The moments of joy in parenting often sneak up on you unexpectedly. One moment you’re grimacing as you change yet another dirty diaper, and the next moment your little one makes a brand new sound or greets you with a heart-crushing smile that brightens your whole world. As babies grow older they become more active and more aware of the world around them. The first person they become more and more aware of is you the parent and so they look to you to keep them engaged, to pay with them and they will try any new game or activity they’ve learned with you. If they are in a stroller they try to look up at you or grab your hand or the Stroller Bag in order to get your attention. Playing catch, playing hide and seek, climbing you or playing with any item in sight including your shoes haha. Instead of just letting it be random, you can be proactive and learn fun activities that you can play with your kid to make the most of your time together and to help them develop and learn faster. Your baby’s brain is ripe for sensory stimulation at this age, and as his favorite playmate, you have the awesome opportunity to teach him fun new games that will also help him learn.

It’s not just your imagination—your baby is developing new skills every day, and communicating with him is finally becoming more of a two-way street. He’s experimenting with different emotional expressions, developing a sense of humor like playing pranks on you or trying to play hide and seek, and may even be helping you put on his clothes or deliberately making it difficult by fighting you off. The moment your baby is mobile, a whole new world of play opens up!

Separation anxiety peaks around 7 to 9 months and your baby may get upset when you put him down or walk more than a few feet away. You may have also noticed your baby only wants to be comforted by you and not just anyone. While this might make dropping him off with a new babysitter—or even a grandparent he doesn’t see very often it could be incredibly difficult and even emotional with the baby crying and screaming. Keep in mind that this preferential treatment is developmentally appropriate and is only a phase. The baby is also getting better at understanding your attempts to communicate with him. Linguistically, he can better understand the tone of your voice, and the baby may even try to mimic the sounds you’re making. Physically, your baby may either be crawling or gearing up to do so. He may also be trying to pull up and stand.

Below are some games you can play with your baby at home both indoors and outdoors.

Play Dress Up

One of the major actions for 9 months old and further is learning to stand and walk. They also start to gain awareness of their environment and that includes being aware of themselves in this mirror. You can use this time to do a mini in-house photo shoot. Dress them up in different outfits and even incorporate Cute Bowed Headbands. They might try to take the headbands off but that just means they are being active and self-aware that there’s something on their head.

            Drop in the Bucket

*Grab a bucket and several stones.

*Place a block in the bucket and say “boom!” when the block hits the bottom of the bucket.

*Repeat several times.

*Drop another block in the bucket, but this time be silent. See if your baby tries to say “boom.” Let your baby enjoy dumping out the container or taking the blocks out.

*This encourages the following:  saying single syllable words, understanding cause and effect

             Squeak Marks the Spot

*Grab a toy that squeaks, show it to your baby, then hide it behind your back and ask, “Where is the toy?” Alternatively, you can also hide the toy under a blanket.

*If your baby seems confused, squeeze the toy a few times to make it squeak. Give him plenty of time to look around for the toy, encouraging him to find it.

*Continue to hide the toy and let him search for it as long as he finds the game fun.

*This encourages: memory, object permanence, auditory skills


*If you have a toy instrument, you can use it for this game. If not, use any real instruments you may have (piano, guitar) or create an instrument using coffee cans, pots, pans, or wooden spoons.

*Demonstrate how to play the instrument to your baby. Extra points for singing while you demonstrate!

*Pass the instrument over to your baby and watch her play as long as she’s content. Use facial expressions to encourage her engagement. Take turns making music.

*This encourages: hand-eye coordination, self-esteem, and social skills, mimicking behavior

          The Ball Game

*Get a medium-sized ball and sit a few feet away from your baby.

*Roll the ball towards him and watch him stop it. Applaud and ask him to roll it back to you.

*Cheer for your baby, even if the ball does not come back to you. You can assist him in returning the ball to you and repeat the game, talking about how you are taking turns.

As your baby goes older and starts to attend school encourage them to take part in group activities, sports or join clubs. There are a number of reasons that both scholars and parents expect young people to benefit from participation in clubs and youth organizations. These reasons have to do with the activities, roles, and relationships available to children and adolescents when they participate in clubs. Activities are important in several ways. For one, participation in a supervised constructive activity limits the time that is available for less constructive activity, such as television watching, or for getting involved in risky behaviors. These extracurricular activities will improve their social skills, leadership skills, and self-confidence.

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