Activities With Visual Stimulation for Babies

by Darlene Peer

Your baby's eyes are still developing after she's born. Babies first learn to focus their eyes by looking at faces and then they move on to focusing on objects close to them. By 3 months of age, your child should begin tracking moving objects with her eyes. Providing visual input for your baby helps the visual part of her brain thrive as it helps the optic nerve grow and the retina develop.

Contrasting Colors

Babies have a hard time differentiating between softer colors. The best option for younger babies is contrasting colors such as black and white or a dark and light color combination. When playing with your baby, try wearing striped clothes to help stimulate her eyes. Pick books with bright, contrasting colors so your little one will get the most out of reading. As you read, point to different objects in the pictures so she learns her words. Don't hold the book more than a foot away because young babies can't focus on objects far away.

Mirror Mirror

It's no secret that babies love mirrors. Try a mirrored baby toy or just holding him up in front of the mirror (staying about 8 to 12 inches away). Younger babies will focus on their own face. As your baby grows, encourage him to make faces at the mirror to see what happens. Try moving something behind his back and watch his reaction in the mirror. It's a good test to see whether he's tracking objects and how quickly he can follow them with his eyes as the object moves.

Brightly Colored Rattles and Toys

Again, choose rattles and toys with contrasting colors and stripes for visual stimulation. Shake the rattle in front of your child, encouraging her to focus her eyes on the sound. As she gets older, you'll be able to see a change in her reaction as she tries to reach out and grab the rattle. Help her gently guide it back to her face as she takes it because a baby's reflexes could result in a grabbed rattle accidentally popping her in the eyes.

Peekaboo and Object Hide-and-Seek

This classic game helps your baby's eyesight as he follows your movements and learns about disappearing and reappearing objects. Cover your face with your hands and then move your hands away as you say "peekaboo." When your baby is older and a more mobile, try placing an object under a blanket while he's watching. See whether he'll try to find it himself. If he doesn't try to find it, pull the blanket away, saying "peekaboo." Try the game a few times. Reveal the object and then hide it and leave the blanket for him to pull it away.

About the Author

Darlene Peer has been writing, editing and proofreading for more than 10 years. Peer has written for magazines and contributed to a number of books. She has worked in various fields, from marketing to business analysis. Peer received her Bachelor of Arts in English from York University.

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