This is the stage where babies begin to develop independence through mobility.
- On outings talk about what you see, about moving things which will help with tracking. Also touch the things you see, such as animals.
- Talk about the things that they take an interest in. Say animal sounds to them and have fun with music.
- Use language all the time to label events, feelings, etc. for them.
- Books for this age are those with feely components and hiding pictures where they have to get involved.
- Mouthing decreases at this stage as they start to actively manipulate and explore the function of objects.
- Use bath time to teach the qualities of toys, e.g. heavy and light, sink and float.
- At bath time you can let them stand at the bath to be undressed which at this stage encourages cruising.
- Bath time is a great time to work on body image.
- Introduce a new texture of shaving foam at bath time – spray it on the wall next to the bath.
- Babies love to see themselves in the mirror and you can point out their body parts in the mirror for them to see.
- Blowing bubbles are still such fun for babies.
- To further encourage eye-hand coordination, hang a balloon from a tree for him to catch as it floats slowly, allowing time to plan the action. As he gets better at catching it you can grade up to a ball in a stocking.
- Hiding games are now lots of fun as full object permanence is developed.
- Play ring on a stick game to encourage purposeful release. Also, put the ring onto his body for body image.
- Tactile games are such fun, especially going into summer.
- To encourage fine motor control, have toys with holes in as the index finger is now being isolated for pointing and poking.
Now your baby will start to be able to hold a crayon and draw. Provide him with paper and crayons.
- Activity centers are nice toys for fine motor control.
- Open and close toys are a great hit at this age.
- Throwing starts at this age. Start with a large ball and grade down to smaller. Throw toys into a basket.
- Stacking is also fun, now that release is being developed.
- Unpacking is such fun at this stage. Let him unpack your cupboards and then teach packing back.
- Encourage in – out play at this stage by using nesting toys and empty tins.
- Rough and tumble games are such fun with babies of this age.
- A game that is great fun is to crawl over them and make funny noises so they are encouraged to crawl fast to get out from under you. This promotes faster crawling.
- Falling into soft surfaces is also such fun.
- Babies love moving equipment such as seesaws, swings, and slides.
- Sitting becomes a transition position, to encourage movement from this position place toys out of reach.
- Crawling is very important. Make obstacle courses with cushions and tables and baskets to crawl in, out and under. Use push/ moving toys to encourage crawling.
- Teach your baby to go down stairs backwards.
- Use any old boxes to make tunnels and hidey holes which they love to explore.
- To encourage standing and cruising place objects on chest height surfaces. Also, let them push block trolleys.
- To assist in developing cruising, place furniture close together. Then as he becomes better, start to move the furniture a bit further away.
- To encourage walking as he gets closer to a year, do “1,2,3, wee…” and let him walk holding onto your hands.