Infants are born with a natural curiosity about the world and the ability to pay attention to interesting objects (especially faces and
hands) that come into their field of vision and will even stick out their tongues after watching a caregiver do the same.
From the first weeks infants take a great interest in what their hands are doing. They also very quickly start to try and reach people and objects that come within reaching distance. Providing your infant with opportunities for this early exploration will promote the development of an I-can-do attitude and confidence in his/her ability to interact with, and influence the world.
An infant play gym is great for promoting your infants file motor skills.
Suspend just one or two toys within easy reach of the infants. Very young infants will start by looking at, talking to and batting the toys, but very soon they learn to grasp the toys and explore them using two hands.
From the very first week active infants reach for interesting objects that are within their reach.
By 4 months infants are becoming quite good at bringing their hands to a toy and sometimes they succeed at grabbing it as well. Th difficult part of grasping is shaping and positioning the hand for easy grasp.
As soon as infants are able to sit independently and securely and do not need the hands for balance, they start to use the two hands together to manipulate, shake, bang, throw, drop, and explore small objects and toys.
As soon as they are able to sit independently infants will start to move their arms up and down rhythmically. They soon discover that they can use this favorite action to make a very satisfactory noise by banging their hands on different surfaces such a tins, boxes and tables.
Some toddlers and young children have a very strong dislike of touching soft and squishy substances and really dislike getting their hands dirty.
This dislike or even fear of "dirt" is probably linked to having an overactive disgust emotion. Disgust is a very primitive and visceral emotion, the core function being to protect the individual toxins and pathogens.
From about 12 months infants start to enjoy posting things into holes. In fact you will find that as they get older they cannot resist an opportunity to post everyday objects and toys into any available slot or hole. So if you have lost your keys start looking for possible key-posting slots.
Toesies loved posting objects through the trellis door
Joint attention has been defined in many ways. One way that social partners and infants share attention spaces is during play when the focus of attention is on the social partner's and infant's hands.
In this video clip you see Toesies (10 months) playing together. Toesies is engaged with a tin that has a lid with a hole for posting short rods and balls. I am sitting opposite him and passing balls his way.