Play ideas FOR a 6-9 month old

My husband likes to call it “the tunnel.” When we’re in the depths of early parenthood with a young infant, the overwhelm can be all-encompassing. We don’t even know how deep in the depths of this tunnel we are until we start to see the light emerge just beyond where we stand… a bit like a mirage. Around the age of 6 months or so, our little ones start to become more interactive – we can make them laugh, we can play social games like peek-a-boo, and we can see very clearly when they enjoy an activity. This interaction is precious, wondrous, and very appreciated! Often, this can be a time when the comparisons start – comparisons between parenting styles, between your baby’s level of development and your neighbor’s, between any and every decision you’re making and the other options available.  

There’s no such thing as the “right” way to do things. We all have that nagging feeling that we’re somehow doing it wrong. Our need to compare our children to other children, or the comparison of our family to the outward appearance of another family… these are natural human tendencies. We compare ourselves to others as a matter of observation. We observe to collect information. We gather information in order to make decisions that feel “right” for our own families. We often struggle with the question of whether we’re equipped with the right envrironment or play materials to give our babies everything they need to blossom into happy and healthy Here’s the thing: you already have everything your baby needs from you. It’s in your home, in plain view. It’s just a matter of maximizing the materials you use and the interactive time you spend. Here are three simple play ideas for you and your 6-9 month old baby.

simple play idea: tissue box!

Materials you need: a box with a small-ish hole in the top or side (e.g., an empty tissue box) and a few objects from your home Instructions:

  • On the Strength In Words blog, check out “DIY Tissue Box Of Mystery” – you can hide any kind of non-chokable household object and watch your little one go to town.
  • Sing a song of “what’s in the box?” (Found on the corresponding SIW podcast episode, “Introduction to Visual Supports”) – talk about the objects – not only what they ARE, but what they’re for, where you find them, who uses them, when, etc.
  • We put in: a dish towel, a toy car, a spatula, some toy food. Other ideas: a ball, a rattle or shaker, a small stuffed animal, a coaster…

Simple Play Idea: Drums!

Materials you need: an empty can or box Instructions:

  • Take an empty can or box, and cover it completely with paper (bonus points for decorating it – fingerpainting with baby or art therapy for yourself!) making it into a drum to bang on or a roly poly push toy.
  • Sing a song to your baby’s rhythmic banging (listen to our podcast episode, “The Babblers and Bangers” to learn more!) and join along for some supervised, interactive time!
  • Try talking about the sounds – loud or soft, the movement of the can – goooo! Wheeeeee! Fast or slow! Join in some music making and bang to the rhythm of a song!

Simple Play Idea: water play with bubbles and containers!

Materials you need: an empty plastic bottle, bubbles and water Instructions:

  • Let your baby explore the sensation of the bubbles and the warm water, watch what he does on his own, and model poking one to pop it…
  • Use an empty container to fill up and empty out water. Make the sound effect of the “glug glug glug” as you fill it up, provide the vocabulary for what you’re doing (just by narrating! “Fill it up! Pour it out!”)
  • Whether or not your baby is stable in sitting up independently, taking a bath together can be a wonderful opportunity for skin-to-skin contact and sensory play in a warm, comfortable environment!

Looking for activities for a 3-6 month old infant?

Looking for activities for a 9-12 month old infant?

an all-in-one resource that isn't one-size-fits-all

Want to provide an enriching environment – without all the plastic bells and whistles? Learn how to stimulate your infant or toddler’s growth and development, and stop doing it in a vacuum. We weren’t meant to parent in isolation.