Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities for Infants (6-12 Months)
In a previous hub, I shared about 10 babysitting games, toys and activities for infants (0-12 Months). This time, I would like to share with you some of the babysitting games, toys and activities that are appropriate for infants who are in their sixth to twelfth months. Just to reiterate age-appropriate babysitting games and activities greatly help in the growth and development of the children aside from giving them fun and enjoyment.
Signs of Growth and Development
Infants who are entering their 6th to 12th months are undergoing developmental changes fast. Some of these changes are:
- They are now learning to use their hands to explore objects. They try to feed themselves using a cup and a spoon. They like to reach out, hold objects and pick them up. They especially like picking things up and dropping them off. Sometimes, they throw things away.
- They are now learning to become more mobile. First, the baby learns to sit well without support. Then as he strengthens his arms, legs and back muscles, he starts to bend on all fours and sooner or later he will be crawling on his hands and feet. Wait a couple more weeks and he starts to pull up to stand, hold onto furniture, and walk when someone is leading him.
- They are now learning to express themselves and communicate more. When you say your baby’s name, he would respond by turning his head towards you. If you give a simple direction, he can even follow it. By now, he may start to speak his first words like “dada” and “mama” as well as other sounds that dad and mom may understand though other people wouldn’t. He likes to repeat actions especially those that will make you laugh.
The Baby can enjoy playing with stackable blocks
Baby can stand and practice walking using these baby walkers.
Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities for Infants (6-12 Months)
Taking into consideration the above mentioned developments of infants aged 6 to 12 months, some of the games, toys and activities that can be done are found below.
Playing games with your baby can definitely help in the child’s growth and development. However, it is also important to let him play on his own so that he can further satisfy his sense of exploration and imagination. Just prepare a clean space for the baby to sit or lie on his tummy or crawl. Put his play things nearby so he can reach out or move toward them. When the child goes for toys that are out of reach, it is a sign that the child is beginning to develop his determination.
- Toys with moving pieces or can be stacked up. Since the baby is starting to explore using his hands, he can practice doing so by playing with toys that have moving pieces like blocks of wood or plastic, or those with hoops and rings.
- Musical toys including rattles and music box. Any toy that makes sounds is attractive to an infant. It doesn’t have to be store bought. Simple toys from your existing household items like wooden spoons, pots and pans, measuring cups will do. Infants love to make sounds using these toys. Soft Balls that have tinkling bells inside also make good toys for infants. If the child could throw or roll the ball, it could also help build his muscles.
- Push and pull toys. The baby at this stage is becoming more mobile. He can now enjoy push or pull toys like cars, trains or trolleys. These toys also help build his limbs and muscles.
Babysitting Games and Activities
- Baby books with big, colorful pictures. Read these books together with baby. Aside from the visual stimulation, one of the benefits of giving books to a baby is that he learns to turn over the pages of the book building up his motor skills. Be sure they are still safe to chew on as the child may start teething by this time.
- Name your body part. By this time, the infant is beginning to understand that name or words are associated with objects. To do this activity, say the name of the body part as in saying “Where is your nose?” then hold the child’s pointing finger and touch his nose. Do the same with the other body parts. As you repeat this, the next time around, you can just say “Where is your nose?” and the baby can point to his nose on his own.
- Counting your body part. This is somewhat similar to the name your body part activity. But this time, mention numbers as you point and count the baby’s body parts. Say one nose, two ears, one, two, three, four, five fingers in this hand.
- Make me laugh. Since the child likes to repeat actions that make people laugh, you can observe the child when he is doing something over and over again. Then, you can show him your reaction by either laughing or acting surprised like when the baby drops a toy (hopefully not breakable ones). When he sees your reaction, he would pick up the object and drop it again and again.
- Hide and seek game. Use one of the child’s toys, a soft ball or a puppet, and while the child is looking, hide it for example under the pillow. Then, ask “Where is the ball or puppet?” Let the child reach out for it and show it you.
- Play outside. On typically nice days, take the baby outside to the park or just in your backyard to enjoy the early morning sunshine. You can bring out his push toys or his walker so he can practice walking.
I hope this set of babysitting games, toys and activities will help your 6-12 month old infant have some fun and at the same time develop the necessary skills he needs for walking, talking and a host of other things.
Helpful Guidelines on How to Choose Toys for Your Baby
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