9 - 10 Months

Easy activities your 9-month-old will love

boy playing with scarf

At 9 months, your baby is likely excited to explore what interests them and discover what happens when they interact with different objects. Try these simple activities for rich sensory play that helps them practice their developing skills.

Music speaks volumes

In the music world, variations in volume are known as dynamics. Try using the scarf to teach your baby about this fundamental aspect of musical composition and hone their listening skills, suggest Joy Jackson, an arts education and enrichment consultant.

What to do:

  1. Put on a song that you enjoy.
  2. Move the scarf to match the dynamics of the music. Make large, exaggerated movements when the volume goes up and small, gentle movements when it becomes soft.
  3. Model a few times and then let your baby have a turn. At 9 months, they will likely move in a carefree manner, but as they continue to develop body control, their movements will become more deliberate. 
  4. You can also try playing an instrument, such as a drum or maraca, with your baby, following the dynamics of the music as you listen to it. 
  5. Repeat these activities so that, over time, your baby makes associations between the visual representations and the sounds.

Containers by the dozen

Moving objects in and out of containers strengthens your baby’s hand muscles, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Using a muffin tin is great because it provides 12 containers in one 🙂

What to do:

  1. Fill a muffin tin with balls or toys. 
  2. Place the tin on the floor in front of your child. Demonstrate how to move the playthings in and out.
  3. Encourage your baby to put the toys back in one at a time but realize that they might not be able to do this successfully until they’re closer to 11 months of age.

When your baby is ready for a greater challenge, they can practice counting, color identification, and sorting.

Please be sure to supervise your baby at all times during this activity and put the balls or toys safely away when play is done. Only use toys that are recommended for 9 months or younger.

In photo: Stainless Steel Jingle Keys from The Explorer Play Kit

Encourage crawling with this simple activity

Crawling is incredibly complex and challenging for a baby’s brain and body. To achieve a major motor skill like this, your baby needs to develop some basic building blocks,

You can use an enticing toy, such as baby-safe keys, to encourage your baby to reach forward in a hands and knees position, says Giselle Tadros, a pediatric physical therapist.

What to do:

Start by placing your baby on all fours. If they aren’t getting onto their hands and knees yet, do this activity with their chest supported on your outstretched legs.

Jingle the keys at your baby’s eye level to encourage them to reach forward with one hand while putting all of their weight on the other. This movement looks simple, but it actually requires tremendous body awareness, balance, strength, and confidence. 

Once your child can maintain hands and knees while reaching and touching the keys, try increasing the distance to the keys slightly to see if they’re ready to explore forward movement.

Under-the-sea bin

Encourage your baby to move in new ways with an Under-the-sea bin. To capture floating playthings, your child must lean, bend, reach, and change positions, all of which prepares them for more advanced movements.

What to do:

  1. Fill a shallow bin with water. Add 2 drops of blue food coloring and some plastic sea creatures 🙂
  2. Place the bin on a towel on the floor or take it outside. 
  3. Place your baby at one end of the bin and sit at the other end, supervising closely for safety.  
  4. Name the toy animals as your baby explores them in the water. Drop toys in the water to create a splash.
  5. Try placing the bin just out of your child’s reach to encourage them to move toward it.

Please use as little water as possible for this activity and always stay within arms’ reach of your child while they play. Babies can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. 

Unwrap sensory fun

You don’t need to wait until your baby’s 1st birthday to give them a gift to unwrap 🙂 Crinkling paper, sticky tape, and smooth ribbon create an exciting sensory experience that exercises your baby’s emerging fine-motor skills. Discovering a hidden object—even if it’s a familiar toy or household item—adds to the fun. 

What to do:

  1. Wrap one of your child’s favorite playthings and tie a ribbon around it. Choose a toy that makes a sound to add an extra sensory dimension.
  2. Wrapping it loosely will make it easier to rip open, while bright paper adds visual stimulation.
  3. If your baby needs help, poke a hole in the paper to facilitate the unwrapping process. 

Please supervise your baby at all times during this activity and ensure they do not mouth the tape, ribbon, or wrapping paper. Small items like these could become choking hazards. Put them safely away when play is done.

Sensory play is in the bag

Boost your baby’s sensory processing, attention span, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills with an oil-and-water sensory bag.

Materials:

  1. Resealable plastic bag
  2. Clear packing tape
  3. Canola oil
  4. Water
  5. Food coloring

What to do:

  1. Reinforce the seams of a sturdy resealable plastic bag with tape.
  2. Fill it with ¼ cup oil, ¼ cup water, and 5 drops of food coloring.
  3. Squeeze out almost all of the air.
  4. Seal the bag and reinforce the closure with tape.
  5. Run tape over other parts of the bag in case your baby scratches or pinches it while playing.
  6. Tape it to the floor to encourage crawling, to a wall or window for vertical play, or to the top of a coffee table if your baby can pull up to stand 🙂

Please be sure to supervise your baby at all times during this activity and dispose of or put the sensory bag safely away when play is done.

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Posted in: 9 - 10 Months, Playtime & Activities, Cognitive Development, Hearing, Lovevery App, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Balance, Sensory Play, Child Development

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