Baby Activities 6-9 Months

Our hospital gave us a PDF with this information for our child. The information is great, but the PDF font is small so I've copied it into my blog. There was no source for this information in the PDF, just this list. I used ocrmypdf to make the text selectable (and there's definitely still spelling mistakes and such)

6-9 Months

1. Mom’s Still Here

Babies at 7-9 months often go through separation anxiety and like to be in constant sight and hearing of their parents. You can help your baby with separation while at home by leaving the room for a minute & then returning and happily reassuring your infant that you are still here and did not leave them. Skills: Socialization, separation, object permanence.

2. Can Sit

By about 8 months many babies can sit independently with their hands free to play. Help your baby to get into and out of a sitting position by rolling your baby to his side and placing your one hand under his shoulder and your other hand on his opposite hip and guide him upwards into sitting instead of picking him straight up. This is easy to do after each diaper change. To get out of sitting have your baby rotate to the side and put both hands on the floor as if to go into a hand-knee crawling position and guide him gently to the floor. Skills: Gross motor, transitioning in/out of sitting, balance, body rotation.

3. Let’s Crawl

Place toys just out of reach of your baby and encourage a hand-knee position. You can help your baby assume this position if needed and even place your tower leg under his tummy if he has trouble maintaining this position. Gently rock back and forth and side to side to help your baby shift his weight, reach for toys and begin to crawl reciprocally. Skills: Gross motor, strength, fine motor, reach, sensory, weight bearing.

4. Pick it Up

Babies are starting to use their fingers and thumb to secure tiny objects, working toward a neat pincer grasp. Place single puffs or Cheerios on their high chair tray and encourage them to use fingers and thumb to secure them. Skills: Fine motor, refining reach and grasp.

5. Reach Across

Instead of presenting toys always directly in front of your child present toys to either side and encourage him to reach across his body with his left hands to grasp a toy on the right and vice versa. Skills: Fine Motor, reach, grasp, crossing midline. Straw Cups-Babies as young as about 7 months can learn to drink from a straw cup. Straw cups promote a more mature oral motor pattern than sipper cups. You can start with a juice box and using juice or water, squeeze a bit into the straw as you encourage your baby to suck. It will take a while for them to get the hang of this new skill, but once they learn to use a straw there is no need to go backwards to using a sipper. Skills: Self- feeding, oral motor strengthening

6. Board Books

Babies love ripping paper at this age, so stick to board books with heavy pages. They can look at these book, or cloth book on their own and even put them into their mouths without much damage. They can also use their little fingers to learn to turn pages. Skills: Fine Motor, cognitive, language.

7. 1/2 Kneeling

Soon your baby will be wanting to pull up to stand at the furniture. You can get your baby ready for this skill by working on pulling up on low cardboard boxes or over turned laundry baskets and by helping your baby into a kneeling and then a half kneeling position, by bringing the left or right foot out in front in order to facilitate pulling to stand. Skills: Gross motor, strength, coordination.

8. Reach on All 4’s

Help your baby into a hand & knee crawling position, either independently or supported by your leg or a cushion under his tummy. Place toys to the front and sides and encourage your baby to bear weight on hands/knees and reach with one hand to secure a toy. Skills: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, weight bearing, strength, coordination, reach, grasp.

10. Don’t Box Me tn

A fun place for a baby to play in supported sitting is inside the corner of a sturdy cardboard box or laundry basket. Place. inside and see how long your baby is entertained by sitting inside with your supervision. Skills: Gross Motor, sitting balance, Fine motor, reach and grasp.

11. Bang, Bang, Bang

Babies love to bang toys together and on surfaces. Demonstrate this task for them by holding two small toys in your hands and banging them together while saying “bang, bang, bang” or show your baby how to make noise on his highchair tray by banging toys onto a surface. Skills: Fine Motor, Cognitive, cause & effect.

