I found my hands!

Kindermusik by SoundSteps of Dallas

Classic “Airplane Baby”

4 to 6 months
One of the biggest changes that will occur during these months is that the parts of your baby’s brain that coordinate sight and touch are now integrating the incoming sensory information. This enables your baby to figure out where her hands are in space (thanks to the proprioceptive system), and make them do what she wants.

With the beginnings of depth-perception, this sight/touch sensory integration means he can reach for an object and pick it up. By about 6 months, he is also able to rotate his wrists, and thus manipulate objects.

What to watch for:  These are the signs that your baby’s brain is organizing sensory input exactly as it should.

  1. Banging objects and toys. (Against the floor, or two objects together.)
  2. Spontaneous bringing together in a clapping motion of her hands in front of her body. This is the first sign of coordination between both sides of her body. To assist in this developmental milestone, you can play clapping games with your baby even before she can play them by herself.

Ram Sam Sam is a children’s song that originated in Morocco, and was a favorite clapping game of my children when they were infants and toddlers, especially on the changing table. You can listen to the song here, 2-22 A Ram Sam Sam and download it directly at play.kindermusik.com.

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam (clap your baby’s hands or feet together as you sing)
Guli guli guli guli guli (roll your baby’s hands or bicycle his legs)
ram sam sam (clap your baby’s hands or feet together as you sing)
A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam (clap your baby’s hands or feet together as you sing)
Guli guli guli guli guli (roll your baby’s hands or bicycle his legs)
ram sam sam (clap your baby’s hands or feet together as you sing)
A ra-vi, a ra-vi (lift your baby’s arms over his head, or fold his legs up toward his head)
Guli guli guli guli guli (roll your baby’s hands or bicycle his legs)
ram sam sam (clap your baby’s hands or feet together as you sing)
A ra-vi, a ra-vi (lift your baby’s arms over his head, or fold his legs up toward his head)
Guli guli guli guli guli (roll your baby’s hands or bicycle his legs)
ram sam sam (clap your baby’s hands or feet together as you sing)

Touch Me
As babies begin to coordinate sight and touch, they delight in “touching” games. Here’s a fun naming game to play. (And yes, babies can begin to learn body part labels, even if they can’t yet speak the words!) I found many versions of the lyrics brought to the US by immigrants from all over Europe. Many people commented that this was a beloved touch game played with grandparents, even at 4 or 5 years of age. Here are a couple  of versions:

Here is where the coachman sits (touch baby’s forehead)
Here is where he cracks his whip (touch bridge of nose)
Eye winker (touch or circle one eye)
Tom tinker (touch or circle the other eye)
Nose breather (touch nose)
Mouth eater (touch mouth)
Chin chopper (touch chin)
Gully, gully, gully (tickle under chin)

Here sits the Lord Mayor (touch baby’s forehead)
Here sits his two men (touch eyes)
Here sits the rooster (touch cheek)
Here sits the hen (touch other cheek)
Here sits the chickens (touch nose)
Here they run in (touch mouth)
Chin-chopper, chin-chopper,
Chin-chopper, chin! (tickle under chin)

Airplane Baby
At about 6 months, a baby on his tummy really feels the pull of gravity, which gives baby a strong desire to lift up his head, neck, upper back, arms and legs all at the same time, resulting in the classic “airplane” position.

Babies at this age want and need to have their vestibular systems stimulated by rocking, swooshing, twirling, swinging and other similar movements.  One word of caution – every person (grownups, too!) has a level of moment they can tolerate, and it’s different for everyone. If your baby begins to cry during a moving game, this means that the play has become too rough or wild for your baby’s vestibular system to handle, and the level of play is actually causing her brain to disorganize.

Hold your baby firmly around her body, tummy down, in a horizontal position. Take off! Fly your baby around the room, swooshing, dipping, spinning, rolling, starting, stopping as it pleases your baby. Be sure to make airplane sounds! If you would like some musical inspiration, download  Run and Jump/Soaring from play.kindermusik.com.

As your baby turns into a toddler and preschooler, lie on your back on the floor and bend your knees with your feet off the floor. Have your child place his tummy against the bottoms of your feet. Hold onto your child’s hands. Lift your child up towards the ceiling as you raise your feet and fly!

This post brought to you by our friend, Miss Analiisa of Studio3Music in Seattle!