Bananas Baby Briefs: 9 – 12 Months
Babies Begin More Active Exploring
Most babies at this age are sitting up and crawling; some can walk while holding onto something. To help these children learn, remember that they must touch, taste and experiment with the objects in the world around them. They are curious and have no fears. You must make your house safe for their explorations.
Toddlers and creepers must be free to roam safely while exploring. Playpens, gates and high chairs can be helpful, but should not be used for long periods of time, because they will slow down a child’s curiosity and thinking. Make sure that medicines and sharp or poisonous objects are put out of the way. The rooms in which a child is cared for should be uncluttered too, because babies reach for everything at this age. Staircases need to be gated and your baby needs to be watched all the time.
What Do These Toddlers Like To Do?
- Sit up — pull up on furniture
- Walk around furniture
- Move around, crawl
- Go to different places or change positions a lot
- Play with water
- Play with other children
- Feed themselves (crackers, cheese, etc.)
- Point, touch, poke with index finger
- Say “no” or “bye-bye”
- Untie shoe laces
- Listen to instructions
- Look around, look at themselves in a mirror
- Touch everything
What Can I Do With Toddlers This Age?
- Put things inside or under other things
- Play “Peek a Boo” and other games
- Give things to bang together
- Fill a low kitchen drawer with baby-safe items (measuring spoons, spatula, rolling pin) for baby to explore while you cook
- Push a toy, pull it back
- Read a story
- Constantly talk to them
- When the child does something new, give praise with a smile, words, or a hug
- Give them a bath
- Let them imitate your smile and sounds
- Bounce or dance to music
- Take them to a toddler playground
- Go for a stroller ride
“Hide and Seek” is a good game for these toddlers. You can use a container and a blanket or a box inside a box. Place an object inside the box while the toddler watches; then show how to find it. (Remember to always explain to the child what you are doing.) Hide and Seek helps the toddler realize that objects don’t disappear just because they can’t be seen. It also develops the ability to respond to simple instructions. Peek a Boo is fun, too. Hide behind a wall or behind a pillow or hide your face behind the palms of your hand. Pop out and smile at the baby.
CHILDREN GROW AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS. ENCOURAGE, BUT DON’T PUSH!
If you want to discuss your child care arrangement or the growth and development of a child in your care, call the BANANAS Warm Line or attend some of our many workshops and classes. BANANAS is located at 5232 Claremont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618. For general information, call (510) 658-7353, or check our website at www.bananasinc.org.
Thanks to Erma Woodrow and Judy Alley for their suggestions.
© 1979, BANANAS, Inc. Revised 2005.
Reprinted with the permission of BANANAS, Inc. © 2007 BANANAS
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