How to entertain your six month old baby
At this age babies are starting to learn object permanence, in other words that things still
exist even when you can’t see them. Play can start to take on new depths and can really challenge baby to help with development.
As they begin to grasp the concept of object permanence, games of peek a boo become very interesting to six month olds. As well as hiding your face behind a blanket you can have your baby watch as you cover a toy with a silk scarf, then encourage her to lift the scarf and find the toy again. If your baby is watching while you get on with some chores you can duck down behind kitchen counters or hide behind the fridge door. Rolling a ball or toy car behind a box is also a good game. Over time your baby will start to predict that the ball will appear at the other side of the box and look for it, but at first this will come as a bit of a surprise!
As your little one learns to sit, crawl and move around, she moves away from your arms and out into the world – keen to explore. Activities which engage her senses and allow her the freedom to make her own discoveries will keep her entertained for hours. Try to avoid having all plastic toys as they are all the same texture and limit your baby’s experiences. Instead let her explore metal objects, wooden toys, silk scarves and whatever else you can find. A treasure basket is a wonderful resource for a baby of this age.
As a baby learns about the world around him, he also learns about his place in the world and the fact that he can make things happen. Simple musical instruments, such as bells, allow him to explore his abilities and building blocks are also popular. Babies may not be interested in building a tower but most are keen to knock one down – a nice dramatic crash that is all their own work! As his grip develops he may also like to hold two blocks and bang them together. Toys which involve pressing a button to play a tune or make lights flash can also be fun but do keep them to a minimum, they tend to require very little input from the baby and can be overwhelming.
As your baby gets older he will learn to recognise familiar songs and anticipate what comes next, starting to understand the flow of time and that things happen in sequence. Repeat old favourites, especially songs with actions like “The Grand old Duke of York” or “This is the way the Ladies Ride.” You will notice that your baby starts to get excited before you swing him up in the air as he learns to predict what will happen. He might also join in with the actions to some songs, perhaps clapping his hands, or just watch intently as you sing. Books can also be introduced around now, many babies very much enjoy reading and will anticipate a favourite picture. Just be prepared to read the same book over and over again!
Photography: Carolien Dekeersmaeker @Flickr