How to Develop Your Child's Brain: 8 Months
As your baby reaches the 8 months mark, s/he is becoming more and more mobile. However, your baby is still not stable enough to explore around the house on their own. It is important then, to childproof your home at this stage.
To satisfy these ever curious little beings and their absorbent minds, in this third edition of the series, let us talk about how you can enrich the environment and experiences of your 8 months old baby with some fun and easy activities.
While you can surely continue to do some activities that I suggested in the previous articles, these activities below can be done before and after 8 months. So feel free to tweak them as per your child’s interest and understanding.
DIY Ball Pit
Any toddler will love balls and colors. At around 8 months, my son stopped fitting into his bathtub while lying down. And he was still not ready to sit unassisted confidently. So I converted his bathtub into a ball pit. I got a bunch of colourful balls, dumped them into the bathtub and had my son explore them. You could also casually talk about the colors of the balls, your child picks up. That would be a great casual introduction to colors.
Bath Book / Cloth Book
As I mentioned in my previous article, reading aloud to your child has great benefits. It is also good to let your baby explore the book himself. And as Maria Montessori puts it, it also gives a lot of sensory exposure to the kid, which is very important at this stage.
If you feel your baby is tearing the pages, then you can get bath books or cloth books that are easily available in the market (online and offline) these days. Let him explore these books to his heart’s content without being concerned about the outcome. You can also give him the bath book during bath time. It is a great bonding exercise, a simple way to inculcate love for books. It also gives them an opportunity to practice flipping pages, which is a fine motor skill to master at this age and is a great language input, in this sensitive period of language acquisition.
Practicing Pincer Grip
At this age, they are developing the pincer grip – which means holding something with the index finger and thumb. So give them opportunities to practice pincer grip by offering small food items (non-choking) like puffed rice or cooked rice etc to self feed directly with the hand (not spoon).
Image source: montessorionthedouble.com
Exploration With Blocks
Blocks of any kind are such a blessing in a child’s life, starting from around this stage till 6 years. They are timeless play materials and serve different purpose at different stages in a child’s life.
At this age, you could let them explore the blocks on their own, manipulate them, feel them, put them into mouth – this gives them a rich sensory input of all kinds. Make sure the blocks are clean because they mouth everything they find. You can also stack them and let your child topple them by hitting the tower – this teaches them cause and effect. You can also show the block and hide it under a pillow and ask them to find it or put it far away and ask them to reach to the block – this teaches them spatial awareness and object permanence.
DIY Spider Web
All you need is a basket of any kind, a thick thread and some small toys. Just wrap and tie the thread on to the basket to create a web like structure and place toys inside the basket. You will have a great time watching your child trying to make his way through the web and picking up the toys that he wants! This has great entertainment value for the baby and enhances the reasoning and fine motor skills too.
That is it for now. Do look out for more such easy-to-do, month-wise activities for children in this series.
Explore the entire collection of articles: Toddler's Learning
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