Half-way through your babies first year, you’ll probably start to notice an increase in movement – the days of baby staying in one place are almost over! They may start shuffling forwards, pushing up onto their knees or sitting up. These super exciting developments mark a change of pace, activity wise. Read on to find out our suggested activities at 6 months…
Baby Development – 6 months
Here are some of the developmental milestones you might see at 6 months. Please just note that every child is different: some might be a little later to hit these milestones and some may have already passed them.
- Sitting up unaided
- Pushing up with their hands during tummy time
- Rolling over from tummy to back and vice-versa
- Rocking back and forth on knees
- Sliding on tummies in a worm-like fashion
- Increased communication – smiling, laughing and babbling
- Recognising familiar people (family members) and favourite toys
- May show fear with unfamiliar people or new situations
- Eating solid foods
- Sleeping for longer periods at night
To note, I am not a paediatrician but a teacher and mama to three. If you are at all worried about you baby’s development, please contact your health visitor or GP.
Activities to try at 6 months
Here is a run-down of the activities we did at 6 months with our youngest child. They were all designed with E’s developmental stage in mind – as mentioned above, every child is different when it comes to these milestones but overall, E was fairly typical of the average 6 month baby.
All of these activities should be done under strict supervision. Homemade play is awesome but it also doesn’t come with the age recommendations and warnings. Only use items that don’t pose a choking hazard – if you’re unsure, click on this link to find out more.
You will notice a reoccurring theme and that is the use of everyday, household objects to create activities. If you haven’t already, it’s a really good idea to start saving some recycling so that you can do baby play on a budget. A glue gun and craft knife are also handy to have, especially if you plan to do more than one DIY activity for your littles – glue guns are relatively cheap, ours cost $5.
1. Placing toys out of reach
Tummy time continues to be a really important activity at 6 months. Regular periods of tummy time help your baby to develop strength in their neck, shoulders, arms and torso. You might start to notice that they can spend push up further – almost like the ‘cobra’ yoga pose and stretch out their arms further. To encourage this, start placing a toy slightly out of their reach, then overtime, put it further away.
You can find more tummy time activities here.
2. Wipe pull
Have you noticed that babies are obsessed with pulling wipes out of the packet? Here’s a version that you can try without wasting loads of wipes in the process. Place some small play scarves in a wipe box so that baby can pull them out. If you don’t have a reusable container, a tissue box or regular wipe packet works just as well.
3. Sensory Squish Bags
With baby’s newfound strength, tummy time can become a lot more interesting! As you can see, E turned 6 months around Halloween, so I put together this jack-o-lantern style bag. Good alternatives include small amounts of water, jelly or dried kitchen staples such as rice or lentils.
It’s best to use re-sealable sandwich bags (we double bag to avoid leaks) then tape to the floor using painters tape. We wash these bags out and reuse them again for other play activities.
4. DIY roller
Sensory bottles are mentioned a lot on Teach Investigate Play and with good reason – they are just so versatile! This version (with colourful straws) really captured E’s interest as he pushed and pulled it. You can find more options for sensory bottles here.
Since I always get asked, the bottle in the photograph is a VOSS plastic bottle. They are often quite tricky to find, so I suggest you stock up when you do see them. These were bought whilst I lived in Australia and I haven’t seen them at all since moving to Austria.
5. Mirror Mirror
Increased strength in the upper body also means longer tummy time sessions. Placing a mirror flat on the floor so that baby can explore is a great way of extending tummy time and helping to develop communication – your little one will likely be really fascinated by the baby in the mirror!
A unbreakable (acrylic) mirror is generally advisable, but if you do choose to use an ordinary glass mirror, check that there are no cracks first.
6. Take sensory play outside
Okay, so this is way more feasible in the warmer months, but simply exploring how grass feels is a wonderful sensory experience for babies. Sometimes as parents we can be too hard on ourselves if we don’t think of heaps of activities to do, but honestly just getting outside and letting them explore is the best. Remember, it’s a brand new world for these babes so grass is actually pretty fascinating to them!
If it’s winter where you are, get baby kitted out in an all-in-one. Since moving to Austria from Australia we have a brand new appreciation for the right clothes for the job. It definitely takes longer to get out of the house when you need to put all of the layers on but ultimately it’s worth it for everyone’s well-being!
7. Muffin tin play
Sometimes, all you really need to do is place older toys into a muffin tin to make them more interesting again! We just put a selection of teethers, small balls and sensory cubes into a pan and E had a great time placing them in and taking them back out again.
8. O-ball scarf pull
Do you have an o-ball? If not I heartily recommend that you buy one. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used in so many way – this scarf pull being one of our favourites.As an alternative to this, you can also try using a whisk instead.
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I hope you like these ideas for baby play at 6 months – if you do, why not save it over on Pinterest? I’ve even made this handy graphic for you! Why not give me a follow whilst you’re over there?