Friday, June 10, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make a Checkerboard (Infant Stimulation)

It is now well-recognized that newborns prefer looking at bold, black and white patterns.

Less recognized is that by looking at these patterns, baby's vision will actually grow because he is using it and strengthening his weak eye muscles by doing so.

Newborn babies really can't see all that much so it is important that we create an environment of things that are easy for them to see (high contrast) and encourages them to use their vision. A baby in an environment of pastel tones and white walls will simply not use his vision at all - he can't see anything, so what's the point?

Making a checkerboard for you baby is the perfect way to stimulate their very newly-developing vision and create the ideal environment for their growing senses. Since you probably can't repaint your whole house, the checkerboard is a portable visual environment that can go wherever the baby goes.

Here is how:


  1. A 30-inch x 20-inch piece of foam board
  2. Sheet of black poster board
  3. Yard stick (or ruler/straight edge)
  4. Pencil
  5. Scissors
  6. Glue stick
  7. Roll of clear contact paper

Foam board is ideal since it is very light-weight and won't hurt the baby if the board accidentally falls on him.

1. First measure and cut the black posterboard into 5-inch squares. You will need 12 squares for a 30x20-inch board. Another option is to use black card stock or printer paper.

2. Lay out squares on board in checkerboard pattern.

3. Glue squares on one at a time. For best results apply glue to both the square and the board.

4. Next apply clear contact paper. Since contact paper is only 12 inches wide you will have to use several strips. Cut enough so that the contact paper can wrap around the ends and sides.

5. Wrap contact paper around the edges.

And viola! You have a beautiful checkerboard to grow your baby's vision.

"But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." 
Matthew 13:16
Damien is one week old

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