Josh’s 6 month story:

Baby rockers in the house tonight, every baby just have a good time… every day I’m shufflin.. *cue the music* shufflin.. shufflin.. trying to get up.. trying to get up… everyday I’m shuffling… Oh yeah, I’m grooving today! Yeah baby. Touché. I think all that tummy time has really paid off. I can use my hands to creep around the room and explore all the new places I couldn’t before. It is loads of fun! I no longer need mom or dad to carry me to a new place. Yippee. However there is that one problem. Even though I aim to move forward I somehow end up moving sideways and backwards. I then magically end up under tables, beds and dressers. My legs are shuffling! No worries, with a bit more practice I will be plunging forward like a cheetah.

Until next month … Lots of smiles, Josh

crawling backwards

What to expect from your 6 month old:

By the 6th month your baby will be going through more transitions. Here are a few things that you may see your 6 month old do:

Sitting: Your baby may be starting to sit up alone. At first they may be using their hands to prop themselves up. Overtime they will start sitting unsupported.

Rolling: Your baby is probably rolling from their back to their stomach and vice versa.

Moving about: You may notice that your little one is able to move from one side of the mat to the other by simply rolling over and over.   They may also started to creep forward or backward.

Hand development: Your baby will reach for toys and grasp them. They will also bring their hands together and may start separating their fingers. You may also notice your little one watching their hands as they move them around.

– You probably have stared your baby on solid foods.

Communication: Your baby is now smiling, laughing, and babbling (“ma-ma,” “ba-ba”). Ensure you read to your baby daily to further help with their language development.

Note: This is not a complete list of Baby’s development.  For further information follow up with your pediatrician.

Sensory activities for a Healthy Sensory Lifestyle

Your baby is growing up fast and they are ready to play more and more. Through play your baby gets to experience different sensations, which help your baby’s development both mentally and physically.

Here are my top 10 sensory activities for the 6th month old baby. These activities have been tried and tested.

1. Come and get me

 

As your little one gains more movement they will try to move from one location to the next. They might be still pretty rusty at it. To encourage more movement place motivating toys just out of reach so they have to start moving towards it.

2. Peek a boo

peek a boo

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Object permanence

(Object permanence is the understanding that objects or people still exist even when we can’t see them. Understanding this concept is an important cognitive milestone. To review the specific stages of object permanence, check out the Wikipedia page. )

Visual senses

How to play:

Peekaboo is such a fun game for the baby. The smiles and the giggles keep on coming. They love the surprise of seeing that hidden face pop back up in front of them but also appreciate the predictability of what is going to happen. It is a great game that focuses on an important cognitive development that demonstrates your baby’s ability to understand object permanence.

So get playing with your baby! Simply hide your face from your baby and then pop back into their view. Remember to say ‘Peekaboo!’ as you do that. Then, you can cover their face with the scarf asking ‘Where is the baby?”. Then uncover their face saying ‘Here you are!

3. Magic trick

Magic trick

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral integration. Visual and tactile senses.

How to play:

Equipment needed: Colorful scarfs or scraps of material and a container/toy with large holes. As a container you can use a shape sorter or a OBall, empty paper towel roll or a empty wet wipe container.

To play simply put the scarfs into the container with edges coming out. Then let your toddler try to pull them out. Once they are all out you can help them out and put them in again. Then let the fun continue as they pull it out again and again.

4. Copy cat

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Socialization, attention span, imitation skills. Visual and proprioceptive senses.

How to play:

This game can be played in numerous positions. They can lie on their tummy, on their back or sitting while they are facing you. The whole family can also be involved. Just make sure it is one at a time.

As you and your baby are facing each other do different facial expressions or sounds and see if your baby will imitate you. You can try smiling, blowing raspberries or sticking out your tongue. You can also make simple sounds like ma-ma, da-da, e-e etc.

