Baby Activities to Promote Motor Skills and Mobility

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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