3 - 4 Months

Activities for your 4-month-old from child development experts

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Through simple play, your baby gains thinking skills, gross motor development, social connections, language understanding, and more. Try these sensory activities for 4-month-olds recommended by Lovevery’s child development experts.

Rosemary-scented play

Once your baby’s hands open, they will start to reach without grasping. Filling a tray with fresh rosemary is a fun way to stimulate your child’s sense of smell, sight, and touch.

Materials:

  1. Rosemary sprigs or other herbs
  2. Tray or baking sheet
  3. Pillow or rolled-up blanket

What to do:

  • Put some rosemary sprigs onto a tray and place it on the floor.
  • Put a pillow or rolled-up blanket in front of it and lay your baby on top, so their chest is slightly lifted. This will allow them to use their arms to reach for the herb.
  • Try using mint, thyme, lavender, or any other herb, too.

Please be sure to supervise your baby during this activity so that they do not mouth the rosemary or lie with their face in the pillow or rolled up blanket. Put materials safely away when play is done.

In photo: Sensory Strands and The Play Gym

Lined up for success

Bringing their hands to midline, or the center of their body, and batting are two skills your baby is likely working on at 4 months. Because involuntary reflexes are still their primary way of gathering information, you can help them explore, discover, and learn by placing them close to an interesting object or plaything.

For example, try hanging the Sensory Strands on The Play Gym and laying your baby directly underneath. With this setup, it’s easy for them to touch the strands when they move their feet and bat their arms, making “accidental discoveries.” Soon, with time and lots of practice, your baby will begin to connect their movements to a desired outcome.

Paint with no mess

Give your baby the the freedom to explore sensory art—minus the messy cleanup 😉

Materials:

  1. Colorful, non-toxic paint
  2. White paper
  3. Resealable plastic bag
  4. Duct or painter’s tape

What to do:

  • Squirt 4 quarter-sized circles of colorful paint on white paper.
  • Carefully place it into a sturdy resealable plastic bag while trying to keep the colors separate.
  • Close and seal the bag with duct or painter’s tape.
  • Tape all four sides to the ground.
  • Place your baby on their tummy with their forearms on the bag.
  • Show them how to use their hands to “paint.”

Please be sure to supervise your baby at all times during this activity and put the sensory bag safely away when play is done.

Take off with tummy time

A fun variation on tummy time, the airplane game can help your baby strengthen muscles in their neck, back, and core 🙂

What to do:

  • Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest.
  • Place your baby face down on your shins and hold their hands or hold them around their waist.
  • Sing songs, chat, and make funny faces as you lift your legs and rock them from side to side.
In photo: Complex Black & White Card Set from The Looker Play Kit

Tune into your baby’s preferences

Can your baby make choices this early? Even though they can’t use words at 4 months, they can indicate a preference for something through their gaze, sounds, and gestures.

Show your child two high-contrast images, suggests Nekole Eaton, a pediatric occupational therapist. See which one holds their gaze and put the other one aside.

Have a conversation about the card your baby “chose.” Describe what your baby sees (“This is a dog. Here is the dog’s nose.”). Ask questions (“What does a dog say?”), and answer them yourself (“A dog says ‘Woof!’”).

This builds receptive language and helps you learn to tune in to your baby’s preferences ❤️

In photo: Rolling Bell from The Charmer Play Kit

Encouraging head turning

A classic Montessori rolling bell pairs movement with sound in a way that delights and intrigues babies. Rolling it on the floor in front of your child while they’re on their stomach motivates them to track it with their eyes. This leads them to practice a crucial motor skill—turning their head from left to right.

Over the coming months, with a little shift of their weight and a push of their arm or foot, your baby will likely be rolling over from their tummy to their back (typically between 4 and 6 months) ❤️

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Posted in: 3 - 4 Months, Tummy Time, Gross Motor, Language, Sensory Play, Cognitive Development, Lovevery App, Child Development

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