So DD is a GREAT crawler - she started at 5 1/2 months and she's a real pro. She's not really interested in walking at all. She cruises, but when I try to get her to walk while holding my fingers, she instantly sits down and will freak out if I coax her to walk. She babbles, and has baba and dada, but no other syllables. She imitates us and shakes her head when we do, she claps, and she dances. When we play, she has a short attention span. We read to her, but she's really not interested at all. What do other mamas do to make play time also learning time? What skills do you all focus on? What do you do for play time?
I repeat what my little one says, read books a lot of Dr Seuss because you read them in a sing song voice, if she is playing with a ball or any object I will say the color and what it is, my husband plays the guitar to her, loves to crinkle paper and tear it (supervised she tries to eat it), I have music low in the background most of the day singing and we dance sometimes, loves boxes pulling objects out of them (cereal boxes are the best), she likes to help me with laundry (unfold what I have folded) the laundry basket alone is so much fun, when I cook I put her in her highchair and give her a pot and wooden utensils, something that has been working for me lately is routing toys putting toy up for about a week or less and bringing it back out. Ill hide a toy while she is watching me, we play chase and Ill hide and play peek a boo, she likes to play in the cabinets and most recently her favorite toy is her cousin :)....But she has a short attention span if she does something for 15 min I am amazed!! I am constantly trying to find new things to play with her....I think any interaction is a learning experience. I am interested in what other mamas are doing too!
It's fine to mention numbers, shapes etc but I really won't worry about skills too much as everything is a learning experience at that age. Just do activities she enjoys.
At that age she'll probably enjoy some messy play. Cornflour/starch mixed with water in a large bowl usually goes down well. Or home made play-do, finger-painting etc. We also spent a lot of time at the library, we did baby signing and music/singing classes etc.
If she's not big on reading then it's fine to read aloud whilst she does something else.
There's not much you can really teach her in the way of walking or talking. Talk to her a lot and sing to her. She'll learn whatever she learns that way.
Seriously, the more you talk and sing to your child, the better off she'll be. It's waaaaaay too early to be focusing on teaching her hard skills. Children--even older children--learn best through play. Anything you could "teach" her now, provided she'd even pick it up, would be so shallow compared to what she learns by exploring anyway.
If you're interested in keeping her in an engaging environment, see if you can pick up a copy of Montessori Play to Learn.
I agree, the only skills I work on with my almost-10 month old are the ones she's already working on-- so she's cruising and stuff, so I'll hold her hands and help her walk. She waves her arms like crazy, so I help her wave and say "Bye-bye" with it. I repeat what she says, I talk to her about what we're doing or what I'm doing, I do finger-play with songs, I build block towers for her to knock down...that kind of stuff is perfect for this age!
My youngest is 9 months as well!
Food exploration is a big hit in our house. I put different types of textured food for him to play with at meal times. I will also give him warm and cold things, like frozen beans to grasp and play with.
He likes blocks, and his sophie...and anything he is not supposed to have like lego!!
I give him pots when I am cooking and crayons when we are drawing (big soy ones).
He does have two older brothers so he just watches them. :)
Babies at this age do more exploring rather than playing, so just find things with lots of textures, and colours.
And reading to them at this age is great, and talking, talking, talking....even if you feel silly talking to yourself most of the day...they lap it right up. :)