From the time you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, you are thinking “what can I do to make their life better”. You undertake every thing you can do to best aid their development. You are even ready to spend time going through elaborate scientific articles just trying to give your kid a better development and a better life. However, With your baby growing everyday and reaching mew milestones, activities that help in their mental and physical development should also keep changing according to their age.
Here I am going to elaborate on activities for 9 to 12 month olds. By the time your little one is 9 or 10 months old, they are usually able to make their way around the room in some fashion – crawling or cruising (walking while holding on to the furniture). By 12 months, they may be able to stand and even walk.
Here are a few activities that you can practise to support their physical, social and mental growth.
Push toys: These give your baby a chance to exercise their new walking skills. Getting them their own baby stroller for their bear is a good idea. They will love to walk their toy around as you do with them. Choose one that's heavily weighted, this will let them lean onto it and take a lap or two around the living room. Newfound mobility is an interesting experience. Your little one will enjoy pushing and pulling toys for months to come even after they master the art of walking.
Host or attend play dates: You’ll start noticing some specific social interaction changes in them. Your baby is developing a sense of humour and also responding happily to gestures like waving or blowing kisses. If you haven’t yet taken them to a baby group, it’s a good time to encourage their social skills and get them used to the company of others the same age – even if they do happily play on their own. Play dates our super fun and a good way to let them adjust to having other kids around.
Reading Books: At this age, children are particularly intrigued by books with flaps that open, pull tabs that reveal new characters, textures that can be rubbed, and bunnies that need patting. Also at this age your kid has started babbling, and you might think that their babble is meaningless, but they might seriously attempt to read a book in their babbling voice. This encourages them to speak early and start to read on their own.
Blocks and shapes sorters: Their problem-solving skills are improving now too. They might take the lid off a clear container to get to the toy they see inside rather than trying to reach through it.
Trying to figure out why the square block won't go through the round opening is a nice challenge for early problem solvers.
Blocks are a must-have for your baby at this age, it gives them the chance to practice the art of stacking. They may be able to stack only a couple in the beginning, but knocking them over is just as fun.
Act and let them Imitate: Babies by this age love to imitate their parents. Even if they can't say much yet, a baby will try and imitate most of your actions. It’s a good idea to sing to them - Heads, shoulders, knees and toes. They won’t be able to join in quite yet, but they’ll love watching you sing the song while you point to the parts of the body. Help them point to their nose and ask, ‘where’s [their name]’s nose?’ (they don’t understand the concept of ‘your’ or ‘my’ yet, so use their name instead.
Obstacle course: Create an obstacle course for your baby to navigate using solid objects (chairs, couches, large boxes) they just can’t run over or move out of the way (of course only use furniture that is either safe or baby proof). Don’t forgot to add some things they can climb over like pillows or low solid boxes. Obstacle course strengthens your little one’s movement co-ordination and confidence while they crawl or walk. It also develops the concept of “navigation” and introduces the spatial awareness in them.
Painting: Painting is super fun and you get something out of it too - the art works of your little one to save and cherish forever. It is also an excellent experience and is fantastic for the development of all the big and small muscles in your growing child’s fingers, arms, shoulders, neck and back. Finger painting is wonderful for the development of colour recognition, experimenting with colours and colour mixing and is terrific for developing creativity skills and simple cause and effect thinking skills.
These were a few activities that are easy to do at home with your little ones and help them grow physically, socially and mentally. Enjoy their childhood and raise a beautiful human.
Disclaimer: All Photographs in this article are original and belong to the author. Reproducing them in any form without the permission of the author will not be allowed.
Explore the entire collection of articles: Toddler's Learning