Here are some simple ways to stimulate motor skills development in babies.
Babies love to be in the company of their parents. They enjoy watching and listening to them. It's time you talk more to your baby. Repeat the same sounds that they produce. Baby's vision is only partially developed at birth. Baby should be encouraged to use his vision for its development. He should be able to track objects during the first few months. You can stimulate vision by hanging a mobile black and white toy over his crib or jingling a bright coloured rattle in front of your baby. Make her follow the rattle with her eyes, while listening to the sound.
You can develop baby's reaching skill as by this time the baby will have learnt to grab objects within her reach. Reaching helps to develop arm muscles, and spatial awareness. You can do this by keeping a toy just out of his reach and encouraging him to reach for it. Also by making the baby lie on his back, if you dangle things above him, he will try to reach for them. Use toys of high contrasting colours because babies are attracted to such contrasting colours.
Give your baby enough tummy time whenever the baby is awake, i.e put your baby down on his tummy and allow him to try and lift up his head. He can also do a lot of pushing with his arms. This will strengthen and develop neck and arm muscles. Hold each of baby's feet in each of your hands and do a cycling action. This will stretch the leg muscles and also make them strong. To improve rolling over, direct your baby's attention towards a small toy held above his head, then move it slowly to one side encouraging him to turn his body to that side, thus rolling over. Play games like Patty cake, which will be a good exercise to cheek muscles, as the baby chuckles and laughs with you.
During this period, baby will be able to sit up by himself. You can play more games with your baby like rolling back and forth a ball. You can try throwing a ball to him and making him try and catch it. You can get him to pour out the toys from a container and encourage him to put them back into the container, during which time he tries to reach for and grab them. Allow him to enjoy splashing water in a bathtub. The baby begins to understand object permanence during this phase i.e they understand that objects that are hidden from sight continue to exist. At this stage you can play hide and seek with him. Touch baby's hands, feet, arms , legs toes, fingers, ears, eyes and nose and name them when the baby is watching you., this will create body awareness.
Babies will be crawling and trying to pull up and stand during this period. You can set up obstacles in the way of your crawling baby using household objects. The baby will try to find ways to cross the obstacle and have something to conquer. Encourage your baby to pull up to standing position by putting toys on the table out of reach. On his effort to reach for it he will try to stand up. Babies during this age are interested in ripping and tearing, so give them all types of paper and aluminium foil, which will develop their fine motor skills. Baby enjoys music right from birth. At this stage you can provide him with toys that will produce some kinds of music if he shakes it or presses it. Put the baby on the support of your raised knees and sing the rhyme "Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall". When Humpty-Dumpty falls, let your baby fall gently. Baby enjoys it and it is a good exercise as well.
You can guide babies who are capable of standing on their own, to start walking. Here are some simple ways you can help.
Keep yourself a little distance away from your child, and encourage him to take steps towards you. Allow the babies who have started to walk to feel the ground with their sole and feet. When doing so, they will develop good balance in their new effort of learning to walk. After the toddler has mastered the skills of sitting, crawling, standing and walking, help him develop fine motor skills with various games and other activities as shown below.
Provide her with toys like balls, books and rattles to manipulate with hands and fingers. Such manipulating will improve grasping skills. You can also give her solid food to hold with her fingers to improve her grasping skills. Finger painting can be used to exercise little fingers.
Place peas in a container and get your toddler to fill various other small containers with peas using their hands. This will be a good exercise to strengthen fingers and also make them flexible.
Play dough or clay is a good play toy. It involves hand and finger movements as the child squeezes the clay, rolls, shapes and moulds it to her liking. You can teach pretend play, pretend the play dough is an eatable and ask your baby to pinch small pieces and feed his baby doll. Pinching develops fine motor skills. You can give her even the real edible dough which will be easier to shape with her small hands.
When your toddler builds a tower in the sand and keeps a flower or feather on top of it, she sharpens her fine motor skills.