Here are 25 developmental activities to try with your 6-month old baby to keep them happy and engaged. Your baby is changing everyday as well as acquiring new skills and showing interest in EVERYTHING. This is the perfect time for you to fill your mind with fun, easy and engaging developmentally appropriate activities for your 6-month-old baby! These are 25 simple yet engaging activities for you to do with your 6-month-old!
What are the 6 month old Developmental Milestones?
At this time in your baby’s life they will recognize your face and other familiar faces! They will light up with a big smile when you enter the room or go to pick them up off of the floor. Your baby will like to look at themselves in a mirror, they may even laugh at themself in the mirror. They will be laughing at other things as well.
Your baby will babble back and forth with you, like they are having a full conversation with you. They are exploring the world around them and will be reaching for objects and putting everything in their mouth. It is important to offer them objects and materials that will be interesting for them to explore sensorial, but keep any choking hazards out of reach!
Your baby is developing object permanence, which simply means your babies ability and understanding that things exist even when they can’t hear or see them. This is an important milestone because it is the first step towards deeper understanding skills.
In terms of movement your baby may be sitting up or trying to with support. Your baby may be trying to take off and crawl. You may notice them getting up on all fours; as well as rocking back and forth. No worries if you baby isn’t do this, most babies don’t begin crawling until 9-10 months! Your baby is likely rolling from their tummy to their back and also maybe their back to their tummy. Once they have figured this skills it is important to be very watchful as it doesn’t take long for them to travel across a room!
What does a 6-month old Baby like to play with?
A baby at 6 month of age are very fun as they are more alert, active and interactive with the world around them. This is the perfect time to introduce simple sensorial activities that meet your baby’s developmental needs. Your baby is taking in impressions effortlessly at this time, so we want to offer them countless opportunities to explore with the world around them! You may have heard the term “Montessori”. While I won’t get into all the details of that right now, I will share that Dr. Maria Montessori referred to this age as having an “Absorbent Mind”. Meaning your baby’s brain is like a sponge soaking up everything around them! Sounds, sights, objects, language, order and so much more! Keep reading to get some great ideas on developmental activities for your 6-month-old baby!
Your baby will enjoy exploring virtually anything that they can grasp and bring to their mouth! I’m going to give you 25 simple activities you can do with your 6-month old. When I am thinking about what things to do with my twins, I am always thinking about what experiences may aid them in constructing themselves as a human being. Experiences that they will concentrate on.
Is Sensory Play with a 6-month old Baby a good activity?
You may heard of sensory play which could also be referred as sensorial play. Sensory play would include activities and objects that allow your baby to uses their senses to explore and discover an object or objects. Through sensory play your baby will develop greater fine motor skills as they handle and explore new objects, as well as hand-eye coordination.
As you may have noticed, your little one is doing sensory play with everything around them! The different activities I share you can do with your 6-month old and will help meet their sensory needs as well as give you some great opportunities for engagement with your little one!
1. Basket with Different Textures
Babies love different textures and patterns. You may have noticed them grabbing at your clothes and feeling the fabric. One simple way you can meet their need for these different textures is by cutting a sample of various fabric types and placing them in a basket. You could have a low shelf that the basket is on so that while they are playing they could reach for this basket.
Consider having a basket that is interesting as well, you may notice your little one is more interesting in the basket than what is inside the basket!!
2. Mirror While Doing Tummy Time
Babies love to look at themselves in a mirror. Having your baby in front of a mirror is also a great way for them to get feedback on how their body is moving. I have this mirror in my home, my twins absolutely love doing tummy time with their mirror. This is a material in your home that can be used well before 6-months and well after! We started using the mirror from birth and will continue to for a long time to come!
I liked this mirror because you can have it be horizontal or vertical. For awhile we will have it remain horizontal, but eventually when they are standing and working on getting dressed I will change it to be vertical so they can look in the mirror while getting dressed for the day!
3. Basket with Various Objects
Find a small basket that may be an interesting texture or shape, then go around your home and collect objects to place in the basket. Make sure that the objects are not too small that they would be a choking hazard. You could make them themed by placing objects that are similar colors or within a similar category (such as kitchen items)
This is a great way to not spend money on toys but use household objects! Every few days you can swap out the objects. You could also used a small basket with a lid, like this one! Or a cloth basket. I have found my boys love these types of baskets and enjoy playing with them.
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4. Tummy Time with Music
Try turning on some lovely music for your baby while they are doing tummy time or floor time. Babies enjoy listening to playful music. They seem to recognize familiar music as well. I have this one album I play very often and they are drawn to this one song! Whenever I play it now, they light up with a smile. It will stop them dead in their tracks of crying if we are in the car, music is a powerful tool!!
5. Reading a Board Book
Take some time to sit with your baby and grab a few board books. They will reach out for the pages and can even begin to help turn the pages (with your help of course!) Go slowly and take time to read the words on the page and point out things in the illustrations. Allow them the time to soak in what is on the page. Consider books that have different textures on the pages like this one!
