“I can make things happen!” That’s what your baby may be figuring out now. Here are some toys and activities to help your six-month-old learn about cause and effect, and encourage other learning through play.
She can sit up with only a little support—or maybe none at all
When he drops something, he looks for it
She enjoys simple games like peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake
He can bang a toy and shout at the same time
She participates in activities that center around her
Lights! Music! Action! Start by demonstrating some of the toy's specific features, showing baby how to start the action, lights, or music.
What will happen? As you play, encourage baby to do something with the toy … he'll be greeted with a fun surprise that will make him want to play again and again!
Describe it. Use stacking toys to introduce other simple words and descriptions, like big and little, or top and bottom. You can also use these toys to reinforce understanding of cause and effect.
What color? Help your child make connections between words and concepts by talking about colors: “That's the big yellow cup.”
Play active games to exercise gross motor skills. When babies’ feet press against a solid surface, they stretch out their legs. This is called the “walking reflex,” and you can use it to help your baby practice for crawling!
Let’s roll! Roll or slide a toy back and forth across the floor to each other. It can be a good workout for baby's eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity.
What’s that sound? Take baby on a "sound" tour of your house. Ring the doorbell, turn on the clock's alarm, start the computer. As you make your way through the house, tell baby what each sound means: "Company's coming! … Time to get up … I'm going to check my email."
Makin’ it happen. To foster awareness of cause-and-effect relationships, let your child turn a light switch or a faucet on and off and see how her actions make things happen.
Everyday play. Open the cupboard and pull out pots, pans and wooden spoons. Watch baby smile as he realizes, "I made that sound!" As he plays, talk to him about what you see and hear. He'll enjoy the sound of your voice, and you'll be helping his speech develop.
At around six months, your baby acquires fine motor skills, which leads to the milestone of learning to manipulate fingers. Babies go from grasping with a whole hand to holding small things between thumb and forefinger.
Between six and eight months, your baby's memory develops. He anticipates events based on his past experience. He thinks before he acts. He makes associations. He knows that his toy will make a sound when he drops it.
Children love to be creative and use their imaginations.Toys provide an opportunity for them to do just that, and play an important role in enriching children's lives.