I get an email every now and then with information about the boys and what to expect. There was one today talking about games that they’d enjoy playing. I thought it’d be interesting to post just to give everyone an idea of what the boys are like right now… so much fun!
7 to 9 months
Your baby’s becoming an expert at sitting and may soon be crawling as well. Encourage these physical feats by celebrating each new milestone: “Joshua, you sat up! Amazing baby!” Include a big hand for the little fella.
The ability to transfer objects from hand to hand and the fabled pincer grasp are part of your baby’s increasing hand control (which means you’ll be forced to carry a container of O-shaped cereal with you at all times for the next year).
Your baby also begins to understand that when an object disappears, it hasn’t fallen off the edge of the earth. This discovery makes games like peek-a-boo a favorite.
Touch It, Hold It, Bang It
If your baby has one object, he’ll bang it on the table. If he has two objects, he’ll bang them together, hold them up to the light, squint at them, bang them separately on the table, hit the table with both at the same time, see if the object sounds different when hit using the left hand rather than the right hand, and on and on.
Help him out by handing over objects that make interesting sounds: hollow containers, metal spoons, bells.
Pay attention to tactile sensations as well: Your baby will be fascinated by a greeting card laced with glitter or the slickness of Mom’s enameled jewelry box. A baby with strands of cooked spaghetti to play with wouldn’t notice if a bomb went off.
I Can Control the World
Babies love cause and effect at this age, as in: I do this, the light comes on. I do that, the light goes off. Showing your baby how to work light switches, remote controls, cell phones, and more will thrill him — but can make life more difficult for you when he insists on being held up to work the lights yet again.
Instead, you may want to offer a toy phone or remote to satisfy his craving for control, or a jack-in-the-box to provide a thrillingly surprising result. Or, let him manage his environment by filling a low-lying cabinet or drawer with safe objects and letting your baby rummage around. Make sure there are no sharp edges or other dangers (dressers with drawers pulled out can turn over on a child) and then let your baby go to town.
If your baby’s crawling, scooting, or walking, he may enjoy the challenge of having to move over things. (This is great for developing his motor skills, too.) Pillows, phone books, tired parents, and laundry make good obstacles. Sleeping cats do not make good obstacles.
So Many Variations on Peek-a-boo
The classic: Hold up a towel between your face and your baby’s and ask, “Where’s Sam?There’s Sam!” over and over again. You can vary this game in a million ways. Hide behind a door and make your baby push it open to see you. Hide behind a chair and pop out first from above then from the sides. Go behind a corner with another person and alternate who jumps out and yells “Boo!”
Keep a selection of hats behind the couch and pop up wearing a different one each time. A surefire laugh-getter is to put a hat on your head, hiding your eyes, and let your baby take it off, saying “Oh!” in surprise each time he does it. (This will also guarantee that you’ll never wear a hat in peace again.)
Babies are fascinated by balls and how they move. You’ll get a big laugh by juggling or tossing balls up in the air and letting them hit the floor while you make a silly sound effect: “Whoops!” Roll a soft ball toward your baby and watch him grab and squeeze it. Eventually, with encouragement, he’ll roll the ball back toward you. And someday he’ll be able to kick and toss the ball or drop it into a big bowl or bucket. For now, bounce and roll.