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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL into their mouths. While being held, infants often stroke the adult holding them. This is an important beginning step of socialization. i n Fa n t   &  t o d d l e r  a c t i v i t i e S support touching ›   touch infants and toddlers often. in the beginning,  take an infant’s hands and touch your nose, cheek,  fi ngers, and so on as you name what the infant is  touching. allow young children to explore you by  touching your face and hands. describe the feel of  skin to the child. ›   help infants explore their own feet and hands. as  they put them in their mouths, they will also be  experiencing the feel and taste. they explore all kinds  of surfaces and experience textures with their  tongues. ›   provide a variety of objects and textures for them to  feel. use textured blankets, balls, and other commer- cial products designed for an infant’s touch, or  collect a mix of textures from around the environ- ment to provide variety. Guide very young children’s  hands to feel objects as you talk about them. rub  soft blankets on cheeks and arms. ›   hold infants and toddlers often. hug and cuddle  them. this behavior demonstrates love and helps  with bonding and feelings of security. ing balance—is dependent on touch and sight and comes with experience. Today many infants are carried in car seats and baby carriers or pushed in strollers for convenience. Pick up young children often and hold them close to your body. Personal touch not only helps the child feel secure, it also is important to their growth and development and aids bonding. Infants become aware of their move- ments and the position of their arms and legs. This sense develops slowly and helps infants reach out to grab toys, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, and walk. i n Fa n t   &  t o d d l e r  a c t i v i t i e S support the kinesthetic sense ›   rock infants and toddlers as you hold them, which is  very comforting. rocking upset children is very  soothing. ›   provide open space for infants to move. they fi nd  pleasure in moving their bodies as they roll over,  rock on their knees, or crawl. as infants become  mobile, they will enjoy the feel of walking, climbing,  and running. ›   dance together with music. Be gentle with young  children, but help them feel the rhythm as you rock  and sway to music. once they are up and walking,  hold toddlers’ hands to dance; however, they will still  enjoy being picked up to dance. ›   teach infants and toddlers to hold and cradle dolls  and stuffed animals. this will give them comfort and  help them learn how to give good touches. ›   allow infants to be in a baby swing for a short time.  take young children to the park and help them  gently swing. as they get older, increase the inten- sity. add descriptive words to the movement. ›   Massage infants and toddlers using established  infant massage techniques. explore books and  websites devoted to infant massage. ›   help toddlers balance on one foot as they get dressed.  teach them to hop or jump. ›   use steps to help toddlers climb. Make sure you are  holding a hand or standing behind them at fi rst to  help them climb safely. the Kinesthetic Sense The kinesthetic sense—or knowing where the body is in space, feeling body movement, and maintain- 18  c h a p t e r   2 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL