Games to Play with an 8-Month-Old

Your 8-month-old baby is starting to discover the world around him. His curiosity can mean he gets into things he shouldn't, but even mischief is a way for him to learn more. As he begins to show his emerging personality, you might be looking for ways to encourage his learning and growth through games that he can play. Everyday objects can help you teach your 8-month-old about shapes, sizes, colors, objects and movement.

Find the Toy

At 8months, babies begin to realize the difference between something that goes away and something that is hiding. Encourage this learning by using a baby washcloth and a small toy or stuffed animal. Place the toy in your baby's plain sight, and then place the washcloth over it. Your baby will love to pull the washcloth off, especially when you give praise and excitement each time that she reveals the toy underneath, notes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Crawling Time

If your 8-month-old isn't crawling yet, he probably will be soon. Help him get used to the movement by placing a toy just out of his reach, suggests KidsHealth.org, a division of the Nemours Foundation. Place your baby on all fours and knock a ball a few feet away. Even if your baby can't reach it, he may begin rocking or reaching to try and get to it. After a few tries, roll the toy to him so that he doesn't become distraught and frustrated.

Nesting

Nesting items together is a good way to keep your 8-month-old busy and learning about sizes and shapes. A set of stacking cups purchased from a toy store is one option, but you can likely find other options around your home. Different-sized plastic cups and bowls from the cupboard can be just as engaging. Stack them up and let your baby knock them over or nest them together and have your baby pull them apart.

Name Game

You'll notice that your 8-month-old starts to show recognition when you talk about certain familiar objects, such as "bottle" or "shoes," notes Babycenter.com. Help her get used to different objects by naming them and talking about them. If your baby is reaching for a spoon, pick it up and identify what it is and its use, such as "A spoon. We use spoons to eat." Soon, you'll notice your baby pointing or looking for the correct object when you say certain words.

Hide and Chase

Recruit your 8-month-old's siblings to help you keep him occupied, suggests the University of Nebraska Extension Service. Your baby is comfortable with his siblings, so instruct them to get down on the floor and chase your 8-month-old around. Your older children may also try hiding in an obvious place for your baby to find them. If your baby is an only child, parents can play the same game.

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