Ahhhh, 6 - 9 months! What a fun, exciting and huge developmental time in a little ones life! My son is almost 8 months old and I just can’t believe where the time has gone! It feels like it was only a few weeks ago that he was this tiny little baby! And now he is moving around, babbling and getting his own little personality.
Baby play ideas for 6 - 9 month olds can be really fun to set up - but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming looking at toys and trying to work out which ones they will like or get a lot of use out of.
When I first started to build our collection of toys and resources I really wanted to invest in ones that he was not only going to be able to get use out of now, but ones that would grow with him and would last for years to come.
One of my first purchases from Little Toy Tribe was the Grapat Nins, Rings and Coins set and I have honestly not stopped using it! It would have to be one of the most versatile boxes that I have used since he was 4 months old (under supervison).
You will see below that these toys and resources are used multiple times across the play ideas and if you’ve read the 9 - 12 month old Play Ideas blog it also includes some of the same resources which means that your little one will use and use these resources for months and even years to come!
I’ve split the play ideas into ages - but that doesn’t mean that these ideas are limited to that age. Observe your little one and their play and if you feel comfortable setting one up or trying it then go for it! Always remember to supervise your babies play.
Alright lets get into the fun part….
6 Months Old
Peek - A - Boo
Have you ever played ‘Peek-a-Boo’ with your little one? It is such a fun, classic game that children and babies really love - but did you know that by playing this game you are helping them work on Object Permanence?
Object Permanence is a concept that was discovered by Jean Piaget and is a very important milestone in your little one’s brain development. Before your little one has developed object permanence - items that leave their sight are gone and do not exist anymore to them however once they have developed object permanence they understand that items and even people still exist, even if you cannot see or hear them. If you’ve ever left the room and your little one begins to cry and you’ve wondered why - its because they are developing object permanence.
My favourite way to play ‘Peek a Boo’ is with a silk! You can place it over your little one’s head or even your own and pull it off.
Another variation could be with a toy - hide a toy underneath a silk and pull it off to reveal it! *Supervision required
Babies absolutely love sensory play! And it can be super fun and sometimes messy! But it doesn’t always have to be messy - this is where sensory bottles are a really fun and easy idea (and can be perfect for taking on the go).
You can fill them with so many different things the sky is truely the limit! I really love these Jumbo Test Tubes as sensory bottles as they are the perfect size for little hands to grab and explore and because they come in a set of 6, it means that you can fill them with a variety of different items. At the moment my son’s sensory bottles are filled with - water beads, coloured rice, matchsticks, buttons, water with enviro glitter, coloured water with dish soap. *Supervision required
Puppets are so much fun for babies to explore and discover! When my son was 6 months old he absolutely loved his 5 green and speckled frog finger puppets! And he still does! Singing songs like ‘Five Green and Speckled Frogs’ and ‘5 Little Ducks’ is not only fun and engaging for your little one, but it is an early introduction to counting and a fantastic way to enrich their language. *Supervision required
7 Months Old
Ahhh grasping! It’s such a fun concept for little ones to learn and discover! Have you ever heard of the Palmer Grasp? The Palmer rasp is a full hand grasp where your little one will wrap their fingers (excluding their thumb) all around an object and pick it up. At around 7 months your little one could be using this grasp and will have a little bit more control when picking up items! This is where this activity is perfect for refining and extending these skills! It is also a fantastic opportunity for your little one to practice their sitting.
