Play is so essential as your baby grows older. It can be a form of communication, self expression, and a huge time to just explore to learn!
However, as your baby grows older, his or her play styles will begin to change which often leaves the parents wondering what to do next.
Here are some fantastic ideas for cognitive play with your 6-9 month old baby:
1. Peek a Boo toys. Lay your baby on his back and let him see the toy. Let your baby hold the toy for a few minutes to explore it. Gently take the toy from his hands and place it in your palm. Close both hands and show your baby your closed fists. Ask your baby, “Where did it go?” When your baby looks puzzled, open your hand and show him the toy, saying, “Here it is!” Repeat the game, alternating hands and toys.
2. Ball play. When your baby starts sitting up, start rolling a ball with him or her. They even might try rolling it back to you-if they don't decide to keep it first!
3. Rice play. When my son was around 7 months old and could sit up very well, I put uncooked rice grains in a large pot. Carefully watching him the whole time, I allowed him to dig in and play. He was so amazed at feeling the rice within his hands which made me happy to consider this easy gesture as a form of sensory play.
Corn kernels work as well! When my son was 8 months old, we took him to a pumpkin patch and at the farm, they had this huge corn pit. My son was amazed and didn't know what to think at first-until he saw the other kids diggin in! He ended up loving it so much.
4. Water & ice play. Another form of sensory play that my son loved at this stage was ice and water. Just as with the rice, I would put large ice cubes in a baking pan or a pot and let him sit up and play. With this form of sensory play, he learned that some things were cold and wet. He did not enjoy it as much as the rice, but he did get a kick out of it!
5. Pots and pans. At this age, babies love loud noises. When he or she can sit up, turn a large pan over and give them a wooden spatula of some sort. Beat on the pan to show them what to do, and sure enough, they might try to mimick you!