Having a baby in the house is always exciting! The sounds of little laughter and crawling hands and feet are welcome ones to any parent or caregiver, and the wonder and curiosity of babies is absolutely unmatched. When children are infants, literally everything is new to them; butterflies, kitchen-floor tiles, windows, and pillows all present completely new sensory experiences that help babies learn about the world. It’s no surprise, then, that babies rapidly learn new skills as they grow from newborns to toddlers.
Every month provides babies with new milestones to reach and tasks to learn. So what should parents be on the lookout for when their babies are ten months old? According to infant development experts, ten months is a big turning point in terms of communication and movement. It is around this time that children begin actively trying to communicate with their caregivers through speech. They do this in a variety of ways:
- Reciprocating facial expressions and sounds to have a “conversation” with a parent
- Pointing or looking at familiar objects when asked to do so
- Babbling using consonant and vowel combinations, practicing sounds in a variety of ways
- Adding inflection to babbling or cooing
- Listening to books when read by a familiar adult
Ten months is also when infants become fully mobile and begin exploring with both gross and fine motor skills. Here are a few of the ways they practice:
- Scooting around on the stomach
- Sitting up without support
- Crawling after balls or toys
- Pulling themselves to a stand on furniture
- Picking up toys and objects
- Putting objects in containers and dumping them out
Parents and teachers can encourage the development of all these skills through fun, simple games, such as the ones in Sally Goldberg’s book Fun Baby Learning Games. Here are a few activities from Fun Baby Learning Games to help build your ten-month-old’s language and motor skills.
If you listen carefully to your baby’s vocalizations, you will hear lots of sounds that seem like words or short phrases.
How to Do It:
- Whenever you hear babbling that sounds like words, phrases, or general concepts, say the real words back to your baby.
- For example, if you hear your baby say, “Wa-wa,” you might say, “Water? Do you want water?"
- Do this as often as possible, whenever you hear your baby make sounds or point at objects. Say the name of what your baby is pointing to and describe it in as much detail as you can.
What’s Inside the Box?
An empty tissue box is tailor-made for this activity. However, a shoe box or other similarly sized one would work well too.
How to Do It:
- Place small items inside your box of choice.
- Select items that are too big to be swallowed, that have interesting colors or textures, and that would be easy for your baby to pick up.
- Take turns picking an object.
- Talk about and describe each item as it is picked.