This period heralds in an astounding number of developmental milestones. The advancement of gross motor skills such as locomotion (moving from one location to another) manifests as your child can already crawl and even stand up (while leaning on something for support). Sitting steadily by himself becomes an even more effortless task. This signifies greater strength in his back, neck, and hip muscles. Other gross motor skills include throwing objects. Fine motor skills become even more refined with continuous reaching for objects.
Babies at this stage become even more attentive and will notice features more intently. Expressiveness grows through babbling and personality becomes defined as preference for music becomes apparent.
Picture Pastime As your little one pays greater attention to detail, it is an opportune time to introduce him to new things about the world. An-Marie Bartolome-Villarin, managing director of the Terrific Tots Preschool Program at The Little Gym and mother to Santi, shares an activity that will enrich your baby’s early learning development.
For a few minutes each day, when your child is calm and alert, sit him on your lap and show him pictures in a book. His visual development will be stimulated and his eyes will be instantly drawn to the bright, bold, and vivid colors. Infants at this stage just love turning pages and listening to their parents’ voices. At the same time, your little one will get an idea of what he can see out in the world. Point out the pictures and tell him what they are.
Creative Cups When coming up with toys for your child, don’t be limited to conventional toys or those you can buy in toy stores. Instead, introduce “low realism” toys to ignite his imagination and creativity. These are toys which are not based on similarity or resemblance.
For instance, once, when giving her son Santi a bath, Villarin decided to re-invent old items found in the house to be re-used as toys. “Yogurt cups,” she shares. “For pouring and splashing. Then I poke holes on the bottom to pretend it’s raining.” Such toys not only encourage your little one to use his imagination, they also simulate events or observed occurrences in the environment.
Let your child use his own ideas when you play with “low realism” toys and you’ll be amazed at what he comes up with.