The Baby Club – Episode 4
Playing with Socks – Good parenting tips
In each episode of The Baby Club we have a ‘What’s in the bag?’ section, in episode 4 we were playing with socks. When we were playing with socks on the show, you may not be aware of how much thought had gone into why and how we used them. Also you might be interested to know how these items have inspired other parts of that specific episode. For that reason and to provide a little advice for new parents I have written this series of posts. Hopefully they will help you see:-
- How important your interactions with very young children are.
- Why they can help with learning.
- Ideas for verbal interactions you can have with your baby.
- That you are not alone in your thoughts.
- And that dad’s shouldn’t be embarrassed about getting involved too.
The information you will find here draws on Peeple’s Learning Together Programme. Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust charities were consultants on The Baby Club. As with anything regarding your baby, if you have any queries you should speak to your health visitor. They will be able to provide help and support with questions you may have.
Things you can do with socks?
During episode 4 we were playing with socks. You may have seen us putting the socks on, tickling toes and pretending socks are puppets. All of these help develop different aspects of your baby’s basic skills, and I will discuss these in a moment. But first I would like to give you a couple more ideas and things to look out for when you are trying this at home. These ideas are really good as your baby gets older and you want to develop more complex skills.
- Use your sock as a puppet to explore and express feelings. Your sock puppet could be happy because it’s dinner time or sad because it’s time to pack things away. Whatever it is, you’ll be surprised at how modelling emotions will prompt an empathetic response from your little one.
- Use a sock puppet to read a story. This can add a whole new dimension to reading stories together and can help differentiate between different characters. Especially when using a different voice for your puppet.
- If you are playing with lots of socks, encourage your child to find a specific sock. This is a great opportunity to develop language. Simple phrases such as ‘Where’s the stripey sock?’, ‘Look at the red sock’, ‘Where’s the big sock?’ are a good start and the more repetition, encouragement and smiles the more baby will get involved and understand.
What areas does this activity help with?
Nearly all activities are a good opportunity to develop language and understanding. This one is good for learning the words ‘Socks’, ‘Stripes’, ‘Spots’. And if you are playing with lots of socks colours can be introduced.
Social and Emotional Development
In addition to language, babies will also develop social skills. The modelling of emotions described earlier is good for developing empathy and thinking about others. These are key to behavioural practises later on and once grasped will help greatly.
Co-ordination & Muscle tone
Passing the socks between parent/carer and baby will help to develop hand eye coordination. Regular activities like this will speed up co-ordination and also help to tone the muscles used.
Songs and Nursery Rhymes
Songs and nursery rhymes are a huge part of The Baby Club and a fun way for babies and young children to learn. You’ll be surprised how well babies remember information that is delivered in a song. The obvious choice for nursery rhymes when playing with socks will be anything that includes feet. In the show we sang ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’. But there are a few others you may like to try including ‘Two little Feet’, ‘This Little Piggy’ and ‘If You’re Happy And You Know It’. Make sure you emphasise the feet section of the song or nursery rhyme as it will help baby associate socks with feet. They may even start calling socks feet or feet socks once they start talking. This is normal and shows that the association is being made.
What other objects can I use?
Playing with a Stick
Playing with a Ball
Playing with Paper
Playing with Gloves
Playing with Leaves
Playing with a Saucepan
Playing with Cardboard Tubes
Playing with Bath Toys
Playing with Ribbons
Want to learn more?
If you have found this helpful and want to find out more about supporting your child’s learning, please check out Peeple’s Facebook page. If you’re a practitioner, you can find out about the Peep Learning Together Programme and training on the Peeple website, or email Charlotte on email@example.com.