This one uses a muffin tray and a set of Grimms Wooden Balls. You may like to show your little one how to pick up each ball from the tray. *Supervision required
Cooling Rack Pull
I am forever losing my kitchen items to my sons play! This is such a fun one for little ones to discover! By simply taking a cooling rack and threading a piece of ribbon through one of the squares and tying some of the Grapat Rings onto each end of the ribbon. Place it on a wall or somewhere flat - not on the floor though (I attached ours to the end of our trofast unit) with some hooks so it will stay in place. By setting up this simple activity not only is it great for little ones fine motor skills, but it is the beginning of learning cause and effect - when I pull something it moves. *Supervision required
Encouraging Movement - Anything that Sticks
At 7 months old my son absolutely loved anything that I could suction to the floor or to the bath! It was great to practice for him to grasp objects and pull and it was also fantastic for encouraging movement! Some of our favourites were Squigz, Jellystone Teether and Whirly Squigz - We even experimented in suctioning different ones together which made it super interesting and really encouraged him to move! *Supervision required
8 Months Old
Has your little one worked out how to pull? Its a very fun concept for them to discover and once they do you will definitely know about it! My son started pulling fistfuls of grass out when we were outside and then he discovered that he could also pull hair! Ouch!
So I set this up for him to redirect his urge to pull hair and it was a hit! I cut a hole in to top of one of our Grapat boxes and placed one of our Mini Silks inside and showed him how to pull it out! It became such a fun game that he repeated over and over again - I even had to fill the box with silks so that he could pull and pull over and over again without needing me to reset it. *Supervision required
Squigz in Water
Water play is such a fun one for little ones to discover! Have you ever tried adding Squigz to a tray of water before? Or even to a muffin tin? Have a look at the photo’s below to see how to set these up! *Always supervise water play.
Nins in an Egg Tray
This is such a fun little activity and it makes it that little bit trickier for your little one! Take an egg carton and place some of the Grapat Nins inside and watch your little one take them out over and over again! You could also do this with a muffin tray - adding in coins, rings or even the Grimms balls. *Supervision required
9 Months Old
High Chair Rubber Band Maze
By now your little one is probably quite familiar with the highchair - but have you ever thought of setting up an activity on it? This one is very simple and yet so effective! By placing some large rubber bands (3 or 4) around the tray of the highchair and placing some rings and coins on the tray - you can watch your little one investigate, discover and pull the rings and coins out of the rubber band maze. *Supervision required
Stacking with the Dimpl Stack
The Dimpl Stack has to be one of my favourites for this age! The set of five cups are the perfect size for little hands and they even fit inside each other which makes them perfect for taking on the go! Not only can they be stacked and knocked over; but they all have a silicone dome on top which can be popped in and out! Each dome has a different sensory pattern on them which is quite fun to touch! They are also the perfect size for playing a little ‘peek a boo’ game with one of the Grimms balls. *Supervision required
Silks in water
If you’ve washed some of the Sarah’s Silks before, you would know how beautiful they look when they are in water. But have you ever thought about adding them to a tray for water play or maybe even to your bath time? This is such a fun one and you can add almost anything to the water tray! *Supervision required
And lastly, for this age group one of my top recommendations is the Play Card Co Sit up champ, when you are out of ideas or just need something new, this deck of cards is fantastic to refer back to! And most items you probably already have at home! How amazing is that!
To finish I just want to share with you a little story with you…
When my son was 6 months old I set up this activity (I’ve included the photo below). It was using our balance board, some contact and our Grapat Rings. I set this up because he was so into grasping and picking up items and I thought okay he really should love this, its going to be great! He will reach up and pull the rings off the contact! Perfect.
Well…. He looked at the board, looked at me and swivelled himself around and started playing with something else. So I thought, okay maybe its the wrong time in the day - so I tried it at another time….. nope. He was still not interested at all. I couldn’t work out why he wasn’t interested in it, so I sat there looking at him and the board and I thought I wonder if I turn it over whether he will work it out. So I turned the board over and as I was doing it he just about pushed me out of the way to get to the rings. He really loved it! And I did a little happy dance inside because I was so pleased!
The point of me sharing this story with you is that I want you to know that if you’ve set up an activity and your little one doesn’t really love it straight away, then that is completely okay. Sometimes it just needs a little tweaking to capture their interest, or sometimes it just may not be the right time for your little one - try again in a couple of days, or in a week or a month. They may really surprise you!
For more play ideas for babies also have a read of 'Discovery Baskets - What, When, How and Why?'
Written by Courtney @ollie.andbear for Little Toy Tribe.