At the age of six months, your baby would have reached several milestones. It is the time for many ‘firsts’ including the first time your baby eats pureed food, drinks water, responds to their name and even recognizes their reflection in the mirror.
It is also a phase when the infant acquires cognitive and physical skills.
MomJunction has compiled a list of 15 activities and games for a six-month-old baby to aid their overall development. With these activities, you can keep your baby busy and promote healthy growth.
15 Games And Activities For 6-month-old Babies
These activities will help in the baby’s physical, mental, and social development. Each activity nurtures a set of specific developmental skills, which we mention at the end.
1. Peek-a-boo with a blanket:
You will need: A regular bed sheet or blanket
This is a classic game to entertain your 6-month-old baby.
- Make your little one sit facing you on the bed. Make sure that the baby has back support or a cushion to prevent falling.
- Hold a blanket and draw it over your head. When underneath, say some words to attract the baby’s attention like “Where is Mama?”, “Where am I?”.
- Once the baby is intrigued, slowly pull down the blanket and look straight into the baby’s eyes and say “peek-a-boo!”.
- Your baby may seem perplexed initially, but repeat the act a couple of times, and they begin chuckling. They soon understand the game and will tug the blanket themselves.
Skills developed: Listening skills, vision-hearing coordination, general curiosity
[ Read: 6-Month-Old Baby Development Milestones ]
2. Sit-n-splash the water:
You will need: A bathtub
Babies can sit without support by the age of six months, and you can strengthen those back muscles during bath time.
- Make the infant sit in the bathtub and place some toys around them.
- Guide their hand and get them to splash a toy in water.
- Continue doing so a few more times, and the baby repeats the act.
Babies innately enjoy playing with water, thus making this activity a great way to improve their lower back strength.
Skills developed: Muscle strength, general physical dexterity
3. Nursery rhyme with dance:
You will need: You and your baby
Playing with a six-month-old is all the more joyful when you add nursery rhymes and dance to the equation.
- Lie down on the bed with your head inclined while the baby sits in your lap facing you.
- Start singing a nursery rhyme (even a song will do) and rhythmically move your hands.
- Slowly grab the baby’s hands and move them to the rhyme while also making some funny sound effects like “Whoosh!” or “Swish.”
- Turn their torso gently as if they were dancing, matching those movements to a song.
Be prepared to see your baby giggle and chortle to your singing!
Skills developed: Basic voice and movement coordination, social skills
[ Read: Age-Appropriate Toys For 6 Month Old ]
4. Fun with the bubbles
You will need: Bubble maker, your partner
This is a simple sensory play for the baby’s developing eyesight.
- Ask your partner to blow bubbles with the bubble maker while the baby is watching.
- Sit beside your little one and prompt them to look at the floating bubbles.
- Try grabbing one, and the baby soon extends their hand to try it out.
- Blow one bubble within the baby’s line of sight so that they can track it till it floats away or bursts.
Skills developed: Object tracking, vision development, muscle-sight coordination
5. Stacking the blocks
You will need: Colorful baby blocks
The ability to grasp objects develops around the age of six months and playing with colorful blocks is a nice way to exercise that.
- Make your baby sit while you stack some colorful playing blocks atop each other.
- Prompt them to hold a block themselves and guide their hand to stack a block.
- The baby may not get the stacking right, but the sight of enticing, colorful blocks will lure them to grasp one block after the other.
Skills developed: Coordination of hand muscles, grasping ability, hand and eye coordination
6. Story reading
You will need: Brightly illustrated baby’s storybooks
Words may evade your six-month-old baby’s understanding, but they will love colorful illustrations. Story reading time helps reinforce their interest in colors and contrasting patterns.
- The baby sits on your lap while you open the book in front of them and start reading from the first page.
- Point at the images while you read the story, and label the pictures with their name like “That is a Lion” while pointing at a lion’s illustration.
- Sometimes babies make attempts to babble the words they hear. When they do so, respond to them with a question or a few words of praise.
Skills developed: Basic understanding of patterns, visual perception skills, listening skills
7. Who’s that?
You will need: You and your partner
This is a stimulating activity for a six-month-old and can cement their name in their mind.
- Make the baby sit with you while your partner hides behind an object like a sofa or curtain and says the baby’s name.
- The baby recognizes the voice and the name and will look around curiously to determine the source of the sound. Encourage them and give clues by pointing in the direction of your partner.
This is an amazingly fun-filled activity that the entire family can play with the baby.
Skills developed: Auditory sense skills, identifying and locating sources of sound
[ Read: Food Chart For 6 Months Baby ]
8. The noisy box:
You will need: A plastic box filled with baby cereal
- Fill a small plastic container or box with baby cereal and shut the lid tight.
- Bring the box to the baby and shake it like a rattle.
- The sound emanating from the box attracts the baby, and they will try grabbing it, and when they do, hold their hands and shake the box gently.
Prefer using a box with a transparent plastic cover so that the baby can see inside and get excited.
Skills developed: Cause and effect, Understanding sound and motion relation
9. Bouncing on the legs:
You will need: You and your baby
It is time to bounce and exercise those baby legs!
- Hold the baby vertically, between their arms, on a soft surface like a mattress. Wait until they seem to settle their feet a bit firmly on the surface.
