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8 ways in which you can help your baby learn 6-12months

creative ways You can help your baby to learn age 6-12 months.


Article written by Sheila Sudlow (copyright on this article. Nursery Nurse students may copy and use for college assignments by permission only email for permission)

In this series of articles we will focus on enriching play activities you can do with your baby-child to stimulate learning in a safe, fun way in a home environment and in a cost effective way for families on all budgets.


6-12 months

1. Encourage talking to your baby at every opportunity. Communication is still very important even if you are just singing a lullaby, making mumm sounds on baby�s feet without socks. It�s all about learning from now on in all methods of play, strong bonds between family members should now have been developed, having fun...

2  Play games with baby�s parts of the body such as this little piggy went to market pointing at babys�toes, playing pat a cake pat a cake clapping hands with your baby. These are all ways to encourage language development (we will cover lots of rhymes which you can do with your baby in a later article to come)

3. Provide hard backed true representation books i.e. photographs of every day objects such as cups, spoons, babies, socks, shoes, animals. Try to avoid carton pictures books which do not really look true life. Provide rag books and books which can be attached to the pram. Baby is now able to put items to the mouth, do not discourage this as this is how a baby explores more with hands feet and especially the mouth called (mouthing)

Spend time looking at books with baby pointing to and naming each item i.e. (look at these green shoes Elizabeth, these are like yours.).

4. from approx 6months baby will start to sit up you can encourage your baby to do this with soft cushions supporting baby�s back, provide a Galt ring, it�s a large rubber ring you blow up with a cover over it. The cover is made from material which has different textures and toys attached. I recommend this product as baby is free to play as it sits in the ring, back is supported comfortably and toys rattles can be placed in the centre of the ring so baby can make choices to pick toys they want to play with. With supervision mum or dad can really get on with dusting the living room whilst baby is happily learning to play by him/her.

5. From a safety point of view never leave your baby on the couch alone, if they are sitting on the ground level they cannot fall of the couch and seriously hurt themselves. Plus never be tempted to leave or put them sitting in a bouncy chair on the kitchen worktop.

6. I do not recommend baby walkers which you can leave baby in and they are free to push them selves around the room. Accidents have happened will happen including one incident where a back door was left open and baby tipped out of a walker on to a concrete step. Its ok to say I�m watching them but in a minute or 2 the phone can ring or a knock at the door then bang an accident has happened to your precious baby.

7. Heuristic Play sessions.

Suitable for babies who can sit up unaided, and beginning to me mobile (up to approx 18 months)

In These play session�s baby can learn without the intervention of a parent.

They are specifically designed so baby can explore with out any help what so ever from an adult or older sibling (except in severe distress or a safety issue)

Equipment needed.

No plastic toys or any of baby�s normal toys allowed.

In a large box/basket to keep them all in for future play sessions provide  Natural products such as loofas, wooden spoons, crinkly packaging ,bunches of keys, small metal spoons, tins with lids, pans, wool, small empty wooden boxes, (nothing with sharp edges or a chocking hazard i.e. smaller than a 2p size),wooden pegs etc.

You clear an area making sure there will be no disruptions to baby during this play session. It usually last for a full half hour of quality play. Take baby out of the room whilst you set out the items randomly on the floor. When you bring baby back in the room sit nearby and just watch baby at play. Do not show baby what to do what so ever? They will develop their own problem solving, making music, and exploring opportunities themselves. It is a superb way in which baby can learn through play.


Your baby may become frustrated by not being able to take a lid of. Don�t even talk to your baby just whilst this play session is in process. It may seem cruel but eventually they will learn that they can find solutions to their problems by adults not helping them. You can make notes about what your baby does at each session. It is remarkable what they can do for them selves even at such an early age.


 At the end of the session or baby has become very distressed and has had enough pack every thing away for another day. By swapping the equipment each time or adding new items to the basket your baby is learning valuable skills and exploring new textures properties etc.Approx once a week is enough for baby with these play sessions.


8.I was so amazed with my 6 month old granddaughter once .I set some small plastic cups and spoons out with dolls and teddies sitting around her I said give dolly a taste which she picked up to spoon and proceeded to give dolly some dinner I was gob smacked at only 6 months old

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