It comes as no surprise when your ten-month-old child begins to cruise furniture and raid every drawer and cabinet in the house, emptying their contents. He’ll start to perform actions independently, such as feeding himself (although somewhat still playfully), and will play with things using repetitive motions, such as emptying and refilling objects in a container. He develops a greater sense of confidence and will begin to test his boundaries when it comes to trying new things. This is also the period where you may watch out for his first word.
The great outdoors As your child experiences the world with greater intensity and understands it with heightened awareness, he will at times lose interest in playing with his toys, preferring other activities such as social interaction with his loved ones. On such occasions, bring him outside to get a feel of the warm sunshine and expose him to the outdoors.
“The first time I brought my baby Santi on grass was when he was ten and a half,” recalls An-Marie Villarin, managing director of the Terrific Tots Preschool Program of The Little Gym, Taguig City. “At first it was a little yucky for him, but then he started walking on the grass.”
Let your child discover the different sights, textures, and smells of things found outside: tree trunks, flower petals, leaves, to hone his visual, tactile, and olfactory development. Point and explain to him what those things are and describe each to him. Such an activity not only lets him experience nature but also helps him interact in a special way with the environment, while bonding with you.
Empty and full During this period of your child’s development, he will determinedly experiment with seeing how objects fit in containers. The shape sorter is the perfect toy to let him practice such skills, allowing him to identify different shapes and sort them according to size, shape, and color.
Villarin talks about the shape sorter she got for her baby, which offered more than the expected learning functions. “The shape sorter that I got him was a pail,” recounts Villarin. “With that, I could do ‘empty and full.’ I like toys like that, that have many uses.”
Such toys refine your child’s fine motor skills as they involve grasping shapes. They also develop his cognitive skills as he tries to figure out which pieces go where.