Our infant classrooms at Childcare Network use our unique Bright Baby Curriculum. Our curriculum allows babies to become introduced to lots of new experiences, concepts, and skills. Each theme incorporates a puppet, book, and CD along with activities aligned with the developmental goals of our infants. Our babies love doing these activities again and again and their brains are forming connections that will last them a lifetime!
Using the "Babies Like Me" activities, I chose the card aligning with this infant's development and followed the card called "Mimic Me." My infant friend loved the kangaroo puppet and we had a great experience with joint attention and practicing different facial expressions. At a very early age, babies are already equipped with mirror neurons which means that they will tend to mimic whatever facial gesture is made at them! This can be a fun activity to try at home!
This friend is getting some hands-on experience with the "I Play" book, included in another of the Bright Baby themes. At 9 months old, this baby is ready to hold books and learn how pages turn. It is okay if an infant turns multiple pages or even closes the book. They can practice again and again! Reading books helps build babies listening skills and vocabulary.
Tummy time is so important for babies while they are awake and helps build strength. It also supports motor development! Tummy time should always be supervised and infants should never be left unattended. One friend had lots of colorful and different objects in front of him to make his area more interesting when he pushed his chest off the ground. My other friend had toys placed just out of his reach which caused him to use those muscles and build up strength. This is a great exercise to encourage crawling!
Routines are inevitably a part of everyday life for a baby but at Childcare Network, we make them just as fun as playtime! Making eye contact and talking with the babies is an important part of the learning process. "Mapping" what we are doing is important and gives the actions the infant see us do meaning. As diapers are being changed, talk about how you are gathering supplies, making them clean, putting the diaper on, washing your hands, etc. When feeding a bottle, you can talk about how they were hungry and now they are drinking a bottle. You can talk about how you are burping them or that is it all gone! Talking about what you are going to do during the day or even talking about a fun activity that has already taken place are great options, too. Talking is key when working with infants.
A safe sleep environment is crucial to the safety of infants while in our care. As a certified ITS-SIDS trainer in North Carolina, I make sure all of our infant teachers are up to date on all of the latest rules and regulations. We keep babies safe by always placing them on their back to sleep. At our schools, we document many kinds of information to keep our infant's safe such as when they can roll over and keeping sleep charts where we check on them while asleep and document what position they are in. Our infant classrooms are set at a comfortable temperature and we make sure the infants are not over-dressed for their safety.
The infant teachers work hard to create a safe environment where their gross motor skills, among many others, begin to flourish each and everyday! Walking is such a huge milestone and the faces that show pure joy at the accomplishments melts my heart!
Miss Amanda is the Education & Marketing Specialist for the Clayton, NC and surrounding area schools. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and Paralegal Technology. She is also wrapping up her Bachelors Degree in Early Care and Education. Amanda has over 9 years of experience working with children. Knowing that she is helping wire young minds for the future and setting the foundation for learning is her biggest reward. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, cooking, and spending time with her family.