Whew! The months have flown by and your newborn baby is now half a year old.
In those first six months, you have witnessed your baby’s alertness change and develop rapidly.
The sleepy newborn has transformed into an alert baby ready to explore the world.
In this article, we will discuss recommended CDC milestones and appropriate toys for 6-9 month olds in these five areas of development:
- Gross Motor
- Fine Motor
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Gross Motor Development
- 6 months-roll over in both directions and start to sit without support.
- 7 months-may move forward by “army crawling.”
- 8 months-get into a sitting position independently.
- 9 months-tries to pull up into a standing position using furniture.
Your baby is definitely on the move. Balls, blocks and activity gyms are good toys to help encourage and develop gross motor development at this age.
Position a ball or some blocks just out of reach and encourage your little one to roll or army crawl to get it.
Be the toy yourself and see if your baby will find a way to move to you.
A short play table such as a train table is a great way to motivate babies to pull up into a standing position.
My husband made one for our daughter and put toys on top of it.
She immediately started using the table to help herself stand up because she wanted to play with the toys on top of the play table.
Fine Motor Development
- 6 months-can transfer objects from one hand to the other hand.
- 7 months-experiments scooping up small objects using a “rake grasp.”
- 8 months-plays by picking up and dropping objects.
- 9 months-masters picking up objects with the “rake grasp.”
Utilize smaller toys that are not choking hazards to help your child develop fine motor skills.
Stacking cups and blocks are great for helping your baby develop hand and eye coordination.
Look for toys that have levers, buttons, beads and switches on them for your little one to maneuver.
Rattles, teethers and squeeze toys are also good choices for honing those fine motor skills.
Another idea is to have your baby use the pincer grasp to pick up small objects and toys and put them in a can or larger container.
- 6 months-responds to sounds by making sounds and starts to babble consonant sounds (mama, baba, dada).
- 7 months-Imitates sounds made to them such as babbling and laughter.
- 8 months-may start using babble words such as mama and dada to refer to people.
- 9 months-points, shakes head and nods to communicate.
Since babies are all about sounds at this age, baby toys for 6-9 month olds that make sounds or are musical are recommended for language development.
There are also several books and toys that make noises when you squeeze or touch them.
Rattles are the ideal toy for language development because of the noise they make when they are shaken.
Don’t forget that you are the main one your child wants to hear and interact with, though.
- 6 months-recognizes familiar faces and likes to look at self in mirror.
- 7 months-enjoys eye contact and playing peek-a-boo.
- 8 months-understands object permanence (that things still exist when not in sight).
- 9 months-starts exhibiting stranger anxiety.
There are many toys for 6-9 month olds containing mirrors that are excellent for your child to look at.
Stacking cups are good for helping your child understand object permanence.
Stack smaller blocks under larger ones while your baby is watching. Wait to see if your baby will move the larger blocks in order to find the smaller ones hidden underneath. You can find out how to make your own blocks here.
Hiding a plush toy under a blanket is another way to practice your child’s understanding of object constancy.
Babies this age love playing peek-a-boo. There’s quite a selection of peek-a-boo books. You can also play this favorite baby game by peeking around walls, doors and even toys.
- 6 months-tries to grab things out of reach and chews on most anything, demonstrating a curiosity for the world.
- 7 months-finds a partially hidden object.
- 8 months-loves exploring new items, constantly moving on to the next new thing.
- 9 months-watches the path of a falling object.
Play balls or stacking cups with your baby and then knock them over or drop them.
Pick the toys up and give them back to your child. This is a great way to help your baby understand cause and effect.
Of course, you will know when they have figured it out because they will drop something over and over again on purpose just to see if you will pick it up for them.
Drop a toy a watch to see if your child will track it as it falls.
Provide teething toys or other chew toys for your child to help satisfy his or her need to explore the world orally.
Play, read and sing!
Many of the toys for 6-9 month olds are wonderful for helping your baby progress and be well-rounded in all areas of development.
Set aside time every day to play on the floor with your baby.
Spend at least 15 minutes a day reading to your child. Playing, reading and singing with your infant will definitely help your child succeed as he or she makes rapid cognitive, social, language and physical growth.
Providing ample time and opportunity every day for your baby to interact with you as well as explore the world via toys, books, music and other objects is important.
You are your child’s first teacher and the one your child looks up to and adores. May you and your baby have many learning experiences together as you facilitate your baby’s interaction of the surrounding world.