’t see. This activity then moves on to help older babies to remember where objects once were and to find them again.
- A variety of small objects (ideally ones that a baby would be familar with, e.g. stuffed toys that are quite different from each other)
- Small boxes or pieces of material which are big enough to ‘hide’ the props.
Two to three weeks
How it works
Adults ‘hide’ an object (ball, rattler, toy animal, car etc) under some material or a box and encourage the baby to look for it.
What to do in the class
Give every adult a couple of small props and something to hide them such as a clean tea-towel. Explain to the adult to show the prop to the baby and allow them some time to explore it. Then take back the object and lay it on the floor, just out of reach of the baby and cover it over. Ask the baby where the object has gone. Pretend to look for it and then reveal it again and ‘celebrate’ your find. Repeat with another object.
At this stage many babies wont be able to communicate, but look for signs that they know where the object, such as is they look for their object with their eyes.
For older babies who are able to look for an object and might be ready to reach to remove the fabric, this activity can be extended by using more than one object and cover. Adults and babies could play in pairs. Explore 2 objects between the babies, then place both on the floor in front of them. Now cover them with the 2 pieces of fabric and ask the babies where the ‘car’ has gone, or where the ‘brick’ has gone. See if they can remember which object was under which fabric.
- small soft toys
- coloured balls
- coloured blocks to hide
- tea towels, scarves or cups or boxes to hide the object.
An alternative activity suggested by one of our experience franchisees is to create a larger ‘kims game’. If you have a spare parachute, cut some holes in it (you would have to sew the edges to stop them from fraying). The parents hold the parachute with their babies on their laps, while you hide underneath with some soft toys, such as a big frog. Put on some whacky music and run or crawl around underneath pushing the frog through the holes, encouraging the children to shake and pat him on the head. You could pop different toys up different holes.
Adaptations for older/younger children
Very young babies (i.e under around 5 months) will not have much concept of object permanence as it is too soon for them to have reached this milestone. For younger babies provide and alternative ‘tummy time’ or grasping activity using the props.
What to do in a nursery setting
Encourage the staff to work individually with each baby with this task