Your baby is developing at incredible speed. You’ve been experiencing in the last months how your baby’s interaction with his environment increases from day to day. It is very important that you keep playing with your child and that you expose him to appropriate levels of stimulation to help him in his development.
BaiBoo in cooperation with Playskool provide you with information, tips and age appropriate activities and games that you can play with your child to help him learn and develop as much as possible.
This month we focus on the development of 7 to 9 month old babies and what games you can play with a baby this age.
7th month: At this age your baby should grasp objects by cupping his entire hand around it. When he lies in his tummy, he creeps forward. He is able to recognize voices and his name and tell tunes apart. He prefers to look at complex objects and changes position to seek a better view of things. If you place him in his hands and knees, he will probably rock. Some babies are already able to pull themselves up and they can stand if they hold onto furniture.
- Sitting up is the name of the game this month. Of course sitting up without support also means the beginning of bumps, bruises and boo boos – all a part of the process of crawling and walking. Try not to overreact whenever he loses his balance and topples, because your responses will help determine his. A few simple rules of thumb: Stay within reaching distance, do not sit him on a hardwood floor without cushioning and, if in doubt, use a soft blanket or stacked pillows to surround him so he will have a soft cushion to land on.
- Let your baby help you turn off the light switch while you say “lights out.” After a while he’ll make the connection between the light being switched off and the room getting dark.
- Give your baby toys to play with that can be named easily: cup, telephone, doll, kitten, spoon, dog, block, rattle, banana or clown. Name each toy as he reaches for it.
- Cut out large, colourful pictures from magazines: a telephone, a dog, an airplane, a spoon, a teddy bear. Then paste the pictures into a blank notebook. Sit your baby on your lap and “read” the pictures together.
- Try dropping games. Show him how to drop a hard ball into a large plastic bowl; he’ll be intrigued and want to try it on his own.
- If you have a toy that makes a sound or music, help your baby learn how to locate it by listening. Show him the toy and activate the sound. Then place the toy behind your back and activate the sound again. Repeat this several times to see if he’ll crawl to you to find the toy.
Toys: Toys that stimulate and encourage crawling and standing up, shape sorters, action and reaction toys, interactive story books.
8th month: Your baby is discovering the world and developing his fine motor skills further. He should be able
tocrawl forward or backward (sometimes even while holding an object). He is developing his small-motor skills such as pincer grasp. You will be amazed about what little things he can find on the floor that went unnoticed by you (like small dust balls). He knows that toys don’t disappear even when they are hidden (they still exist somewhere). He will start to investigate his surroundings. He will also begin to articulate sounds, first vowels than all other sounds made in every language.
- Play and activities should be targeted at encouraging your baby to discover and try new things. See if you can encourage your little one to stand up by himself, holding onto a chair or walker.
- Grab the opportunity of explaining a new toy to engage in a ‘conversation’ with your baby. This will help him to develop his language skills.
- Build a tower of blocks and show him how to knock it down. He’ll delight in his ability to produce such an outstanding effect.
- Give him toys that come apart or fit together; he’ll find them particularly interesting at this stage.
- Take turns patting a doll, banging a pot, drinking from a cup or putting a hat on your head. Imitation is one of his primary methods of learning.
- Give your baby his own kitchen cabinet and fill it with containers and small objects. He’ll enjoy taking things out and putting them back. This will also help you keep your baby busy while you are cooking.
- Read to your baby. He’ll love activity books like where he can pet an animal, or uncover hidden figures. Expose him to a variety of books and see how much fun you will have together.
Toys: Your baby is ready for toys that encourage standing, sorting and building toys, activity towers.
9th month: Your baby should be pulling himself up to stand using furniture and adjusts his posture as he moves. He
sits alone and stretches to reach a toy without toppling over. His hands are more skilled and his movements are more conscious and diverse. He is able to catch a suspended object or a ball rolled directly to him. He passes toys from one
hand to the other. He starts to make signs like lifting his arms to be picked up and banging a spoon to summon food. He may also follow your gaze, to find out what you’re looking at.
- Tie several colourful scarves together. Insert one end into a cardboard tube and let him pull them out. See if he’s able to stuff them back inside.
- Place three toys in a box. Name one, and ask him to give it to you. If he gets it wrong, name the toy he gave you. If he gets it right, say, “Yes, that’s a….”
- Give his teddy bear an occasional sip when your baby is learning to use a cup. This is a way to prepare him for the later imaginative play.
- Take time to sit down with your child. He might initiate a game, or you can give him a jump-start by placing a basket of new and interesting items within his reach and see what he will do with them.
- Play back-and-forth games: He’ll hand an object to you, and then you hand it back to him, and so on.
- Turn toys upside down and put them in front of him. Encourage him to turn the toys right side up.
- Put some of his toys in a plastic see-through box. Let him try to take the cover off himself. If he has trouble, help him.
Toys: Your child will love to play with toys that encourage building, sorting, toys that encourage standing and walking, building blocks, popping toys.
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