12. Ball Tilt

Use a large exercise ball and place your baby into a sitting position on the ball. Only give your baby as much support as he needs to remain seated & stable on the ball. Hold him low at the hips when possible. Gently tilt him to the left and right side and even backwards and forwards and give him time to “right” his body in space or bring himself back into a sitting position. Skills: Gross Motor, sitting balance, trunk strength & stability, body righting reactions.

13. Rip it Up

Babies love paper and ripping paper can be fun. Save your old phone books and let your baby go to town ripping and tearing sheets of paper while supervised. Skills: Fine motor, reach, grasp.

14. Uh Oh

Babies attention is held by fun sounds and environmental sounds, one of the first sounds sometimes repeated by babies is “uh oh”. When playing with your baby and he drops something exclaim “uh oh!” or if he topples over while sitting or pulling to stand say “uh oh!” and eventually your baby will begin to repeat this fun sound. Skills: Receptive/Expressive Language

15. Cause/Effect

When babies begin to understand cause/effect relationships, it means they know that their action causes a reaction and they are apt to repeat it. This is when your baby begins to push a button on a pop up box and toy pops up & he repeats it again and again. Or he finds the button on your phone that makes noise, or notices that flipping the light switch makes the lights go off. Skills: Cognitive, cause/effect relationships.

16. Object Permanence

The understanding of object permanence is an important skiff for babies. This means that something that is out of sight, is not out of mind, it still exists when it disappears. Very young babies do not understand this concept, as you will notice if you place a toy under their blanket, they will not search for it, but will simply turn to another toy that is within eye sight and reach. Older babies will start to know, when a ball rolls under the couch, it is still there and they will move toward the ball in an attempt to find it. You can help babies practice this skill by first partially hiding a toy beneath a cloth and helping them find it, and then eventually completely hiding a toy and encouraging them to find it. Remember the toy has to be motivating enough for a child to seek it out when it is hidden. Skills: Cognitive, object permanence, problem solving.

17. Stand and Bounce

Hold your baby at the hips and help her stand and bear some weight on her legs. Let her straddle your leg on the floor if that helps. Encourage her to bounce in this position while you sing or talk to her. Skills: Gross motor, weight bearing, language.

18. Stepping

When your baby is able to bear full weight on her legs, gently hold her at the hips and shift her weight by tipping her slightly to the left or right sides and see if she willingly takes a step. If she does, tip her to the other side and look for her to do the same stepping motion. Skills: Gross motor, weight bearing, stepping, weight shifting.

19. Pat

a-Cake-Play pat-a-cake with your baby encouraging her to bring hands together at the center of her body in a clapping motion. Skills: Fine motor, hands to midline.

20. Pull the string

Tie a ring or small toy to a string or use a store bough pull toy (supervised). Place the toy within sight of the child and demonstrate pulling the string to bring the toy closer to the child. See if he can do it on his own. Skills: Cognitive, cause/effect, problem solving, fine motor, reach, grasp.

21. Pick it up Daddy

As babies start to understand cause/effect and object permanence they will start to drap toys, bottles, food off their highchair trays. This often becomes a fun game & although some parents tire of it quickly, it shows that a baby has learned an important skill. Skills: Cognitive, cause/effect, object permanence, fine motor, reach, grasp, voluntary release.

22. Textured ohjects

Let him play with different texture objects and hold them— to enhance his grasp -plastic things from the kitchen, pots and pans, sponges, paper, empty tins with lids, velvet, fur, lace, toweling, cardboard, fine sandpaper etc. Skills: Fine motor, sensory, tactile exploration.

23. This Little Piggy

Use this nursery rhyme while you play with and massage baby’s toes and feet. Skills: Body awareness, listening, receptive/expressive language, sensory.

24. Hats on/off

Use different sizes and types of hats & place them onto your baby’s head. He can pull them off or let them slide down over his eyes as a way of playing peek a boo. Skills: Fine motor, dressing, socialization.

