Baby Activities

Promoting Motor Skills and Co-ordination

Between the ages of 6 to 12 months there are many baby activities that you can play to help develop your baby's fine motor skills, and his mobility.

At around 9 months he can sit unaided so the range of games that you can play greatly expands. Your baby will love playing games, particularly if he is the center of attention, so find all the baby activities you can and enjoy his unbridled excitement at all the fun!


Fine Motor Skills

father and son playing

At about 9 months of age babies learn new skills in picking up objects and can change their grasp depending on the type of toy they are playing with. She will start to use her thumb more and cup her hand to pick up the item. Her interest will also move from banging and chewing toys to poking, prodding and stroking which are all a part of her exploring to understand how things 'work'.

Squeeze Me
Toys with squeakers, for in the bath or out, are fantastic for fine motor skills. At first you may need to show your baby how to get the sound by placing your hand over his.
Another squeezing game that can be played in the bath is with a sponge. Show him how to squeeze the water out of the sponge into a cup or onto parts of his body.

Feed Me
Babies of this age will enjoy feeding themselves. Peas and small pieces of well-cooked carrot or bread are ideal for encougaing manual dexterity. (I still have trouble chasing peas around my plate!!) He probably won't care that they are stone cold by the time he gets them into his mouth. The fun was all in the chasing!

In a Box
Babies love sitting in things and will be entertained for ages sitting in a cardboard box with some toys. You can purchase specially made toy rings which have toys that attach to them but a box is just as efficient and she will enjoy playing here even as a toddler when it can become a car, train or boat.

Push, Poke and Prod
As your baby's dexterity improves he will enjoy toys that have buttons to press, dials to turn or holes to push objects through. He will also like toys with doors and hiding places. There are many baby activities and toys that involve these specific actions. Old fashioned telephones are great as are shape sorters. See Top Picks for further advice on toy selection.

Drop, Drop and Drop Again
At roughly 12 months your baby will learn how drop objects. It will delight her to constantly drop toys out of her cot and highchair. This is one of those baby activities that can become a bit tiring for parents. To avoid back strain you can attach a favorite toy to a piece of elastic so that she can retrieve it for herself.
Being able to drop objects develops as she learns how to twist and turn her wrists. As she masters this skill you will see her ability at using a spoon become much more efficient.


Mobility - Crawling and Walking

smiling baby

Follow The Ball
Once your baby can sit you can roll a ball to her. She will get very excited at seeing it rolling towards her and quickly learn how to catch it. The best types of ball are cloth ones which often have bells inside them for further interaction. Soon enough she will be trying to follow it which makes it a great toy to encourage movement and crawling.

Bouncing Baby
This is a game that can be played with many different songs. It promotes balance and posture and is also great socially.
Sit down with one leg crossed over the other. Now sit your baby on the crook of your ankle. (He can face towards you or outwards) Holding both hands and gently bouncing baby on your foot you can sing.

This is the way we bounce, bounce, bounce
Up and down, up and down
This is the way we bounce, bounce, bounce
On a cold and frosty morning
Wheee
(lift your foot up high for 2-3 seconds)

I Touch
Another rhyming game that helps your baby to learn her body parts. As you play the game you guide your baby's hand to the correct place.

I'll touch my chin, cheek, my chair
I'll touch my head, my heels, my hair
I'll touch my knees, my neck, my nose
And then I'll bend and touch my toes

Row Your Boat
This game promotes trust as your baby relies on you to hold him up and is best played in the bath.
Sit opposite your baby and hold hands. Gently sway backwards and forwards as you sing the song.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
(Splash!)

Almost Walking
A baby who is pulling himself up but not yet walking can be encouraged by placing furniture close together so that he can teeter between objects. As he gains confidence you can move them further apart so that more steps are required to move from one piece of furniture to the next.





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