Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child's Brain Development from Birth Through Age 5 1/2


Movement, play, and active exploration in the first five years of a child’s life are essential to the development of his or her body and brain. Now Active Baby, Healthy Brain presents 135 massages, exercises, and activities that engage your child’s love of play while also ...

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Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child's Brain Development from Birth Through Age 5 1/2

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Movement, play, and active exploration in the first five years of a child’s life are essential to the development of his or her body and brain. Now Active Baby, Healthy Brain presents 135 massages, exercises, and activities that engage your child’s love of play while also stimulating his or her brain development in multiple areas, including:

  • Balance
  • Cross-pattern movement
  • Visualization
  • Vestibular (inner ear) stimulation
  • Laterality
  • Fine and gross motor skills

Each activity is presented on its own page with step-by-step instructions, appealing illustrations, and illuminating sidebars. The detailed instructions tell you exactly how to do each activity, as well as how to incorporate toys, music, dance, and games. No single activity takes more than two minutes, and all that’s required is ten minutes a day. More than thirty years in the making, Active Baby, Healthy Brain is an indispensable guide for everyone who is raising a child or who interacts with preschoolers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sassé’s focus is on fun, but she also provides parents with an informative manual that outlines the crucial connections between movement and the health and development of body and brain.”
Publishers Weekly

“A fabulous legacy for our children and an excellent contribution to the area of children’s health and well-being.”
Oh Baby! magazine

“Charmingly illustrated and easy to read, this delightful book will be a boon to busy parents looking for fun ways to support their child’s development.”
Linda Acredolo, PhD, co-author of Baby Minds: Brain-Building Games Your Baby Will Love

Active Baby provides a wealth of very informative and user-friendly information about the young children’s physical development. It fills a void for daily parenting skills and makes a great gift for every new parent!”
Rhonda Clements, EdD, former President of the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play, Professor of Physical Education at Manhattanville College, and author of nine books on children’s games and play activities

“Rarely have I been presented with a book so user-friendly, complete, and profound in its breadth of understanding of early childhood development as Margaret Sassé’s book. It is truly a must-have book for all new parents, grandparents, and people working with preschool children. Margaret has come to the heart of what is most essential for our precious children today—rich sensory experiences, movement, play, and human connection. Margaret has given the world a wonderful gift.”
Carla Hannaford, PhD, biologist, educator, and author of Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head and other movement-based learning titles

Children's Literature - Kimberly Hutmacher
This book claims to boost a child's brain development in just ten minutes a day. It is a compilation of 135 fun exercises and activities parents can do with their children from birth through age five and a half. Included are massages, exercises and play activities that the author says will maximize a child's brain development. Each activity gets its own page with clear step-by-step directions and illustrations to help readers along. The activities are quick, simple and can be done with items that most of us already have on hand. As far as the activities go, there is not much new here. Some of the activities include giving babies tummy time, reciting nursery rhymes to children, and helping toddlers work with finger paint. What parents may find valuable about this book is the fact that the author details why parents should do these activities with their children and how each age-appropriate activity helps to develop a child's brain. Reviewer: Kimberly Hutmacher
Publishers Weekly
Sasse, founder of Australia-based ToddlerKindy GymbaROO, offers a practical handbook for parents hoping to boost their baby'sintellectual and physical development. The author, who died last year at the age of 80, divides her program into eight sections ranging from newborn to age five–and-a-half. In each, she offers specific, age-appropriate exercises and activities, accompanied by illustrations: each exercise takes only two minutes or less, totaling about 10 minutes per day. Along with instructions, the author provides the rationale behind each activity; for instance, in a section titled “vestibular fun,” she asserts that rocking chairs and swinging cradles not only lull an infant to sleep but also provide sensory stimulation, contributing to the accelerated development of motor skills. Sasse explains why “tummy time” is essential to building pathways in the baby's brain, and encourages the use of dance and music for stimulating nerve endings in the inner ear. For toddlers and older children, the author offers interactive activities that employ the use of beanbags, hoops, balls and other resources. Sasse's focus is on fun, but she also provides parents with an informative manual that outlines the crucial connections between movement and the health and development of body and brain.(Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615190065
  • Publisher: Experiment, The
  • Publication date: 1/12/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 737,269
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Melbourne-based artist Georges McKail has supplied many delightful illustrations for Margaret Sasse's books.

