By the time your baby is 6 months old, she spends more time awake during daylight hours than sleeping. She’s alert and aware of her surroundings, and she recognizes familiar people, places and things. She most likely can’t walk, but she’s actively developing her muscles, getting ready for more mobility. She probably doesn’t say words yet, but she’s making sounds as her language skills begin to develop. With her new alertness, you can play some games that will delight both of you.
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Name that Toy
As you pick up your child’s toys, call them by name. He’ll quickly learn to recognize the names of his favorite things, such as ball, baby doll, book and pacifier. An entertaining game you can play with him is to hold two objects in front of him and call out the name of one of them. He may point or try to grab it. When he correctly identifies the item, clap and cheer. You can also do this with body parts. Point to your nose and then his, and say, “Nose.” Repeat this with the mouth, eyes, ears, hands and fingers.
While your baby is watching, hide one of her toys, such as a teddy bear, under a blanket. Hold up your hands, and say, “Where is the teddy bear?” Then pull off the blanket and show excitement that the stuffed animal suddenly appeared. Do this a few times, then give your child the opportunity to pull off the blanket. When she does, show how happy you are to see the teddy bear.
Show him how to play pat-a-cake. Start by performing the hand motions by yourself as he watches. Then, facing him, move his hands in those same motions. Afterward, clap and show how silly and entertaining it can be. After he has some understanding of the game, hold him in your lap and move his hands in the motions from behind.
Follow the Leader
By the age of 6 months, many babies enjoy imitating or being imitated. During playtime, when she makes a sound or facial expression, follow her lead and parrot the sound or expression. Each time she does this, imitate her. Then make a sound, and try to get her to imitate you. She might not catch on right away, but she’ll eventually follow your lead. When this happens, laugh, clap your hands and give her positive feedback.
Interact With Books
As you read picture books, point out some of the colorful objects on the page. If a red ball is shown, point to the ball and repeat what it is. The next time you read the book, repeat this action. After you finish reading the words on the page, ask her where the red ball is. If she doesn’t point it out, gently take her hand and place her finger on the ball. Praise her if she touches the ball without your help.