- cereal pieces
- container (plastic)
- finger paint
- paper (large sheets)
- small objects (2–4)
Across the Middle
Babies need more than strong hand and finger muscles as they begin to write and draw. They also need strong trunk muscles, good balance, and hand-eye coordination so that they can move smoothly from one side of the paper to the other.
To help a sitting baby practice hand and arm motions that go across his body, try the following activities.
- Play a give-and-take game with a baby who is holding an object. Offer him a second object so he has to reach across his middle to take it with his empty hand. Take one object back and repeat. Give him practice with both hands.
- Dangle a plastic ring from a string in front of a seated baby and see if he can catch it. Swing the ring gently back and forth across his body. If he becomes frustrated, the game might be too difficult. Try bringing the ring closer and moving it slowly or stopping it completely so he can grab it more easily.
- Place a sheet of large paper on a baby’s tray. Put a few blobs of finger paint on one end of the tray. Have him drag the paints back and forth from one side of the paper to the other.
Hold a yogurt container with a hole in the lid on one side of a baby’s tray. Place small objects such as cereal bits in a pile on the other side. Have the baby reach across his body to pick up the objects and put them into the container.