I received Gerber’s 3rd Foods® Lil Bits™ Recipes and compensation from Gerber as part of a sponsored program. All opinions are my own. I hope that these learning activities for 6-12 month old baby are helpful!
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Are you ready for some fun learning activities for 6-12 month old baby? Between the ages of 6-12 months, you can expect your child to be learning a lot and really engaging in activities with you! Be creative in your play with your child! I am a play therapist and I can tell you that this is a great age to start working with your child on some specific skills!
1- By one year, your baby will start to prefer you and begin to cry when you leave. This separation anxiety is normal and healthy. Just tell your baby goodbye and that you will be back. Do not sneak out! This will only make your baby more anxious the next time that you are around, since he/she won’t know if you are going to sneak out again. Just be cheerful when you leave, as if it is no big deal… “Bye, sweet girl! I’ll see you soon! Have a great day! Love you!” (Talk in the “mother-ease”voice – that sing-song voice that comes naturally to you.)
2- It’s OK!
With that being said, remember that it is a good thing to let your baby be with other people that will love & care for her/him. Having grandma watch the baby is always a great idea (or a close friend of family member).
You can start showing your baby more books and flashcards. An example would be to teach him/her about the dog. Show your baby a picture of a dog and say “Look at the doggie! Ruff Ruff!”. Continue to do this. (Teaching body parts, animals, vehicles…) By 12 months, your baby will be able to point to the correct picture when you show him/her more than one and ask “which one is the dog?” What a great milestone!
4- Introduce new foods.
When your baby hits the Crawler milestone, it is highly recommended for children to explore and feel multiple textures within the mouth without having to manage numerous separate food components. Introducing pureed foods with advanced textures is a great way to do this. As older babies develop side to side movement of their tongue they can begin to move small, soft pieces of food to their jawline for mashing, the early skills of chewing. I have seen that many of my clients that have not been exposed to lumpy foods (the foods that require mashing and chewing) by 10 months have a harder time transition to full-on table foods. I start our kids out with Gerber Lil’ Bits recipes are made with perfectly sized soft bit of fruits or veggies that help your baby learn to chew.
5- Use two spoons.
Around this age, I started using two spoons. One for our babies to play with (they would bang the highchair or try to scoop the baby food, but whatever it was, it kept them content) and the other spoon for me to feed them. Ps- if you are looking for a food they will love, our babies loved the Lil’ Bits recipes because they had 7 fruits & 3 veggies. (I loved them because they help teach babies how to chew by adding the right sized, soft pieces of fruit or veggies to each variety.)
6- Teach your baby new words.
“Ma Ma”. Say it to your baby and they will try to repeat the word (or at least babble back to you). Don’t be too concerned if this does not happen yet, just keep working on it and in the meantime take a look at my post on Activities to help your child with their speech development. Your child should be saying single words (Mama, Dada) by a year, but every baby is different and this may vary a little. If you do not see this happening by 12 months, you may want to bring it to your pediatricians notice (just mention it at their 1 year appointment). Most doctors will not suggest speech therapy until close to two years of age.
7- Hide things:
A fun activity is to take their favorite small toy (rattle, doll) and let them WATCH YOU hide it under a little blanket. You might even want to leave a little peeking out. Your child will learn to find it now! By 12 months, your child will be able to uncover this and find that hidden treasure! (Remember that she/he will have to see you hiding it).
8- Read to your baby:
Babies love hearing the same book read over and over. When our kids were almost one, they had two favorites: Each Peach Pear Plum and Mickey’s Blanket. We would read these constantly and they loved them!
*Remember that reading a book does not mean that you have to “read” the book:
You can use it as an opportunity to point to pictures, talk about things, pretend to eat the food in the books. Our kids have fun when we pretend to take the hats off of the characters and put them on our own heads, too! All of these things will benefit your baby in many ways! Take a “picture walk” (looking & talking about the pictures) with your child when you “read” these books!
9- Do new things:
We have taken each of our kids on my parents ‘boat, even when they were young (they have to wear a life jacket, so be ready for a little fussing) but they have all enjoyed the boat once it gets moving.
Here is my mom holding the kids on the boat, getting ready to watch the fireworks (Pajama time!).
10- Play the old-favorites:
This Little Piggy, Pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo are all GREAT little songs to sing to your kids.
11- Do finger plays with your baby:
A finger play is just a hand action combined with singing or spoken-words to engage the child’s interest.
Here is an example: Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys (five fingers)
Jumping on the bed – (rest elbow on other hand, jump arm up and down)
One fell off, (hold up one finger, bring down as if falling)
And bumped his head! (hand to head)
Mama called the Doctor (use hand as telephone)
And the Doctor said (listening to “telephone”)
No more monkeys jumping on the bed (use finger and wave it back & forth to say “No No”)
Google “finger-plays for babies” for more great ideas! I’m sure you’ll get a ton!
12- Waving & throwing a kiss:
You can do these things to your baby and your baby should try to imitate you. (Remember that it takes practice, so keep leading by example!)
13- Give them different textures:
I like to let our kids play with homemade play dough and things with different textures at this age. (Supervised, of course!) I also fed them a variety of textures, like Lil’ Bits recipes because it helps babies learn to mash and chew. The texture is new to them, but perfect because it has perfectly sized soft bit of fruits or veggies that help your baby learn to chew. Plus, Gerber is the only baby food company in the country which uses a special cooking method that gives Lil’ Bits recipes the right texture and perfectly sized soft bits to help babies master chewing.
11- Stacking blocks:
Get out those wooden blocks and let your baby examine them. Stack them up for your baby and let him/her knock them down while you both laugh about it! When your baby watches you and then begins to build with blocks, they are giving their learning planning and also helping their fine motor skills because it requires physical dexterity. Blocks are a great learning tool!
12- Get them moving:
Encourage movement! If your child is still crawling, add a few hurdles, like having them crawl over pillows. If they are learning to walk, give a little incentive- place a toy on one side of the coffee table and place your baby on the other side. Guide them along the side, teaching them how to cruise, walk to the other side. If your baby is even more advanced, practice walking up tiny inclines (maybe a driveway), holding their hands.
13- Getting dressed.
At this age, our babies all enjoyed changing time. It is fun for them and it is just another chance to spend one on one time with your little one. Remember that each child does things at their own time, but you can help your baby by spending “floor time” with him/her. Play with your child, talk to your child, read to your child…
14- SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CHILD:
Here we are with our four children… the most precious thing that we can give them is our time & attention.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gerber.