6. Introduction to Solid Foods through Baby-Led Weaning
Around 6-months of age or when your baby is showing signs of readiness you can begin introducing solid foods. Eating and experiencing new solid foods is one of the best ways to give your baby sensorial experiences. Think about how you may incorporate eating solid foods 1-2 times a day.
Baby-Led Weaning is a process of introducing foods to your child without traditional spoon feeding. With baby-led weaning they are self-feeding. This is much more exciting for the child. They get to feel and hold real food in their hands. Certain foods will be given to them on a spoon, but as the adult we will not be putting the food in their mouths, instead we can pre-load the spoon and offer the spoon to the baby. They then will move the spoon to their mouth. The baby is in control of what they eat and don’t eat.
You will be surprised how your baby will clearly communicate about their feeding experience. They may drop the spoon or drop the food from their hand to show you that they are done eating. At this stage of introducing foods, don’t worry about how much they are consuming; for the first 2 months of baby-led weaning they will still get the majority of their nutrients from breastmilk or formula. Think of it as a time to introduce your baby to different flavors and textures!
The Ez Pz Tiny Collection is a great first set of spoons, bowl and cup to begin your baby-led weaning journey!
7. Drinking out of an Open Cup
As soon as your baby is ready to begin eating solids, they also can begin practicing drinking from an open cup. It is recommended that you begin with thicker liquids like breastmilk or formula as opposed to water. Your baby is only used to drinking and swallowing thicker liquids. Also, we want to be giving them something with nutrients; they will remain well hydrated with breastmilk or formula.
It will take many opportunities for your little one to drink out of an open cup, but rest assured they will love every moment of it!! This beginner cup is great for introducing open cup drinking. The silicon is gentle on their gums and it is the perfect size for their little hands.
8. Taking a Bath
Need a little change of pace in the day? Give your baby a bath! It would be a great time to introduce some bath toys, even simple cups or something small they may hold on to. They may begin splashing a little which will be a lot of fun for them.
Take the time for this to be a connection moment for your little one. Walk them through the process, talk to them about everything you are doing. You can say things like, “I am going to put shampoo on your head now and wash your hair.” You could take the time after the bath to put lotion on your baby and comb their hair.
Bath time can be a great activity to help create a bedtime routine. Baths are often a calming and enjoyable experience for a baby.
9. Participating in a Diaper Change
This may sound weird, but your baby can actually participate in their diaper being changed! I was noticing one of my twins being more fussy during diaper changes and so I tried something new. Instead, I began by holding them in a way that they could see what I was doing, then I had them watch as I talked about what I was doing. They saw me take out the changing pad and place it on the floor, then I grabbed the new diaper and the wipes, all while they were watching me. Then I let them know I was going to lay them on the floor, saying something like “I am going to lay you on the floor now and change your diaper, are you ready?” Often times they will give a smile which I can take as them saying ‘yes’!
I was shocked that once I started allowing my son to participate in his diaper change, he was much more content. He knew what was happening to him. Right now at 6-months he is able to hold the diaper while I get him ready to change his diaper, but in a few months he will be able to go get the diaper himself and be a more active participant in this part of his day!
We can take this idea to any task that we do for the child. Think about how they can become part of that self-care task. Before we know it, they will be ready to do many of these things on their own!
10. Water Tray for Tummy Time
To give your baby some water play activities simply take a low rimmed baking sheet and fill it will some lukewarm water outside. Lay down a blanket that you don’t mind getting wet and place your baby on the blanket in reach of the baking sheet filled with water. Allow your little one to splash in the baking sheet while doing tummy time. This is a fun way to give your baby some water time before they are sitting up independently.
11. Singing Nursery Rhymes
Hold your baby on your lap and sing to them. Babies love to hear your voice and love music. You can build singing into a bedtime or nap-time routine. Songs will become familiar to your baby and will be calming to them.
12. Soft Toys
Have a variety of soft toys for your baby to play with and grasp. Consider soft toys with different patterns or textures of fabric. A crocheted rattle or this brightly colored fabric ball are great grasping toy as well as a different texture for them to chew on.
13. “Helping” Prepare a Meal
Have your baby come along with you while you prepare a meal. Babies love to observe what is happening around them. They will enjoy all the different sounds of you working in the kitchen, maybe its the pan being placed on the stove or the water running or the sound of the silverware being put away! Either have your baby in their high chair watching or wear them in a baby carrier. My favorite baby carrier is this ring sling!
14. Meal Time with the Family
Have your baby join in on the family meal time. This is another great time to allow your baby sensorial experience with new foods. In addition to working on feeding skills, your baby will gain language skills while sitting around the table absorbing conversation. They will hear new words which is so important for your baby’s language development; to be exposed to a rich vocabulary and language. In addition to these developmental benefits, they will begin to feel like a greater part of the family unit by participating in this aspect of family life. You may notice them reaching out for your food or watching you eat very closely!!
