3 Fun And Educational Activities A Babysitter Can Do With 6-12 Month Olds

Babies who are aged between 6 and 12 months are more than just incredibly adorable human beings. They’re also individuals who are experiencing fascinating phases of rapid growth and discovery. During these extremely early stages of life, infants develop a bunch of new skills. We’re talking about sitting up, crawling, babbling and exploring their world with curious hands and eyes.

For babysitters, taking care of a 6 to 12-month old is a golden opportunity. It allows them to significantly contribute to the baby’s growth and development. It’s important, of course, that safety is always kept in mind.

Here are three fun and educational activities a babysitter can do with 6-12 month olds:

1. Peek-a-boo.

We know. It’s an obvious go-to game that just about all of us has played with an infant. However, it’s good to keep in mind that peek-a-boo is an educational experience. It teaches babies about object permanence. For clarity, the game involves covering your face with your hands and then removing them to reveal a happy expression while exclaiming “peek-a-boo!” It shows little ones that things continue to exist even when they can’t be seen.

“No matter how you play it, peek-a-boo stimulates baby’s senses, helps build gross motor skills, strengthens visual tracking, encourages social development and, best of all, tickles her sense of humour,” notes Linda Rodgers of What To Expect, “Object recognition develops around month 3, and babies start to better understand the concept of object permanence by month 8.”

2. Mini music sessions.

They say that music is a universal language. Not only is it enjoyed all over the world, but it invokes joy in people of all ages. Babies certainly love music as it is both soothing and stimulating. Round up a few baby-safe instruments. We’re thinking maracas, tambourines and xylophones. Host a mini music session that involves the singing of simple songs. Encourage your little cutie to shake or tap along. This activity fosters a child’s sense of rhythm. It also enhances auditory development.

“Recent studies have shown that music affects the physical, emotional and intellectual development of babies and children and strengthens cognitive and sensory development,” reports Tiny Love, “Three-month-old babies can use music to help them remember things they have learned. Scientists now believe that music gives significance to the learning process and helps remember it.”

3. Sensory play with safe objects.

No matter the objects you offer an infant for play, it’s a must that they are safe. They can’t be so small that they present choking hazards. As well, they can’t be sharp, too heavy or otherwise unsafe for a baby to handle independently. Babies love exploring textures, sounds and colours. Offer your little one plush dolls, textured balls and rattles. Let the baby touch, shake and explore each item. Describe the sensations and sounds to stimulate the child’s senses and build his or her vocabulary.

“Sensory stimulation is an important way that babies first get to know the world around them,” asserts Marygrace Taylor of What To Expect, “As sensory play progresses to hands-on activities, it also plays an important role in helping children build cognitive skills involved in problem solving and abstract thinking. Early visual and motor stimulation also seem to play a role in the development of language and math skills later on, too.”

Looking to become a babysitter?

At SOS 4 Kids, we offer a Babysitter’s Course for children aged 11 to 15. Taking place between 8:30am and 3:30pm on the day of the scheduled class, the course teaches participants how to supervise younger siblings or other children in a safe and responsible manner. They are also taught basic first aid skills.

To sign your child up or get more information, give us a call at 1-844-373-1024. You may also email us at [email protected] or fill out the form on our Contact page!