Oct 26, 2017
When a baby is around 8-9 months old and can sit without any help, he is ready to explore his environment in a different way.
He is very interested in activities that encourage the coordination of the hand and the eye.
He is now able to manipulate objects from one hand to the other. The two hands are now working in collaboration with each other!
In his environment, the child should have a shelf or similarly designated space for his own objects and activities.
The shelf should have around 3-6 activities for the child to choose from.
When thinking about what activities to offer a sitting baby, we want to consider the size and strength of his hands and the weight of the object. Safety is always a priority. If there are multiple pieces to the activity, they must be well attached.
Also, we want to encourage the child’s independence by choosing activities that will hold the child’s interest for a certain time.
Supporting this independence will directly support his self-esteem.
Now, when you walk into any major retail store and look for toys suitable for 8-9 month old children, you may be lured by the words “interactive,” “educational,” and “learning toy.”
The toys seem so colorful and full of buttons, knobs and may even light up.
These activities are promoted as capable of providing entertainment and stimulating a baby’s developing brain. Oftentimes, however, what these toys provide is “information overload.”
Materials that stimulate the visual, tactile and auditory senses all at the same time do not promote the development of concentration.
Sadly, quite the opposite.
So which activities do we choose?
At this time in the development of a child’s fine motor skills, sensory input is very important.
Activities that will allow him to explore his visual sense, such as beautiful mobiles will entice the child to reach out and explore.
The auditory sense can be nurtured with a rattle, a maraca or an infant friendly music box and will help the child learn cause and effect.
The tactile sense will be supported by offering the child activities made from natural, nontoxic materials that can be safely put in the mouth.
All these actions along with the development of his movements (slithering, crawling) help the child to know the external world and to become aware of his skills.
Toys and materials that offer too much sensory input drown the points of interest in the activity, so the baby has a hard time engaging with the work with repetition and concentration.
What can we offer to aid in the development of the hands while nurturing the senses?
An activity that is as lovely as it is purposeful is the Wooden Egg in a Cup.
This piece of work allows the child to concentrate on using their hands in collaboration to place the ovoid into its cup.
This activity also supports the baby’s developing sense of order and sequence by having the egg placed into the cup and not the other way around.
This lesson encourages repetition and concentration without the distractions of bright colors, noises and lights.
Try this perfect first puzzle for your baby or special baby in your life.
We offer quality Montessori activities that encourage the development of eye-hand coordination such as the Wooden Egg in a Cup. Click here to visit our shop.
What would you include on your baby’s shelf? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
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