25. Push and crawl

Use large trucks or toys on wheels and show your baby how to push the toy while crawling along beside it. Make car or animal sounds as you play. Skills: Gross motor, fine motor, imitation, Janguage.

26. Arms Up/Legs Up

Encourage your baby to cooperate with dressing and undressing by lifting arms above head or lifting legs up in the air. Talk about body parts and make it fun and silly. Skills: Dressing, self-help, socialization, language.

27. Bat the Ballaon

Using a helium or regular balloon, toss it into the air above your baby and see if they can reach for it and bat at it. Skills: Fine motor, reach, grasp, visual tracking.

28. Pull it Off

Use sticky Velcro and place pieces into easily grasped toys and objects. Stick them to a Velcro sheet and encourage your child to pull the objects off. Skills: Fine motor, reach, grasp, hand/finger strength.

29. Messy Food Play

Place a large table cloth under your child’s highchair during meals. Encourage use of fingers and messy play during eating instead of constantly wiping your child’s face and hands. This is an important developmental skill. Skills: Self-feeding, tactile & oral sensory.

30. Socks Off

When your baby is able to bring her feet up where she can grab them, pull her socks off.a-bit from her toes and see if she can grab her feet and pull her socks the rest of the way off by herself. Skills: Gross motor, strengthening, dressing.

9-12 Months

1. Pots & Pans

Babies love to make noise. In some low cupboard place pots, pans and wooden spoons that babies can use to bang on, stir in and make noise. Skills: Fine motor, cognitive.

2. Pull to Stand

By now your baby is ready to start pulling up at low furniture. Use overturned cardboard boxes or an overturned laundry basket and place toys of interest on top and encourage your child to pull up on knees and eventually stand to obtain the toys. Skills: Gross motor, weight shift, weight bearing, strength.

3. Watch Me Cruise

When your baby is able to pull to stand on her own, begin to place toys just out of reach to the left and right sides and encourage her to take steps sideways to secure the toys. Skills: Gross motor, stepping, weight bearing, cruising, weight shift, balance.

4. Taking Steps

instead of holding your baby’s hands while he is stepping, kneel down so you are close to your baby and hold a broom or mop sideways in your hands. Get your child to grasp onto the broom handle and then slowly knee walk backwards as your baby takes forward steps toward you while holding the broom handle for support. Skills: Gross motor, stepping, weight bearing, weight shifting, balance, coordination.

5. Turning Pages

Using cardboard board books, help your child turn pages as you name pictures in books. Skills: Fine motor, cognitive, language.

6. Babble Time

Play babbling games with your child face to face or while looking into a mirror together. Repeat sounds your baby currently makes and make new sounds to see if you baby can repeat you. Skills: Receptive/expressive language, socialization.

7. Laundry Basket Stroll

Fill a laundry basket with heavy items such as book and allow your child to push it around the floor on a smooth surface to practice supported walking. Skills: Gross motor, walking, balance, coordination, strength.

8. Tip Me Over

Sit your child on your lap and gently tip him from side to side encouraging him to bring himself back up into a tall sitting position. Skills: Gross motor, trunk strengthening, balance, body righting.

9. Body Parts

Touch, kiss, tickle or pop bubbles on your baby’s hands, feet, tummy, nose as you name body parts for him. Skills: Cognitive, receptive/expressive language.

10. Over/Under

Let your child crawl and/or walk over cushions, pillows and under tables, chairs, etc to challenge their balance and body in space awareness. Skills: Gross motor, weight bearing, body in space awareness, motor planning.

11. Straw drinking

Use juice boxes or store bought no-spill straw cups to encourage drinking from a straw cup instead of a spouted cup at snacks and meals. Skills:

12. Poke, Push, Point

Encourage finger isolation by using toys with buttons that require pushing and poking. Cell photos work too. Skills: Fine motor, finger isolation.

13. Tunnel Time

Make a tunnel using furniture or use a store bought play tunnel. Have an adult sit at one end and encourage your child to crawl through and greet them at the other end. Skills: Gross motor, motor planning, social games.

