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Brain-Boosting Games for Babies

Alexandra Grablewski

Baby See, Baby Do

Age: 8 Weeks Old

During the first few weeks you may notice that your baby is looking at your face quite intently. When this happens, try a new game: Stick out your tongue. Your baby will probably do the same thing. Then try wrinkling your brow. About 50 percent of babies this age will mimic you.

You can try other expressions as well. Stick out your lower lip in a pout. Open your mouth and eyes wide. In each case, she will probably change her own expression to try to match yours.

If you'd like more evidence of how closely your several-week-old child is watching you, add another element to this game. Wait until your baby's awake and alert. Start talking to her and watch her eyes focus on your face. Then suddenly stop talking and keep your face frozen.

Watch your baby's reaction. She'll probably scan your face with her eyes, looking from your eyes to your mouth and back up again. Then she'll wrinkle her brow and, perhaps, stick out her lower lip in apparent frustration. Next, she'll move her face and arms, trying a variety of things to get you to respond to her.

This tells you how much she feels a part of your conversation with her, even though she doesn't understand your words. It also lets you know how important you are in her life and how highly attuned she is to your actions and expressions. Her reaction will show her nature as an active seeker of social activity, and not just a bystander to the interactions of those around her.