Sometimes I think we forget about how infants can also benefit from therapeutic activities. Granted, an infant isn’t necessarily going to do an art activity, but there are definitely things you can do with infants that are therapeutic. For example, mobiles are a great way to encourage visual stimulation and tracking, and it can even be done with newborns. But I didn’t want to just talk about how mobiles are important, I also wanted to share a project that you can create which can then be used as a therapeutic activity for your babies.
This do-it-yourself project was inspired by a problem I was faced at work. Many infants are placed in special beds that I call bassinets (because they are for our newborns and are small, not because they look like the ones you see at home!) The sides are clear plastic and there is a warmer that extends over the bed. Unfortunately the plastic sides aren’t made for the big plastic mobiles to attach onto and the warmer melts many things we hang from it. So after a few trials and errors, I came up with this solution: Use ribbon and hang two little black and white cards over the top of the warmer. An added benefit is the mobile can be easily slid out of the way without having to take it down, which pleases the nurses.
Here’s my example:
What you will need is a print out of two different black & white infant stimulation pictures. (Sometimes I color parts in with red to change it up a bit.) You will also need some ribbon, card stock, and a hole punch. I use red ribbon and red card stock, but you can choose which colors you want.
Take the two pictures and shape them into squares. Then cut your card stock into squares slightly bigger than your pictures. Tape or glue the pictures to the card stock and punch 2 holes in each card about 1-2 inches away from each other. String the ribbon through both holes on one end and tie a knot, then do the same to the other. Your ribbon should now have a card on each end. Take the middle of the ribbon and hang it over the warmer! When your baby is awake, gently tap or wiggle the strings to move the cards and capture your baby’s attention. Have fun with it!
Infant Stimulation Mobile Activity Notes
Materials Needed: card stock, black & white stimulation pictures, ribbon, scissors, and tape/glue