As a parent, when my babies turn 6 months, it is the most exciting as well as a learning moment. Although each baby is unique when it comes to development, all babies at 6 months show similar development physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. In terms of physical development, the baby finally gains the ability to sit with little or no support. You will notice cognitive development when your baby starts looking around for something that looks appealing to him or her like a toy. This is coupled with social and emotion development in that the baby starts getting interested in interacting with people through playful activities. When you notice your baby is starting to participate in things happening around them, there are various activities that you can engage them in so as to boost their development. In this article, we shall look at some of the things that parents need to know when it comes to 6 month old baby activities for development so keep reading.
This is also the moment when the baby begins to roll over and others start to lie on their stomach push up onto their knees and hands as they practice crawling.
Babies can also self sooth by rocking back and forth while seated at six months. They love being held in a standing position as their legs are strong enough to hold their weight.
At this stage, most babies will start teething so expect much drooling and itchy gums. The itching that comes with teething makes them want to chew on anything they come across in order to get relief. It is recommended that you get them something to chew on such as teether toys or a teething necklace.
At 6 months, the baby’s imagination and emotions come into play and her cognitive features start to develop. Her ability to remember stuff is enhanced and she may start being choosy. For instance, she starts recognizing different tastes to an extent of having a favourite toy, food and of course people.
They also start to recognize things in that if you take something away from them, they start looking around for it and may even cry if you do not give back to them.
Social and emotional development
The baby at six months also grows an attachment to its siblings, parents and care givers.
They develop separation and stranger anxiety. They are likely to cry when left with unfamiliar faces.
They start being socially active in that they can smile at you, show happiness or anger. Communication also begins to develop and mostly they start to babble by pronouncing constants like bababa or dadada.
6 month old baby games and activities
This is one of the simplest activities for babies at six months. You can use materials that are readily available by improvising such as plastic cups or buy blocks.
Help the baby to stack the plastic cups or blocks then once through knock them over.
Remember to have the blocks or cups in a variety of colors to break monotony as well as make the game exciting.
The essence of stacking activity is to help the baby develop fine motor skills since it encourages movement. They learn how to hold the blocks and also develop hand-eye coordination.
It is no secret that babies love playing peekaboo.
According to Jean Piaget a Swiss psychologist, babies start to develop the ability to know that an object still exists even after you hide it at 8 months. This is known as Object Permanence. Other studies claim that object permanence starts to develop between 4-7 months.
Nonetheless, when a baby is able to understand that when her toy disappears it is not gone forever, he will start looking for it. On the other hand, when a baby thinks that the toy has gone forever, he or she will not look for it.
This therefore explains why most babies love peek-a-boo.
At 6 months, the baby has not developed object permanence; thus, when you hide from her and then reappear, it seems pretty interesting.
You can play peek-a-boo in a variety of ways. For instance, you can place an eye catching toy under a piece of cloth and leave it partly visible then you pose the question to baby, ‘where the toy is?’ while giving it a push. You can also hold a plastic plate in front of your face and call to the baby. When he or she touches the plate, place it down and say ‘you found me!
Developing object permanence is a very important milestone in babies because it is an antecedent to symbolic understanding. Thus, by playing peek-a-boo the baby develops symbolic understanding which leads to language development and exploration. This also helps them to overcome separations anxiety.
3. Nursery Rhymes
The nursery rhymes are an integral part of communication skills development which helps the baby to develop an ear for sounds at a very early stage.
A parent can use known songs from rhyme books available online or at bookshops. Alternatively you can invent your own rhymes, but remember to keep them interesting to the baby.
When a variety of songs are practiced, they help the baby to learn and differentiate diverse sounds.
Nursery rhymes also help in enhancing early literacy comprehension; thus assisting the baby to speak earlier rate compared to those who are not exposed to the rhymes.
4. Blowing Bubbles
Bubbles are a very good way for baby development.
All you need is a jar of solution that comes with something to blow the bubbles with. You can blow the bubbles or have an older sibling do it as it will be more fun for the kids.
Since a 6 months old baby cannot run after the bubbles, there are a numbers of ways the baby can get to share in the fun as well.
1. Let the baby sit somewhere then you blow the bubbles as an older sibling runs after them.
2. Place the baby in a tummy time position the place a flat container with water near the baby (here you have to be creative, look for anything flat that can hold some water; may be a pan can do). Then blow the bubbles in a way that they land on the water just near the baby
Through this activity, the baby will develop visually. The bubbles are captivating to the eye due the colors; hence they help in building their visual skills. In addition, babies learn skills such as tracking, focusing and converging which in turn boost eye alertness.
Moreover, as the babies look around for the bubbles and struggle to catch some, their motor skills develop. They learn how to turn their head and use their hands to grab something.
5. Gentle Leg bounces
Babies usually start supporting themselves on their legs when help upright at 4 to 5 months.
Eventually, they get the ability to bend their knees and start bouncing up and down when you hold them in an upright position.
At six months, you can help your baby do gentle leg bounces. Just hold him or her in a standing position on your laps and gentle help him to bounce up and down.
In doing this, the baby’s hips stretch; thus strengthening their leg muscles. The baby also gains the ability to sustain his or her weight on the feet.
Watch how you can correctly to do this in the video below
Toys? Good or Bad for a 6 month old baby
Baby playtime has been ranked by early childhood experts as one of the most effective ways to develop their intellectual highlights, social, language and problem solving skills.
The use of toys during playtime is beneficial as they help in motor skills development, color identification, pattern making as well as spatial concepts of up and down, and making of eye contact.
When choosing a toy for your child it is important to pick age relevant toys so as to achieve the intended skill development and promote physical activity. For instance, rattles and musical toys are favorites of babies under 6 months.
It is important to get toys that are safe for the baby so as to avoid causing harm to your baby. Before buying any toy, check that the toy does not have lose small parts that a baby can put in the mouth while playing. Also avoid painted toys since the paint can easily come off after a while, which is a health is a health hazard.
As a parent you might need to get a toy that encourages creativity in order to develop the child’s intellectual ability as opposed to toys that limit’s the mind development.
For instance, you might opt for a multi-sensory toy that lights up and has songs as this will help to stimulate the baby’s cognitive development.
It is important to consider the cost of the toy. As you well know, children get bored easily so buying a very expensive toy that the baby will use for a short time may not be worth it money-wise.
You therefore have to buy a variety of toys with different colors and designs to keep the babies interested. The more affordable they are, the more you can buy.
Also, getting a toy that grows with the child can be cost effective. It would be prudent to do some research to get the appropriate toy that can offer different age relevant activities for the child as he or she gets older.