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Fun Interactive Activities

If you're like me and crave social contact with other parents, or you just need some fresh ideas on how to interact with your baby, you have more than enough reason to sign up for a Mommy & Me or Gymboree class. But if taking one doesn't fit into your schedule or budget, here's how you can make the most out of your private "mommy and me" time at home:

Shake, shake together. Put on some upbeat music and give your child maracas to shake. Place your hands on hers to show her how. The maracas enhance your tot's listening experience and teach her to bounce to the beat.

Speed it up. Teach your baby the difference between fast and slow with this little game: First, stroll around your house slowly holding her in your arms. Then, increase the movement by taking big, exaggerated marching steps. Finally, break into a little jog (be sure to watch where you're going so you don't trip over the Exersaucer in the kitchen). She'll love anticipating the different tempos and will delight in the movement.

Get animated. Liven up storytime by using silly voices for the characters and adding sound effects (like tongue clicks for a galloping horse). Make your eyes big, your smile wide: Babies are fascinated by exaggerated facial expressions, so feel free to be a ham when reading Green Eggs and Ham.

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