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Play and toys to help your child develop - 6 to 12 months

You can stop dedicated tummy time when your child is:

  • rolling over
  • spending time on their stomach independently

This is usually by 6 months old. Continue with regular floor-based play.

Toys you can use:

  • Toys with different textures such as crinkle foil, rough or smooth fabrics.
  • Rattles and noisy toys.
  • Mobiles - don't use one above your baby's cot.
  • A variety of soft, colourful balls - sit on the floor and roll them to your baby.
  • A blanket or activity mat.
  • Colourful books with thick pages and pictures like faces, cars or animals.
  • Stacking blocks, cups or rings - these encourage picking up, pouring, giving and taking.
  • Shape sorting toys.

Types of play:

  • Play action games like peekaboo or gentle knee and ankle rides.
  • You can also try relaxing music, music to move to, stories and nursery rhymes.
  • Consider introducing your child to swimming - this can be a good age.
  • Continue with bath play - have containers for pouring, swirling and mixing.
  • Play games that encourage sitting and standing.

Sitting games

Try ‘prop sitting’. Support your baby in a seated position. Place a toy at their feet to encourage them to tilt and reach for the toy.

Another idea is to put your child in a seated position. Support them if needed. Dangle a toy at their eye level. This will encourage them to reach for the toy. This is good for tummy and back muscles.

Place toys in positions that will encourage them to rotate from side to side or reach out. This engages tummy and back muscles and strengthens them.

Standing games

Play games that encourage your child to push off with their feet. This can help to encourage standing later on.

For example, push their feet off a wall. To do this:

  1. Hold your baby in a face forward cradle position.
  2. Hold their thighs with your hands and place their feet up against a wall.
  3. Your baby will start to experience the sensation of the wall. They will eventually start to push off.

You can also use moving to music to help your child progress from sitting to standing. Start off with your baby sitting on soft mat or rug. Take hold of their hands and help them to rise up.

Hold their hands so they are standing with your help. At the start, they may only stand for a few seconds. Try to build up to 10 seconds.

Once they have been standing with your help for a few seconds, help them to sit back down. Repeat.

Singing along to music encourages fun and movement.

Development milestones for babies aged 7 to 12 months

Screen time limits and how to avoid problems

Page last reviewed: 20 April 2021
Next review due: 20 April 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.