Some of the many benefits of bubbles play
Bubbles are an excellent way to help your baby or toddlers developing visual skills. We are not born with the visual skills we need for learning, including the skills to fix, follow, track, focus, converge, diverge and so on. These skills need to develop over time. How well your baby develops her visual skills, from the earliest months of life, will help her learn now as well as later at school. Because bubbles are both eye catching and slow moving they are a great way to help your little one learn to use her eyes and develop these skills.
For little babies, bubbles are a fun tummy time activity and every bit of happy tummy time helps with development! In this position bubbles also encourage head turning – right, left, up and down, movements that are needed to help control primitive reflexes, so important for future smooth, coordinated movement and learning. Once your baby gets stronger on his tummy, he will start to reach out for the bubbles. Think of all the muscle strengthening and balance development going on as he attempts this! Bubbles also provide motivation to move. I’ve seen many a baby make their first forward movements, determined to get to that bubble on the floor. As your growing baby starts to crawl, creep and cruise he will thoroughly enjoy chasing after bubbles. Crawling over, under or through obstacles to get to the bubbles encourages further development of muscle tone, body and space awareness and problem solving for your baby. When your little one is learning to stand and walk independently, bubbles again provide many opportunities to work on developing muscle tone and balance as he moves after the bubbles; starting, stopping, changing direction, shifting his weight, reaching up and squatting up and down.z
Popping the bubbles, be it with the whole hand, two hands, a finger, a foot or a toe all involve the development of hand-eye or foot-eye coordination. These early movement experiences form the basic building blocks of the catching, hitting, throwing and kicking skills involved in ball sports.
Once old enough, help your little one to learn to blow the bubbles himself. Blowing is good exercise for the developing muscles in the jaw and mouth. Learning to blow bubbles isn’t as easy as it seems and it may take a while to work it all out. Sucking in instead of blowing out is fairly common to start with but he will eventually get the hang of it and how to use the correct amount of force when he blows. Speech, hearing and language development Playing with bubbles provides many good opportunities for the development of speech, hearing and language. The early speech sounds of ‘buh’ in bubble and ‘puh’ in pop are naturally used and imitation encouraged during bubble play. As your child grows, bubbles provide many opportunities to encourage developing language skills as you talk about the bubbles being; big, small, wet, slimy and how they are moving; fast, slow etc.
Knowing where my body parts are and how they can move, is such an important foundation building block for all later learning. The better your child’s body awareness the better she will do. Bubbles provide endless opportunity to talk and learn about body parts: “Look, the bubble is near your hand.” “Stomp on it with your foot.” “Arms up. Try to touch the bubbles!”