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  • 8 Simple But Essential Activities That Help Your Baby Achieve Developmental Milestones

    Helping your baby achieve developmental milestones is as easy as smiling. Literally!
    by R.M. Mauhay .
8 Simple But Essential Activities That Help Your Baby Achieve Developmental Milestones
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  • Did you know that play can improve children's abilities to plan, organize, get along with others, and regulate emotions? This applies to your 6-month-old baby, too!

    READ THESE STORIES ON BABY ACTIVITIES

    Play also helps with language, math and social skills, and even helps children cope with stress. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that playing with both parents and peers is the key to building thriving brains, bodies, and social bonds for your child.

    Best activities that help baby reach learning and developmental milestones

    More than just a chance to have fun, play is serious business when it comes to a child's health and development. From peekaboo to pat-a-cake and hide-and-seek to hopscotch, the many forms of play enrich your child's brain, body, and life in important ways.

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    Here are some activities you can do to help with the growth and development of your 6-month old:

    Smile!

    As silly as it sounds, smiling at your baby helps them develop their social-emotional skills. It turns into some kind of play when baby smiles at you and you smile back. 

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    Mimic the sounds they make

    Imitate your baby's coos and babbles and have back-and-forth "conversation" using your baby's sounds as a prompt. Babies love "talking" and hearing 

    Playing with objects

    Show your baby interesting objects such as a brightly colored toy. Let her bring safe objects to her mouth to explore and experience new textures.

    While playing with different objects, babies are using their sensory-motor skills to explore its properties and conduct "experiments" like a tiny scientist might. Banging the objects on the floor is your child trying to learn if an object is solid, which also helps him learn cause and effect and how to problem-solve.

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    Pick-it-up

    At around 6 months, your baby will begin dropping things intentionally to see you pick them up. As annoying as this may be at times, it’s one important way for them to learn about cause and effect and their personal ability to influence their environment.

    Make sure everything you give them to play with is unbreakable, lightweight, and large enough so they won't be able to swallow it. If you run out of toys or they lose interest in them, plastic or wooden spoons, unbreakable cups, and jar or bowl lids and boxes are endlessly entertaining and inexpensive.

    Peekaboo

    By playing hiding games like peekaboo and observing the comings and goings of people and things around them, your babies will continue to learn about object permanence — that things continue to exist even if you can't see it —  for many months to come.

    Peekaboo also encourages social interaction and exercises your child's working memory. Your baby will begin to realize that the world is more permanent after all. You’re the same person who greets them every morning. Their teddy bear on the floor is the same one that they played with the night before. The block that you hid under the can did not actually vanish.

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    Limit screen time

    It’s true that screens can sometimes seem like a busy parent’s friend. But too much screen time is not always good for babies, even if they are watching educational shows. (Read screen time guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) here.)

    Babies benefit more from interactions with their parents and environment. The WHO encourages storytelling and interactive floor-based play for older infants.

    Let baby navigate

    Place your baby in different positions so your little one can see the world from different angles. It's also a great way to exercise his muscles! Let him stand up right — he won't be able to support his body weight yet, so hold him while you gently bounce him up and down.

    Cuddle with your baby

    As much as play time is important, HealthyChildren.org also identifies cuddling as a way to help the emotional development of your baby. It can do wonders to calm the nerves of an irritable child.

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    Let your child move and become active — an active baby is a healthy baby. Let them crawl, clap, kick, sit up to develop their motor skills and strengthen their muscles. Just make sure to always supervise them when playing, reaching, grabbing, and having “tummy time." All these help babies grow and develop into healthy children.

    READ THESE STORIES ON BABY ACTIVITIES

    Find more activities that will help your child reach their developmental milestones here. For the milestones you need to expect month-on-month, click here.

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