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Activities are great fun for babies. It gives them a chance to play, interact, explore and learn new things thereby developing different skills. Here is an article to tell you about some of the best activities for a 9-month-old.
What Development can you Expect from your 9 Month-Old Baby?
A 9 month-old will have the following developments:
- As your little one gets to the 9-month mark, she will start crawling through the whole house. Some become such expert crawlers that they can also crawl up and down the stairs!
- Apart from being expert crawlers, a 9-month-old can easily change positions. From a crawling position to the standing position (with the help and support of chairs or something to hold on to).
- Your little one’s fine motor skills improve making it easy for her to pick up small toys and which shape block goes into which shape hole etc.
- She can babble non-stop and even pronounce one syllable words.
- She may start understanding what you are talking about and reciprocate by a cooing sound or by passing a smile.
- She can sit down without any support unlike her earlier months when she would require support.
Learning Activities for your 9 Month-Old Baby
These 9-month baby activities are easy and fun. Listed below are ten 9 month-old baby development activities.
1. Dropping in the Bucket
Drop a block or a toy in the bucket. When the toy/block touches the bottom of the bucket, you can say “dhap”(for instance). Repeat the same for a few more times. Then drop another block or a toy but this time remains silent while doing so. Just see whether she tries imitating the word. Let her also drop the toys or blocks inside the bucket or empty out the bucket. This activity develops fine motor skills as well as language skills.
2. Squeak and Hide
Take a squeaky toy and squeeze it so that it makes a squeaky sound. Hide it behind your back or under the blanket or behind the cushion. Let your baby try to look for it. You can do the activity until the time she does not lose interest in it. This simple game is great for cognitive development in babies. It also helps in developing auditory skills and object permanence.
3. Ball Rolling
Roll a medium sized blow-up ball towards your baby. See whether he stops it or not. Then encourage her to roll it back. Even if she does not, applaud her. You can ask your spouse to join in. This activity develops gross motor skills, teaches about taking turns and imitating.
Place a big carton and make sure it is comfortable without anything pricky inside. You can keep a soft towel or blanket inside. Place your baby inside and duck her in. Then pretend as if you cannot find her. On seeing her, give a squeal of excitement. Allow her to explore the box. This activity strengthens visual tracking, develops gross motor skills and social skills and teaches object permanence.
5. Clapping and Singing
Babies start clapping by the time they are 9 months old. Sing some nursery rhymes and clap along. Encourage her to clap to the rhythm. This helps the toddlers develop control of their muscles and hand-eye coordination. It also helps them to learn about rhythms.
6. Water Play
Bath time activity can be a great learning experience for the baby. When you talk to your baby, it helps in the little one’s language development, your baby playing with the bubbles can help her develop hand and eye coordination, your little one having fun while squeezing the water from a sponge or splashing water is a great way to develop her social-emotional skills etc. It is a time when apart from touch, a baby’s other senses also get activated.
7. Strolling on a Stroller
This is one of the best outdoor activities for a 9-month-old. Take your baby for strolls. It can be a stroll at the park, a stroll to the nearest supermarket to fetch groceries or just along the road. Let her watch people walking by, children playing, dogs barking etc. Let her just explore the play equipment in a park. You can also sit on a swing or slide down a slide with your baby in the lap. These “outside” experiences will help to stimulate her multi-sensory faculties.
8. Sand Play
Now that your baby can sit all by herself, make her sit on the sand pit and allow her to play with the sand. Let her pull out the small shovel, check out the small buckets, the spades etc. It is a great activity to develop your baby’s fine mother skills. However, be cautious enough not to allow sand to get into your little one’s eye.
9. Treasure Basket
In a basket or a box (the size should be such that your baby should be able to sit and see the things inside the basket/box), put a wide range of things. Some may be natural like fruits or vegetables; some may be man-made (non-toxic). The things should be of different colours, textures, shapes, and sizes. The things need not be expensive but something found in and around the house, in the garden, beach, park etc. Encourage her to pick up something, explore the basket by examining the things in it, putting them in her mouth, feeling the texture, banging them against other objects or on the floor etc. This is a great activity to stimulate the baby’s senses, and also develop the different skills like fine motor, cognitive and gross motor.
Toddlers may benefit from picture reading books. These books have more of pictures and less of writing. Try and modulate your voice a bit while reading it out to your baby. Children who start reading early in life (even if it is picture reading books), develop a love for reading and inculcate a habit of reading, both of which are great qualities!
Tips to Consider
- Make sure she has interest in the activity. If she shows disinterest, do not force your baby to participate in it. Instead, try doing something else that she may enjoy.
- Make sure that the toys or objects used in the activities are non-toxic.
- Do not leave her unattended even for a second during an activity. Always be alert. A little carelessness on your part could result in (god forbid!) harming your little one. For instance, during sand play, sand may get into her eyes if you are not careful or swallow something which she should not.
- In case of activities where she may have to move around, she may hurt herself by knocking herself against a wall or by falling down.
- Keep her barefoot always. It helps her to get the correct posture while learning to walk. Moreover, 9-month-olds feet have higher tactile sensory processing which plays a big role in the baby’s neurological development. In case, it is too cold; then you could make her wear anti-skid socks which will spare her from skidding or falling down while moving around.
Every baby grows at its own pace. Children developing new skills need lots of practice, so each activity can be done over and over again. You need not buy fancy toys for these fun activities. All you need is a lot of patience and the zeal to help your child develop the essential skills.