9 month olds are more aware of the world so it is so much fun to expose them to new places! You could go places like the park, a playground, the beach, a relative’s house, a friend’s house to have a playdate, a play yard at a mall, a zoo, or a theme park (I love Disneyland so Lily has been there a few times already). Your baby is now more aware of the world, but is not yet running around herself so it’s the perfect time to widen her horizons before you have to chase her around.
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Go on Walks
If going places in a car is not something you have the time or ability of (or if your baby still hates the car), going on a walk is a great way to get out of the house. Baby will enjoy looking at new things, feeling a breeze, and hearing new noises. You can bring toys along, but my children were thoroughly entertained with just looking around. You can use this as me time to scroll through your phone, listen to music or a podcast, or you can narrate what baby is seeing. If baby is struggling with naps, this might also help quiet them down or even put them to sleep.
Talk Talk Talk
This can be as simple as describing what you are doing while walking around, or what you see. You can practice counting with toys and objects in books, name colors of objects around you, or just think aloud to your baby.
Sing with Baby
Babies generally enjoy songs. You can sing to your baby (even if you’re an awful singer, they love you and can still gain exposure to songs). Lily loves watching me do hand motions, and thinks it’s super funny when I help her do the hand motions. We went to a music class where they had a variety of noise makers, and we did lots of songs that had rhythms, hand motions, or clap-along parts.
Develop hand movements
At 9 months, your baby can start working on clapping, waving, blowing kisses, and playing peekaboo. You can use songs and nursery rhymes to integrate hand motions as well.
Reading books helps your baby expand their vocabulary. You can even read them books in different languages! My daughter learned to identify lots of animals and objects from her baby books. These are some of our favorite baby books and these are some of her favorite books are our lift-the-flap books (these are our favorites). I also wrote a post on my tips for reading to your baby.
Develop fine motor skills through toys
Play with shapes, stacking cups or blocks, taking things out of containers and putting them back in (Lily could take things out, but didn’t replace things back into containers until 11 months). Lily has enjoyed colorful stacking cups and has started to stack them herself. We also bought Lily this ball pit and practiced rolling balls. I juggled two balls for her which was highly entertaining.
I can’t wait for Lily to stop putting things in her mouth so we can do more crafty things. I’m pinning so many right now and I’m excited to try them out with my almost-toddler. Hopefully by Christmas she will be eating less things and we can make cute crafty things! Even at this age, though, there are a few crafts I can do with her. You can have your 9 month old paint by placing globs of paint on paper all inside a ziploc bag. After baby plays around and pushes the paint as much as she wants to, you have a painting to dry and hang! You can also help her paint with her hands directly, you can explore play-doh together (there are recipes for making your own though it’s still not recommended to eat), and you could try a water coloring mat (water on the mat makes colors appear).
Pinterest has a ton of ideas for different sensory bins. You can use beans, rice, sand, or water as a base and hide little toys for them to find inside. It can get messy, but the goal is for your 9 month old to explore different textures with her hands. This is an activity you can continue into their toddler years, and introduce many more things once they stop putting things in their mouths.