Margaret Sasse founded Toddler Kindy GymbaROO in Australia in 1982, which now has 85 centers, 16 of them based internationally. She is an acknowledged authority on infant development, and has written and produced several books and videos.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Frances Page Glascoe, PhD 9

Terms used in this book 10

Preface 13

Nutrition 14

Stage A Birth to 6 months 15

Basic activities 15

Helping your infant's development 16

Inhibition of the primitive reflexes 17

Massage, massage, massage ... 18

... and more massage 19

General infant activities 20

Infant exercises 21

Vestibular stimulation 22

Floor playtime 23

Tummy time is vital 24

Brain stimulation: dancing 25

Music for all ages 26

Exercises: 2-6 months 27

Exercises for hips and limbs 28

Vestibular fun 29

More vestibular fun 30

Nursery rhymes, rhythm, and song 31

Vision: Birth to 2 months 32

Vision: 2-6 months 33

Forward movement: 3-6 months 34

Muscle tone development 35

Legs, feet, and hands stimulation 36

Movement stimulation 37

Vestibular stimulation 38

Stage B 6-12 months 39

Creeping, cruising, walking 39

Massage 40

Massage, exercises, music 41

Tummy time 42

Crawling on the front 43

Bottom shufflers 44

Shoulders, arms, and hands development 45

Balance through muscle tone stimulation 46

Creeping activities 47

Ladders 48

Cruising, bobbing, and thinking 49

Exercises: 10-12 months 50

Dancing 51

Rocking, swinging, and jiggling 52

Visualization 53

Stage C Walking to 18 months 54

Massage, music, and songs 55

Basic motor planning: 12-15 months 56

Balance: 15-18 months 57

Developmental activities: 15-18 months 58

Upper body development: 15-18 months 59

Vestibular stimulation 60

Rolling and tipping backward 61

Rockin' and rollin' 62

Music, rhythm, and song 63

Dance exercises 64

Vision 65

Visualization 66

Stage D 18-24 months 67


Massage through exercise and song 69

Exercise to music 70

Nursery rhyme movements 71

Muscle tone development 72

Upper body development 73

Animal locomotion 74

Vestibular bending and spinning 75

Wheelbarrows, swinging, and spinning 76

Balance 77

Further Balance 78

Rhythm band 79

Motor planning through dance 80

Sensory motor perceptual activities 81

Beanbags and balloons 82

Balls 83

Hoops 84

Ribbons and cords 85

Visual tracking 86

Visualization 87

Stage E 2-2½ years 88

Massage in crocodile position 89

Angels in the sand 90

Body awareness and vestibular stimulation 91

Rolling and tumbling 92

Swinging and spinning 93

Wobble board and balance beam 94

Motor planning: dance 95

Music, rhythm, nursery rhymes, and songs 96

Rhythm sticks 97

Beanbags 98

Balls 99

Hoops 100

Ribbons and cords 101

Vision 102

Visualization 103

Stage F 2½-3½ years 104

Massage in crocodile position 105

Tiger creeping 106

Finger awareness 107

Mini-trampoline exercises 108

Body awareness and concepts 109

Spinning and swinging 110

Animal balance positions 111

Wobble board 112

Laterality for 3-year-olds 113

Cross-pattern movements 114

Music, dance, and rhythm 115

Rhythm sticks 116

Beanbags 117

Balls 118

Hoops 119

Ribbons and cords 120

Visual stimulation 121

Visualization 122

Stage G 3½-4½ years 123

Massage and cross-pattern commando 124

Angels in the sand 125

Balance 126

Scooter boards 127

Mini-trampoline 128

Laterality 129

Dance 130

Rhythm sticks for 3-year-olds 131

Rhythm sticks for 4-year-olds 132

Beanbags 133

Balls 134

Hoops 135

Ropes and cords 136

Vision 137

Visualization 138

Stage H 4½-5½ years 139

Massage: crocodile and commando positions 140

Squirming, crawling, and creeping 141

Tumbling, rocking, swinging 142

Balance 143

Mini-trampoline 144

Cross-pattern actions 145

Aerobic dance 146

Rest period with Mozart 147

Homemade band 148

Rhythm sticks 149

Beanbags 150

Balls 151

Hoops 152

Ropes and cords 153

Vision 154

Visualization 155

Bibliography 156

Index 159

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