- The baby’s legs are far from holding body weight, so hold the infant while you gently spring them up and down.
- They will bounce when you do so, and that exercises their leg muscles.
Skills developed: Muscle strength, improved range of motion, basic balancing skill
10. Colorful purees:
You will need: Food purees of different colors
Your six-month-old can start consuming solid food now, so why not leverage it with a stimulating fun activity?
- Prepare purees of varying colors from different fruits and vegetables that you usually give the infant.
- Place them all in front of your baby on a plastic sheet (to prevent a mess!) with a large drawing paper on the top.
- Dip your baby’s hands in the puree bowl and make a hand impression on the paper. Repeat with the remaining purees to make handprints of different colors.
This is like a basic art and craft session for your baby, and since the colors are edible, you need not worry about them putting their hands in their mouth.
Skills developed: Visual stimulation through vivid colors, general tactile perception
11. Moving toy:
You will need: Stringed toy, your partner
Crawl using their tummy helps in the baby’s overall physical development.
- Place the baby on their tummy and place a stringed toy in their field of vision.
- Move it around a couple of times till your little one starts making attempts to grab the toy.
- Babies can roll over at the age of six months, so they will use this skill to get better access to the toy.
The moving toy helps in the development and also entertains the baby.
Skills developed: Vision-movement coordination, overall physical dexterity, and strength
[ Read: Fun Activities For 8th Month Old Baby ]
12. Crunches for the baby:
You will need: You and your baby
Your baby’s neck muscles now support their head. Keep the development right on track with this crunches exercise for the baby.
- Sit on the bed with your legs stretched while the baby lies on them with their feet towards you.
- Hold the hands of the baby and gently pull their torso towards you at a full 90o.
- Say something funny or sing a song while you pull them into the sitting position.
- Hold them there for a few seconds before putting them on their back again.
This assisted baby movement will exercise their tummy muscles while enhancing the ability of their neck muscles to hold the head.
Skills developed: Muscle control, muscle movement nimbleness, overall gross motor skills
13. Rolling beach ball:
You will need: A beach ball
Play this activity anywhere – indoors or outdoors.
- Make the baby sit at a distance and roll the beach ball between your hands till you have the little one’s attention.
- Slowly push the ball towards them while prompting them to catch it.
- Once they manage to lay their hand on the ball, they will try experimenting with the ball by moving it, hitting it or by simply lifting it.
In either case, they are flexing their muscles, making them stronger.
Skills developed: Object tracking, overall muscle strength
14. Tugging the string:
You will need: String made from soft fibers, yourself
This fantastic game exercises the six-month-old’s grip, which becomes more nimble around this age (4).
- Take a soft string made from wool or any other soft material, and place one end in the hand of the baby so that they hold it.
- Take the other end of the string and gently tug at it. The baby may initially let go, but you can prompt them to pull the string towards them, which they will eventually do.
This simple game helps to strengthen the baby’s grip and overall flexibility of their fingers. You may even use a mix of colorful intertwined strands that the baby should invariably find attractive.
Skills developed: Grip strength and resistance, muscle response to a force
15. Baby goes bicycling!
You will need: You and your baby
Often parents forget to exercise the legs of the baby, which constitute a large chunk of the body’s muscle weight. Here is an exercise to provide a necessary activity to the leg muscles.
- Place the baby on their back on a soft surface and gently lift both the legs.
- Bend them gently and move them in cyclic motion, as if the baby was pedaling a bicycle.
- Sing a song or a nursery rhyme to entertain the baby.
A simple and easy exercise for the legs and abdominal muscles.
Skills developed: Muscle strength, an improved range of muscle motion
These games for your six-month-old aim at the holistic development of the baby. But it is important to keep some points in mind while you play these games so that the infants reap the maximum benefit.
[ Read: Toys For 9 Month Old Baby ]
5 Tips For Parents Of 6-month-old Babies:
Here is what you can do to ensure that your baby benefits the most from the above activities:
- Have interactive play sessions: Speaking to an infant during the activities can have a significant impact on their level of alertness. Talk to them frequently during play time to sustain their attention for longer. That way they will benefit better from the game.
- Involve your partner and other family members: The more babies play with people, the better are their chances of having superior social skills in the future. Involving your partner and other family members in the baby’s playtime encourages the baby to be more expressive and cheerful throughout the activity.
- Stay patient while the baby grasps the game: Just like adults, babies have personalities, so be patient when your baby is making efforts to understand the nature of the activity. Do not thrust it all at once or rush the activity. They may lose interest and may not show a keenness to play the game again.
- Maintain a schedule of activities: Do not limit your baby to a single activity. Instead, plan the activities for the entire week such that you don’t repeat something too often. Regular play helps reinforce the game, including the skills the baby would have learned through it. An infant is young and has a lot of free time at hand. Use it constructively with the above mentioned stimulating activities for a six-month-old.
- Baby-proof your house for safety: Plaster a soft sponge to all pointy edges, keep sharp objects away from the baby’s reach and remove any stray wires on the floor. The home is an infant’s playground, and through the course of these activities, the baby may unintentionally bump into something that could cause injury. Having fun is essential, but the baby’s safety is paramount.
While activity is important for a six-month-old baby, rest and adequate nutrition are also necessary to keep the baby healthy and active. Remember, activities are important but they should not be exhausting for the baby.