Your baby is hitting some pretty incredible milestones at 6 months old, from learning language and developing motor skills to discovering exciting ways to play. Instead of being the tiny helpless baby she was as a newborn, she is blossoming into a little person that needs lots of stimulation and learning opportunities. Choosing the right toys for your six month old will help her to learn and develop essential skills.
Your six month old baby should be smiling, laughing and babbling away, and there is nothing better than to help your baby along on her language development than reading stories together. Soft books and board books are durable even against baby dribble and new teeth, and are a great way to introduce objects and simple themes. Your baby will love books about animals, food and babies making different expressions: laughing, pouting, crying, eating. Your baby spends most of her time looking at grown-ups laughing, pouting, crying, eating, she will be thrilled to see baby faces for a change. You can let your baby hold the book and “read” it back to you. You can also make up stories as you read along, your baby will love this!
Toys to Develop Communication Skills
Since you are regularly talking to your baby, why not make it even more fun and sing to her? Playing light music and singing along is a fun way to encourage baby’s communication skills and development. You can grab some instruments and have your whole family join in.
Your baby is starting to develop her motor skills, and may already be starting to sit up alone and roll from her back to stomach. Her motor skills are developing at a rapid pace, and she may be able to pick up small objects like raisins and pass toys from one hand to the other. You can encourage development of your baby’s motor skills by providing toys for her like blocks or other objects like spoons and plates so baby can bang them together. Placing toys just out of reach on the floor encourages your baby to start crawling towards the objects. Practice rolling a soft ball back and forth between you, or perhaps roll it a short distance so your baby will reach, roll or crawl towards the ball.
Toys to Develop Motor Skills
Your baby is learning object permanence, becoming aware that objects still exist even when she can no longer see or feel them. This means when you hide her teddy while she’s looking, and she’ll find it right away – and be very proud when she does. Games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek are fun for you and your baby to play together. They will also help her to develop her problem solving skills – helping her to work out a way to find teddy.
Toys for Problem Solving
You can also start baby on basic jigsaw puzzles, showing her where the pieces fit, or perhaps a shape sorting puzzle where she needs to turn the pieces around to get them to go into the hole. All these toys will help your six month old exercise both her brain and her little body.
Cause and Effect Toys
Your baby is beginning to learn that she can do things to objects – so poking, twisting, squeezing, shaking, dropping, and opening things will fascinate her. Your baby will love playing with toys that can be pushed around or things that pop when your baby hits them in the right place. Make a tower with blocks or nesting bowls, and then knock them over while using your words to describe what you are doing – such as “big”, “little”, “top”, “bottom”.
Your baby at six months old will start to become attached to objects, and will miss them when they are gone. When you leave a room, your little one might start crying because they realize you are not there. Your baby might comfort in a favourite toy that is soft and familiar. For this reason, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have duplicates of any favourite toys, in case of mishaps or washing time outs. Look for high quality, age appropriate toys that are free from small parts that can be pulled off by little fingers or teeth.
Toys for Teething
Babies start to get their first teeth somewhere between around 4 and 7 months old. And when they’ve got teeth – they want to work them! Teething babies seem to bite, chew and mouth everything they can get their little hands on, so make sure that you’ve got some safe options for them to chew.
As these toys are going straight into baby’s mouth, it’s really important to make sure that you choose safe and natural materials. Wood, natural rubber, organic fabrics or even a safe, BPA free plastic is a good idea.
Other Creative Ways to Play
Learning opportunities for your six month old baby don’t necessarily have to be toys. Household objects like plastic bowls, and wooden spoons can be big hits. It’s worth keeping some safe household items in a low cupboard where your baby can reach them and play with them while you’re cooking or are otherwise busy.
A baby-safe mirror provides endless entertainment for baby since she loves looking at herself and hearing her own voice. Babies are naturally attracted to human faces, and her own is fascinating to her!
Fill a box full of interesting and baby-safe treasures and let your baby rummage around inside and explore the objects.
If you’re looking for age appropriate educational toys, have a look at Hello Charlie’s range of toys for six month olds.
First published September 2013, updated October 2014. Copyright © Vanessa Layton
Get the latest posts straight to your inbox every week!