Month 6 Activities
6 months marked the beginning of new form of mobility to LO. She was into army crawling most of the time where she would roll onto her tummy and pulls herself on the floor using her upper body strength. She felt comfortable sitting for an extended period with occasional support of boppy pillow for her back. She was also constantly reaching out to things around her to grasp. Below are some of the activities which we enjoyed in month 6.
The O-ball rattle was one of LO’s favorite toys this month since it facilitated her developmental needs to grasp, explore and shake. The shaking of O-ball rattle also develops auditory discrimination as the ball responds to different motions. Check out my Instagram post on LO playing with this rattle.
LO had always been interested in pulling wipes from her wipes holder. We replaced the wipes with some colorful play scarves for her activity and was an instant hit. This is a great activity for motor skills development. We also tried different variations by rolling up play scarves as small balls and stuffing them in Montessori treasure basket. My Instagram post has ideas and pointers for Montessori treasure basket / discovery basket for babies.
Promote freedom of movement
Creating an “yes” space for LO to crawl and explore the environment without me having to interrupt with “no”, having low sturdy furniture with toys that are safe to mouth are some of the key considerations to foster independence of her movement.
Babies and young children use their senses to understand the world around them. Every new experience of sight, sound, feeling, taste, texture, and movement encourages a baby’s brain to form connections and grow. And the best part is nature provides babies and children with a perfectly balanced sensory experience with just the right amount of stimulation and opportunities to learn. We utilized every bit of sunshine in PNW by getting outdoors be it in our backyard or in outdoor spaces by adhering to social distancing guidelines. Check out my IG post on how we incorporated sensory rich outdoor experience to LO during Summer.
Water can have a calming effect for children irrespective of the age. A simple DIY with some water in a baking tray was sufficient to keep LO engaged for a while as she enjoyed splish-splashing water.
Touch and feel books
There are several sensory books for babies which introduce different kinds of textures to feel. My Divine Friends by Talegiri Tales has been one of LO’s favorite sensory books in recent times. She loves to pull the matted hair of Shiva in particular.
Language and Mental Development
Yours vs mine
Babies begin to differentiate self and others around this time. So we started to play this game to point out what is baby’s and what’s ours. Ex: We point to LO’s eyes and say those are her eyes. We point to ours and say those are our eyes. This provides an opportunity to introduce say body parts in another language to the children.
Music and rhythm
When we play songs, regardless of the genre, we ensure that there’s a rhythm to it. We clap / tap the bottom of LO’s feet or use a rattle such as maraca or castanet to the rhythm of the song. If we’re carrying her, we bounce or rock to the beat.
Lights on / off
There are plenty of examples around the home to demonstrate cause and effect to babies. One such example is turning on and off the light switch. It’s important that we slow it down and not alternate between the switch states quickly. We do this in different rooms and even with the kitchen vent hood. Another example is pulling up and down the blinds’ cords. This shows the blinds rolling up or down and also the brightness outside and dark inside. This is also a great opportunity to introduce opposites in English or Tamil or another language for “up”, “down”, “bright”, “dark”, “on”, “off”.
Social and Emotional Skills
Good Morning song
LO has been getting used to her morning routines. We’ve been greeting good morning as the first thing ever since her intentional smiles appeared around 3 months. While changing her diapers, we sing a couple of songs. We still sing the changing diaper song every now and then and have also added a few extra songs to our routine as we get changed and get started with her meal preparation. One of her recent favorites is the Hello to all the children of the world. What I love about this song is how it introduces Good Morning / Hello in different languages, celebrating the diversity of children around the world.
Sometime around 6 months, LO began to show signs of being done, be it playing with her toys or reading her book. For example, she would be no longer interested in the book we’re reading and move on to the next book or move away from her reading area. So we acknowledge and respect her preference rather than forcing her to finish reading the entire book. Babies know what’s the right amount of stimulation for them.
As always, babies have their own unique path in terms of development and we as adults need to be respectful of their developmental needs.