Have fun with it and also tell them what you are doing to increase their language skills. Remember to also praise them when they do it successfully. ‘Yay, you just stuck your tongue out like your brother’…

5. Water play

water play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness Tactile senses

How to play:

As we are talking about water play please make sure an adult always supervises your baby. If it’s summer, outside is a perfect place to play. If however these are the cooler months playing in a bathtub is just as fun.

If you are using a baby pool or a bathtub only fill it up with few inches of water. Depending how well your baby is sitting up you may want to hold them up or just get in the water with them.

Then, let your baby splash around. You will get lots of smiles as they kick around with their legs or splash around with their hands. You can also include few balls or water/bath toys that they can try and get with their legs or hands. Watching them bounce in your home made waves is also fun.

6. Drumming Band

Drumming

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills (grasping), hand eye coordination and bilateral coordination (use of two hands) Auditory, tactile and visual senses.

How to play:

Dum.. ditty… dum… dum …drum…. Let’s get drumming!

A perfect drum can be made from a simple kitchen plastic bowl or an empty container. All you have to do is turn it upside down, grab some wooden spoons and viola!!

Let your toddler explore the sounds and get more control of their hands as they start banging around on the drums.

7. Discovery basket

Discovery basket 2

 

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Tactile, proprioceptive, visual and olfactory senses.

How to play:

With this activity you can let your imagination run wild. The main purpose of a discovery basket is for your baby to explore a variety of objects. Through this exploration they stimulate many of their senses and practice their reaching and grasping skills. While they are grasping and manipulating the objects they figure out how to hold & manipulate different objects and how much force to use so it doesn’t fall out of their hands.

As they explore the treasures make sure you talk about all the objects. What is it? What color is it? Is it heavy/light? Smooth/rough/bumpy? What do you do with it? Does it have a scent? What shape is it? Does it make a sound?

Ideas for baskets:

  • Focus on color: maybe use only orange items or brown…
  • Focus on items found in the kitchen such as: a ladle, whisk, spatula, potato masher, a bowl etc
  • Focus on different fruit and veggies: Bananas, oranges, avocados …
  • You can also just gather random objects from around the house

Whatever basket you create make sure you choose objects appropriate and safe for your baby’s age and skill level.

Once you are ready. Sit with your baby and explore the objects together.

8. Food play

Food play at 6 months

I know that the thought of having a baby play with food freaks out many parents. They will get it all over themselves and there will be lots of clean up afterwards. Yes it’s messy but it is actually really good for them. Getting messy is part of the process of learning to eat.

As they play and explore they learn about all the properties of the food. They learn about the texture, the smell, if it makes any sounds when it’s squished. If it does end up in their mouth they learn about how it tastes. As they explore their foods through all their senses they are more likely to accept that food.

So put the foods on their tray and let them explore and learn about it before they put it in their mouth.

9. Light show

Light show

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual perception, visual tracking, learning about light, dark & shadows Visual senses

How to Play:

Explore visual senses through glowing lights in the dark. You can play this game in any position. Your baby can be lying down on their tummy or their back. They can also be sitting up.

What to use?

Any of the following will be fine: fibre optic lambs, fibre optic wands or LED ropes.

What to do with it?

  • You can move the light source slowly so your baby gets to follow with their eyes. Move it to the right, left, up, down, across.
  • LED ropes are safe to handle by your baby so they can play around with it.

They will enjoy watching the variety of lights.

10. Encourage independence

You may notice your infant playing independently. Watch for those moments as short as they may be. Give them some space and allow them to play on they own. Playing by themself will slowly increase their attention span and their independence. This means that little by little they will play on their own for longer periods of time.

Summary:

So there you have it.  My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 6 month old that you can do today to help your child’s development.

These are just a few activities that are bound to spark other ideas. Just remember that every new sensory experience is helping your child’s growth and development.

Remember: Each baby develops at their own pace. If your child is not ready or not interested in this month’s activities, just try them again in a few weeks.

For feedback or further questions please leave a comment below.

~ Urszula

Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.

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