Between the age of 6 to 12-month- old, your little one is more alert and eager to explore the world. Your curious baby is all ready to play and interact with you, as he develops physically, emotionally and mentally. Here are some fun activities parents can engage your babies in, as they work their motor, social and sensorial skills.
#1: Listen to music
Experts share that music ignites multiples aspects of child development by influencing the brain. Playing some soft background music can encourage better sleep too. During your baby’s awake time, try playing nursery rhymes, classical music, or even some Jazz. Who knows, your baby might develop a taste for soulful music and start humming or even singing along a few months later!
#2: Have fun with peekaboo
Now you see mummy, now you don’t! Watch your baby’s cute expressions as he looks forward to seeing you reappear from behind that hanky He’s learning about object permanence while you’re at it.
Put together safe and clean items from around the house, and have your child work his tactile experience, as his observes each item!
#3: Explore a sensory bin
This is easy to put together, and so versatile, your baby can explore the contents on his own independently or with you. Let him touch, pull, throw them – messy learning taking place. We’ve got a simple guide on how to make your baby’s first sensory bin using household items – enjoy the sensorial experience with your little one!
#4: Play hide and seek
Babies between 6 – 12 months old are learning to sit, crawl and possibly cruise or walk too. Playing hide-and-seek in the house can be fun, as your little one toddles around to search for you. Call out his name, and watch him try to locate where you are.
#5: Dance with your baby
Put on some music and move that body! Dancing to music helps children build muscular strength and develop motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression too. Mummy and daddy get to squeeze in some time for fitness as well, and that is a win-win situation!
#6: Clap those hands
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! Clap along as you sing to familiar songs, or hold your baby’s hands to teach him how to clap. Before long, your little munchkin will be clapping and dancing with glee as he works those motor skills too!
#7: Stack them up
Blocks, containers, books or cups – simply stack them up! Show your little one how to build that tall tower, and he will be amazed and excited to do the same too. Little eyes and fingers get to sharpen focus as they learn about cause-and-effect – yes, you guess it. Knocking them down is part of the fun too!
Introduce language, vocabulary, tones and visuals as you read each page to your baby.
#8: Read to your baby
Nurturing the love for reading can help your child grow the love for knowledge, literacy and the world of imagination. Parents can influence baby’s appreciation for books, and you can start with board books, cloth books, flashcards or even newspapers and magazines. These visuals offer your child the exploration journey through sight. As you speak and describe, he listens to the different sounds and tones used.
#9: Talk to each other
Communication is an essential skill, so start talking to your baby. He may not be able to understand just yet, but the constant listening of words exposes your child to language and emotions. Don’t forget to pause and listen to him too – those babbles and coos are his way of communicating with you, so let him tell you about his day too!
#10: Make funny sounds
These are bound to trigger some giggles from your little bean! Blow on his tummy during diaper changes, make exaggerated expressions with sounds or perhaps a real sneeze from mummy might get him smiling away!
#11: Bounce on your legs
Prop baby on your straighten knees when you are seated, and bend those knees to bring him up to see how fascinated he is! Or pretend to be a bus and have him seated on your straighten legs as you bounce him “all through town” as you sing The Wheels on the Bus. Bouncing playful fun awaits!
Physical touch is a sign of affection, so give your baby plenty of loving skin time too.
#12: Massage your baby
Physical touches help strengthen the connection between two persons, and that’s the same for parents and children too. Gently caress and massage your baby as both of you gaze at each other. You can try this by massaging body lotion onto your baby’s skin after his bath, and share with him what you’re doing too.
#13: Look at pictures
You’re bound to have loads of photos of your baby by now, and what better way than to share with him too. Photos of family members, or pictures from magazines, newspapers and more, can also kickstart conversations with you sharing about the picture. Go ahead and ask him questions such as “where is grandma?” or “what is daddy doing?”. Spark different communication topics to connect with your baby too.
#14: Just lay back and chill with your baby
This last activity encourages parent and baby to enjoy the stillness of a moment. Time with your baby need not be filled with endless activities and constant stimulation. Just laying back and chilling with your baby doing nothing lets both of you appreciate the state of being. Quiet moments are fleeting and precious, and as we raise world-ready children together, appreciating each memory is part of the parenthood journey!
What are some of your favourite activities for your 6 – 12-month- old baby? Do share them