Enjoy the give-and-take of early “conversations” with your seven-month-old. Because those coos and babbles are not only adorable, they’re really important for language development.
He rocks on his hands and knees and may creep on his tummy
She responds to her name, recognizes voices and different tunes
With full color vision, he enjoys looking at complex objects—and might even move for a better view
Her eyes help her explore, and she uses them as a gauge when reaching out for objects
He starts cupping his hand around toys and can push them into his hand with his thumb
Your turn, my turn. Start with an interactive game between you and baby, maybe just rolling the toy back and forth. Set up pillow bumpers for boundaries so the toy can't roll too far. And put words with actions as you play: "back and forth," "your turn, my turn."
Ready, set, crawl. Boost baby toward crawling by picking a target and encouraging her to roll the toy to it, then retrieve it. As the toy rolls, she's likely to move toward it to start the fun all over again!
Where is it? Help baby learn to locate things by listening: show him the toy, then put it behind your back and activate the sounds. Do this several times to see if he'll crawl to you to find the source of the sound.
In and out. This is a great time to focus on concepts like "in and out" and "on and off." Encourage your baby to put a hand or a shape inside the shape sorter toy … what will happen? If he's greeted with a funny sound or musical surprise, you can bet baby will like playing the "in and out" game over and over!
One at a time. When you progress to introducing shapes, start with just one: identify it and let baby get the hang of sorting that shape before you move on to a new one. Name the shape as your child picks it up and tries to figure out where it fits.
Talk about things as baby makes them happen—you’ll help him understand the idea of action/reaction: "You made the music play! Listen … do you hear it? Let's spin the ball again."
Color me fun. Use a toy's features to introduce your baby to various colors, saying each color name clearly as you point to it. This is the time when babies are building their receptive language skills, so the more words they hear, the more they’ll become familiar with.
You did it! Use descriptive language as your baby activates a toy: "Hear the sound the dino makes? … Look what happens when you bop the bug!"
One, two, three… Sit on the floor with baby and playfully point out a toy's features, colors and surprises. Say color names out loud as you touch each one: "This is a blue bead, this one's green and this one's purple. One, two, three beads."
Talk about things As baby makes them happen—you’ll help him understand the idea of action/reaction: "You made the music play! Listen … do you hear it? Let's spin the ball again."
Let’s get physical. Encourage your baby to get physically involved with the toy to strengthen muscles and confidence. That could mean pushing it, rolling it back and forth, crawling through it or using it to pull up to a stand.
Many babies learn how to crawl at the same time they learn to sit on their own. Crawling, however, takes longer to perfect than does sitting without assistance.
Babies can have lots of fun with simple toys. Look for toys that provide different responses to different actions, such as a squeak toy that rewards baby's squeeze, or a musical toy that responds when baby presses a button.