14. Bye Bye

Whenever someone leaves the house, say and demonstrate waving “bye bye”. Use hand over hand assistance to help your child wave if needed until they can do it on their own. Skills: Expressive, receptive language, gestures, socialization.

15. Animal Sounds

Sing songs like old MacDonald or make animal sounds in response to pictures in books or stuffed toys. Encourage your child to imitate these fun sounds, Skills: Receptive/expressive language, imitation.

16. Roll the Ball

Sit on the floor a few feet from your child. Gently roll a ball his way. Encourage him to roll it back. Skills: Gross motor, visual tracking, imitation, fine motor.

17. Baby Signs

Babies learn language by involving gestural cues. You can communicate with your baby and they can communicate back to you using gestures such as pointing. You can build in actual signs from American Sign Language to help your baby learn language. Babies as young as 6-7 months can sign such things as “eat, drink, more, hat, all done”. You can Google baby signs to come up with gestures that may be helpful to your child’s communication. Skills: Language, gestural imitation, socialization.

18. Stair creeper

When supervised allow your child to attempt to climb up a few steps ina crawling position. Always stay behind him and help him come back down since this skill is much more difficult. Skills: Gross motor, motor planning, coordination, balance.

19. Stroller Push

Instead of riding baby in the stroller, let your child walk behind the stroller and push it to practice walking with support. Skills: Gross motor, balance, independent walking.

20. In and Out

Let your child practice putting a variety of sizes and shapes of toys into boxes, bags, baskets, etc with various size openings. Also let them dump the containers back out and refill them again. Skills: Fine motor, grasp, voluntary release.

21. Bounce

Hold your child’s hands and let him bounce by bending his knees and returning to stand. You can repeat “bounce, bounce, bounce” or “jump, jump, jump” for him. Skills; Gross motor, sensory, language

22. Horsey Rides

Place your child on your knee and gently bounce him up and down or side to side. Skills: Gross motor, sitting balance, sensory.

23. Making Music

Use store bought or homemade instruments such as pianos, drums, tambourines, shakers, bells, etc to make music with your child. Sing, dance or simply make noise. Skills: Fine motor, gross motor, language, socialization, rhythm.

24. Bedtime Story

It’s never too early to start making a bedtime story part of your child’s daily routine. You do not need to read anything lengthy for this age group, something as short as 3 minutes is fine and simply naming pictures rather than reading works well. Skills: Language, listening, attention, building routines.

25. Smelling Games

Use perfumes, spices, lotions and talk about the smell of them. This is a fun game as children get older too, when they can begin to identify things by smell. Skills: Sensory, language.

26. Lotion massage

Massage is relaxing for any age, use lavender scented lotion to gently massage your child after bath time and before bedtime in order to relax and soothe them to sleep. Skills: Sensory

27. Nursery Rhymes/Finger Plays

Begin to recite nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty, This Little Piggy, etc to your child on a daily basis. Build in gestures with your words as you recite the rhymes and use inflection in your voice to hold your child’s attention. Skills: Receptive/expressive language, cognitive, attention, memory, socialization.

28. Sock Puppets

Use an old pair of socks to make hand puppets. Color or sew on a face and make the puppet talk to your child and watch them giggle. Allow them to place the puppets on their own hands. Skills: Language, fine motor, socialization

29. Sink or float

Use different types of toys in the tub, one that both sink and float. Encourage your child to reach for and grasp toys both floating and under the water. Skills: Fine motor, reach, grasp, cognitive, object permanence, cause/effect, sensory.

30. Hooray I Did It!

When your baby does something he is proud of, or completes a task, cheer for him and say “Hooray you did it!” and clap for him and show him how to clap for himself. Pretty soon he will be calling attention to himself by saying “yay” or clapping and wanting you to join in too. Skills: Socialization, concept of self, cognitive, joint attention, self esteem.