For parents of babies, every minute feels like a major milestone! Whether your child is waving for the first time or just learned how to grasp a spoon, it feels like there’s a new skill to celebrate every day. During the first year of life, children learn a lot; they go from tiny, squirming infants to bright-eyed toddlers who can walk, talk, and explore the world. With so much to learn in such a short time, caregivers may find themselves wondering what they can do to help their little learners.
One of the best things to know when supporting a growing baby is what skills are expected from them at each age. Whereas children and adults measure milestones in years, infant skills are measured in months. It’s important to know what your child is capable of so that you can play games that support those specific skillsets. Take, for example, seven months. This is an exciting turning point in your baby’s life because they are beginning to develop cognitive and motor skills. Some of the things seven-month-olds are learning are:
- How to differentiate between up, down, in, and out
- How to put down objects and pick them up again
- How to move objects from hand to hand
- How to pull themselves into a standing position
- How to look for objects that are not in plain sight
- How to begin making word-like sounds
There are tons of fun ways parents and caregivers can encourage these skills in their seven-month-olds. Sally Goldberg presents some simple games in her book Fun Baby Learning Games that are easy and fun! Here’s one activity you can try with your seven-month-old today!
Inclined Plane Rolling
This simple physics activity strengthens your baby’s sense of up and down, cause and effect, and curiosity. The simplicity of an inclined plane allows them to directly participate in the activity, putting the balls in motion themselves!
- Hand-eye coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Sense of up and down
- Understanding of cause and effect
- Grasping and releasing of objects
How to Do It:
- Set up your inclined plane with your baby watching you
- Roll a ball down the inclined plane
- Invite your baby to place the ball on the high end of the plane so that it will roll down
- Guide your baby to find the ball and bring it back to you to play again
- Repeat the activity for as long as you and your baby continue to enjoy it