5 Fun Activities to Do With Your 6-12 Month-Old

5 Fun Activities to Do With Your 6-12 Month-Old

If you have a child who is six to 12 months old, then you know how difficult it can be to keep them entertained. They are too old for baby toys, yet they don’t have the gross and fine motor skills for the more advanced toys. And, once they get close to the 12-month mark their daytime naps may be shortening in length – which means you need to keep them entertained for longer periods. So what’s a parent to do?

Here we’ll take a look at five fun activities that will keep your 6-12 month-old entertained and challenged during this important life stage.

Musical Instruments Allow Them to Use a Variety of Skills

This is a great age to introduce little ones to musical instruments as it will tap into all kinds of skills. It encourages creativity, a sense of sound, and gross motor, and fine motor skills. Musical instruments that they can "hit" will be the best option for this age group. This includes things like drums, an xylophone, or a baby piano.

Worth noting, there is no need to purchase a child’s drum set because at this age, pretty much anything can be used as “drums”. Try using metal pots and pans, cookie/baking trays, metal cups and so forth.

No Toys In Sight - Peekaboo Is Always a Favourite

And for those times you don't have any toys in sight, the classic game of peekaboo is always a winner. Whether you use your hands or a blanket to cover your face, you are bound to get smiles from your baby.

You can add another layer of interest to the game of peekaboo by covering items in the room. Cover something small like an object on the table or floor and ask where it is. Allow them to go ahead and "dig" for the item, moving the blanket. This game will help them learn about object permanence, increase fine motor skills, and even expand their vocabulary since each object they need to find has a name.

The Love of Building Blocks Starts at a Young Age

Sure, you may be years away from an impressive Lego collection for your child but that doesn’t mean they can’t start playing with building blocks now. Lego is just a more refined and advanced form of standard blocks.

During the six to 12 month age, building blocks are perfect for stacking. Look for a pack of wooden blocks that are big enough for baby’s hands, and have colours and/or letters on them to allow for a more educational experience.

Stacking in general is fun for little ones, so if you don't have building blocks look for other objects in the home they can stack. Plastic measuring cups are a great example since they are lightweight, aren't breakable, and come in different sizes. When a stack falls, it teaches kids about cause and effect.

Large Puzzles are Perfect for Tiny Hands

Here’s another activity that is sure to keep your six to 12-month-old entertained. Large oversized puzzles are fabulous for fine and gross motor skills, visual skills, and problem-solving skills. They have to think the puzzle through, examining each piece and how it fits.

Just be sure to choose puzzles that are age-appropriate so that your baby doesn’t become too frustrated. It needs to be a challenge, but not impossible for them. Also, choose a material that is durable and will hold up to drops, throwing, spills, and the inevitable mouthing they will do with the pieces.

Keep a Treasure Box Handy - Rotating the Items

There's no better way to be prepared than to have a treasure box handy. A treasure box, or toy box, can be filled with toys, baby-safe materials, and activities. The items should be rotated regularly to keep it interesting and challenging.

The treasure box doesn't need to contain a lot of items at once, as you don't want to overwhelm your little one, and ideally, it should be in a basket or tote that your baby can reach into when you show it to them. Go ahead and let them pick what appeals to them.

When picking the items for the treasure box, be sure to think about textural differences. Babies will be keenly aware of different textures - soft, squishy, hard, smooth, rippled, and so forth. The change in textures alone can be entertaining to them.

Rely On This List to Keep Your Little One Entertained

The next time you find yourself struggling to keep your child happy, entertained and not fussy, you can rely on this list to inspire ideas. Having this backup arsenal of activities means you aren’t fumbling to come up with something at the moment. Parenting is all about being prepared for any scenario and having ideas and resources to draw upon.

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