Your baby’s play is becoming much more vigorous. When she picks up a spoon now she may bangs against pots and pans, and she furiously rattles the bunch of keys she finds. She can now grab two toys at once and slam them together.
But her movements are also becoming more precise. Her brain is developing the ability to master new fine motor skills, and thanks to her growing dexterity, she can pick a raisin off the floor. (If you haven’t already, it’s a good time to childproof your house.)
Your baby is becoming aware that objects still exist even when she can no longer see or feel them. This means she’ll miss a favorite stuffed animal if she can’t see it, and try to search for it. It also means you can begin playing hide-and-seek games with objects. Hide her teddy bear while she’s looking, and she’ll find it right away – and be very proud she did.
This is the age at which most babies go mobile. From sitting, it’s a short developmental step to scooting around on her stomach, to rocking back and forth on her hands and knees, and then to crawling. By the time she’s 9 months old she may be pulling herself up to a standing position and holding on to your furniture, getting ready to cruise. The following toys can help her explore her quickly developing senses.
SHOP TOYS HERE
Many babies adore these activity boards, which can be attached to a crib rail. They come with parts that move and spin, giving your baby a place to practice coordinating his hands with sensory experiences. He’s also getting the idea that you can make things happen to objects –so poking, twisting, squeezing, shaking, dropping, and opening things will fascinate him. He also loves new sounds, so if you can, find a board that makes some noise. Be sure the parts are sturdy enough that they won’t come off, and steer clear of boards with strings or ribbons your baby might get tangled in.
Balls are fun for just about any age. Lightweight fabric balls suit this particular crowd well. Roll one back and forth between the two of you on the floor. When your baby is older, you can toss it across the room so he can crawl after it.
For a baby who is still horizontal, this is a rack that comes with dangling toys or from which you can hang toys of your own. These “activity center” type toys have objects that baby can spin, grasp, push, pull, and otherwise manipulate, yet remain attached to a central console. Consider them “baby dashboards” for fun and games.
Soft dolls or stuffed animals
Babies this age often develop an attachment to a lovey – a favorite toy or blanket. And pediatricians encourage this connection, saying a familiar object can ease transitions later on. Still, some dolls and stuffed animals make more suitable loveys than others. Avoid ones with ribbons, plastic eyes, yarn, or anything that can be pulled off and put into your child’s mouth. And don’t get dolls so big they’re hard for your baby to pick up. Fabric toys should be labeled flame resistant or flame retardant, and should be washable.
A Handy Tool for Putting a Smile on Your Baby’s Dial!
You can cheer up your baby with flip-cards of all of their favourite people – no matter the time and place! Happy Face Flip Cards are an international product, developed in Australia. These cards allow your baby to recognise the people they love and have fun with – think of including funny faces they laugh at in the flip-card pack. The flip-cards also allow for memory growth in your child as the images are continuously presented to them, thus better memory for family members or whoever you decide to put on the cards! All you have to do is go on www.happyfaceflipcards.com, upload the photos that you wish to be included (you can include names so your baby can begin to recognise letters/words) and they will be shipped to you! They do ship internationally too, which is clearly a bonus! These cards are especially helpful for children with autism as well as typical children, and they are best for children aged between 3 months to pre-schoolers!
This is the age at which reading becomes more interactive and fun for both of you. Reading together is critical in helping your baby develop her language skills, which are starting to take off rapidly. (Find out more about reading to your child.) Cloth or board books work well. After you read the book, you can pass it to her so she can take a turn flipping the pages and “reading” to you.