Baby Playtime Ideas for 10- to 12-month-old Infants
“How are you almost one?” As your kiddo gets closer and closer to their first birthday, it’s common to ask this question a lot. In these last few months of infanthood, your baby’s budding personality is on full display, you’re tracking their milestones, and watching as their mobility improves daily. Now is the time to plan baby’s first birthday party and introduce fun new games to play together that focus on motor skills, brain development, and growing the bond you share. While you wrap your head around the fact that your child is almost a toddler, here are some ideas and inspiration for creative ways to play with a 10-month-old baby to a 12-month-old baby.
Your little one is all about exploring at this age, and their newfound mobility bolsters their confidence. Opening cabinets and pulling up on anything and everything may keep you on your toes, but this discovery is great fun for baby. Remember, if you haven’t already, now is the time to take care of babyproofing all areas of your home, including outlets and cabinets.
Hello, baby! Goodbye, baby!
At this age, shyness or stranger anxiety is normal, but encouraging your kiddo to wave hello can help them stay calm in new situations. Waving bye-bye is not only adorable but it teaches babies that gestures have meanings.
By now, you might have memorized words from a few of your baby’s go-to books. Reading the same book over and over helps your child develop essential language skills. If you’re getting antsy reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” for the 100th time, point to the pages and describe the colorful imagery.
Ready, set, go
Fido might not be interested in their human sibling yet, but the classic doggie activity of fetch is a great 10-month-old baby game. Roll a soft ball across the room and encourage movement by saying “ready, set, go” to your child. This will help develop listening skills while crawling improves core strength.
Tummy time meets story time
Tummy time was a big part of playtime in the newborn days, and it continues even after baby has started crawling and prepares to walk. Keep fostering their muscle development by reading stories during tummy time. It’s fun to explore the colorful pages from a new point of view.
Position yourself close to a mirror and have your baby sit in your lap or stand next to you. Say “Look at Mommy’s nose” as you point to your nose, and ask “Where is your nose” to your infant. Not only does this game teach them about their body but it helps them process receptive language.
Cruising is common at this stage and your cell phone storage might be filled with false starts as you attempt to catch their first steps on video. To help your baby graduate to taking a few tentative steps, hold their hands while they try out a step or two. Stick to soft surfaces to make the inevitable bumps back down more comfortable.
Push, pull, press
Toys with buttons to push and levers to pull are popular at this age and promote the development of fine motor skills. Your kiddo will love exploring with their hands as they try to figure out how everything works.
Walk this way
Push toys give little walkers a boost of confidence to take their next steps and help with the development of gross motor skills. If you don’t want to purchase a push walker, common household items like large cardboard boxes or laundry baskets work great. Onwards, little one!
Have you dreamed of making epic forts with your child? Well, that dream starts here. Open empty boxes and create mini tunnels for your little one to crawl through. You can put a few boxes together to make the tunnel longer if they're a bit bigger. Stay by their side as they explore and learn to understand the space around them.
Baby’s first birthday is here! Happy birthday, little one, and congratulations to the proud parents for surviving (and thriving, hopefully!) during the amazing changes that happen in the first year of life. The world of toddlerhood is busy (and sometimes messy) as their verbal and motor skills improve. Expect a month of exploration, new words, and lots of giggles. Here are a few activities for a one-year-old baby at home.
Rolling a large, soft ball between you and baby helps develop gross motor skills. Your toddler will get a kick out of cause and effect relationship, too. Maybe this is why many little ones say “ball” early on?
Clean up, clean up
You’re already tidying up several times a day so consider making this chore a game for baby. Ask your little one to bring you a specific toy or to place it in a bin. The act of bending over will help strengthen their muscles, and they’ll learn to follow simple commands.
The favorite childhood toy of bubbles will delight your one-year-old baby. Reach for the tall bubbles and discover cause and effect as they watch the bubbles go “bye-bye” when they land on objects and people.
Picking up animal noises like “moo” and “baa” is common at this age. Help the new fascination grow by making animal noises and identifying the correct sound when you see the animal in a book.
Ready or not…toddlerhood here you come! If you have questions about baby’s milestones, it’s best to speak to your child’s pediatrician.