15. Tactile Mobiles
A mobile is something hanging from either the ceiling or a mobile hanger that engages your baby and gets their attention. You can use mobiles from early on, but as they get more mobile and interactive, they will enjoy mobiles that they can touch, move and manipulate. Our favorite mobile is this wooden bell mobile, our twins will grasp for the ring and vigorously shake the mobile making wonderful sounds!
You could also hang various objects for your baby and see if they will grasp them. Consider using some elastic to hang your mobile so that they can pull it toward themselves easily. Even hanging a ball or toy from some ribbon and elastic can be a fun activity for your 6-month-old baby!
16. Floor Time
The best way for your 6-month-old baby to develop their physical skills and gross motor skills is through floor time. During floor time they are able to move freely and without limits. It is a great opportunity for them to work on their head control as well as experiment with their ever changing body!
Around this time you may see your baby getting up onto all fours, a pre-cursor to crawling which most babies do around 9-10 months, some sooner. You can offer your baby toys during floor time. Place it a few inches out of reach and see how your baby moves to try to get the object.
17. Practicing Sitting up with Objects in Front of them
You can have your baby practice sitting up while you are supporting them with as much support as needed, soon they will be able to sit with little support from you! You may place some small toys or objects in front of them to encourage them to reach and grasp for.
18. Kitchen Utensils
While you are working in the kitchen you could offer your baby some safe kitchen utensils to play with. Here are some different things from your kitchen that your baby may enjoy!
- Mini Spatulas and Spoons
- Silicone Basting Brush
- Wooden Measuring Cups
- Mini Silicone Whisk
- Stainless Steel Condiment Cups
19. Face to Face Time
Your baby loves to look at your face! They delight in it! Face to face time with your baby is so important. They will begin to read your facial expressions. You can play little games by making a serious face and then smiling, see if they pick up on the changes in your facial expressions! You may even get the great baby laughs by doing so.
You can also play games like Peek-a-Boo which reinforces that idea of object permanence!
20. Time with Another Baby
Find opportunities for your baby to interact with another baby. I am mother to identical twins and I have seen the benefits and value of their time interacting together.
Another great thing can be having your baby around other children who are a bit older than them, they will likely watch what they are doing and will enjoy seeing how they are moving. This can be beneficial if your child is having difficulty meeting their developmental milestones.
21. Going for a Walk
Taking the time for walks is a great way for you and your baby both to get time to rejuvenate. The walk is a time for you to decompress and get your blood pumping throughout your body; for your baby, a walk offers fresh air and so many new sights and sounds to take in!
Try facing your baby’s stroller seat out if possible, I found this made a huge different in the enjoyment level of walks for my twins. They preferred to be facing out and being able to look at the world around them more easily!
22. Participating in Laundry Tasks
Whenever possible, I try to get my household tasks and chores done while the babies are awake so that when they are sleeping I can take the time for myself. Your baby can participate in laundry tasks; watching you fold, switch over and starting a new load of laundry is very interesting to a baby! There are many sounds associated with doing laundry and they may even enjoy the sound of the water spinning in the washing machine!
Bringing a basket of laundry to a common space and laying it on the floor can be a way to both get something productive done but also give them the opportunity to touch and feel different fabrics! If your baby doesn’t enjoy or isn’t content playing on the floor, you could use a baby carrier while doing household tasks! I personally believe that it is important for our children to see us doing the work of the home, soon they will be more active participants in this work!
23. Playing outside on a Blanket
If the seasons and weather allows it, go outside and lay a big blanket down. Enjoy the fresh air, new sounds and smells. There is so much for a baby to take in while being outside. Try to find a shady area and have them dressed appropriately so they aren’t too warm or too cold.
You could bring out a small basket of baby toys or let them explore with objects right in their environment! They may even like the feeling of grass between their fingers and toes.
Babies love water (usually). Water is familiar to them, it can be calming and provides a very new sensorial experience for their body. Finding a pool or lake that they can splash around in may be very enjoyable for them.
25. Listening to Classical Music
You could do any of these activities with classical music on! You could go back through and try all of these activities again while playing classical music and see if it creates a different experience. Your baby is developing many cognitive skills, which are those foundational skills that our brain uses to help us to think, learn, remember and pay attention. While classical music is not proven to improve someones cognitive skills, they are many benefits to listening to classical music.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, their are countless things that you could do which would support the physical, emotional and social needs for your baby. Many of these could also be done sooner than 6-months and well beyond! Many of these activities would be appropriate for a 6 to 9 month old baby.
I mentioned in here about Montessori, if you are interested in learning more about how you may integrate Montessori principals and ideas into your home, come check out my blog where I will share about how I am cultivating a Montessori home with twins!